What We Learned About the Future of Video at IAB’s NewFronts Wrap-up Event

The insights session marked the end of NewFronts week

The IAB gathered research and industry leaders to end NewFronts week. IAB
Headshot of Sara Jerde

After a NewFronts week that kept advertisers running from presentation to presentation to hear publishers’ pitches for digital videos, some trickled in Friday to the week’s final event, the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s day-long insights symposium.

After munching on bagels and yogurt at WellSaid, Convene, near New York’s Bryant Park, attendees wandered into a large conference room to hear what some of the industry’s findings were. Here’s a glimpse of what was revealed and discussed at today’s session:

Consumers stream video to ‘relax’

Most consumers (90%) say they stream video to relax, according to IAB’s “A Day in the Life of Video Viewers” study. After relaxing, 76% said planned viewing and 75% said taking a break were reasons to stream video.

The IAB compared preferred ad viewing experiences for consumers.

Younger audiences, in particular, responded that they stream video for a particular reason: “They themselves are their own brand … They’re building themselves right now. When they are socializing, what they watch … they’re doing it with these motivations and mindsets,” said Sue Hogan, svp of research and measurement at IAB.

Viewers prefer short ads

Who could’ve guessed? Consumers prefer short ads, especially when viewing on a desktop computer or mobile. For each device—computer, connected TV, smartphone and tablet—viewers preferred short ads over skippable and countdown ads, according to IAB’s study.

Brands are becoming publishers

As more video is consumed on mobile over TV and other screens, it’s important to keep in mind that advertisements there need to be relevant, said Rachel Tipograph, founder and CEO of MikMak.

Tipograph chatted onstage with Marissa Curcuru, manager, global media, Bose, about lasting advertisement and what can be done by brands to stand out from the crowd. A lot of that, they agreed, comes down to creating something that can become a shareable experience for consumers, a task that was easier to do on linear TV. And that mostly falls on the brand, Curcuru said, which now faces new pressures to become their own publisher.

“Everyone has to create content, everyone has to make the consumer lean in versus bringing them content in places that they’re already consuming,” Curcuru said.

Context matters

Research from Sharethrough, which has studied human cognition for more than five years, examined how people perceive ads and which experience they prefer.

The research found that advertisements that use certain context words to quantify the information—like “history” or “everyday” or “years”—caused consumers to linger for longer around the content. And when ads fit into the content, an ad in the post versus a banner ad, consumers better retained the information.

“When ads fit in with a headline, they drive higher comprehension of your message,” said Frank Maguire, head of market development, Sharethrough. “The problem, though, is that the creative workflow isn’t set up for that.”

Big growth in connected TVs

In all, 28% of impressions are on connected TV, which is up from 17% last year, according to 2018 global video benchmarks from Innovid. And buyers continue to include it in their campaigns: Connected TV was included in 68% of all campaigns.

Traditional TV is also making its way to connected TV. Broadcasters made up 83% of all CTV campaigns, according to the report.

These gains took away from desktop, which amounted to a “big exodus” away from desktop to connected TV, said Tal Chalozin, co-founder and chief technology officer, Innovid. “Connected television is not a thing of the future,” he said.

@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.