Get ready for micro-video.
With more and more consumers turning mobile devices into video viewing platforms, attention spans are dissolving. There’s a greater demand than ever for video content that is snackable and easily digested. With their smartphones always handy, consumers are watching videos because, well, it’s something they can do instantly. They’re empowered to watch anywhere at any time and that’s changing how they engage with the content.
To get a handle on consumers’ ever-changing video viewing habits, we conducted a global study on the mobile video industry. Our goal? Zero in on what consumers want from videos and what they expect from the ads that accompany them. They told us they can’t live without their smartphones—no surprise there. But what are the resulting opportunities? Here’s what we found out:
Welcome to the age of the micro-video
It’s time for brands and agencies to meet the needs of video snackers with content aimed at consumers who watch videos under 60 seconds. Incredibly, 59 percent of consumers watch videos that are less than a minute long every day—more than watch videos of any longer length. And if you think they’re just watching on the go, you’d be wrong—96 percent watch online videos at home, while 39 percent watch while traveling long distances.
Ads need to fit the form
Consumers are quite vocal about their expectations for video ads. For videos that are less than 1 minute, most think pre-roll ads should be less than 15 seconds. But they’re willing to watch longer ads for longer videos—half expect to sit through ads that are 16-30 seconds long for videos 1 to 5 minutes, and a majority expect an ad that’s 16-60 seconds for videos that are 5 to 10 minutes long. Consumers also are open to pre-roll alternatives, with 72 percent agreeing that “ads that run after a video are less intrusive than ads that come before a video.” More than three quarters (77 percent) would rather watch one longer ad instead of several shorter ads throughout the video. And consumers also are noticing the frequency of messages—a little more than half say they see the same ads over and over again when they watch videos.
Beware of load times
Nothing bugs a video viewer like endless buffering. Attention spans aren’t the only thing slipping; so is consumers’ patience for videos that don’t load quickly. More than half (55 percent) of consumers will tune out of a video after experiencing two buffering interactions, and a full 79 percent will say goodbye after experiencing three. It’s not just a problem for viewers. Almost half of all ad buyers say the long load times for video ads on mobile is causing them to reduce their spending. That’s why 40 percent of advertisers say they’re focused on creating lighter ads that can load faster and reduce load times.
Big opportunities for in-app video
What are marketers most excited for in mobile video? Topping their list of mobile video opportunities is in-app video advertising, especially those that increase interactivity and engagement, cited by 47 percent of advertisers. That was followed by granular audience targeting (46 percent) and the ability to buy mobile video programmatically (41 percent). And they’re putting their money where their mouths are: 70 percent of advertisers expect to increase mobile ad spend by at least 25 percent this year.
Consumers are viewing more video than ever—that’s for certain. And advertisers need to keep track of these shifting habits, from developing quicker creative to lightening load times. It’s a challenge worth watching.