Commentary

Video And Mobile Growth = Mobile Video Boom For 2016

Wow. Take a look at the latest report on UK online publishers from the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) and there's a startling figure there. In the third quarter of this year, video revenues are up by nearly a quarter (23.8%). Then backtrack a little and you can see that revenue was similarly up, year-on-year, at around 20% for the last quarter of 2014 -- and it has continued to be in the mid to late teens of percentage growth year-on-year for the first two quarters of this year. Averaged out very roughly, it means online video revenue is due for a 20% or so leap this year.

Interestingly, the AOP's figures for mobile revenues showed a massive leap at the end of last year of 90%, which has since come down in Q2 and Q3 of this year to hit 21% and 16%. Clearly last year was the long-awaited "year of the mobile" -- and this year it still is, but with the massive step forward having already been taken. The AOP, by the way, attributed the huge increase in mobile from a year ago mostly to display. I still think this will be reversed at some stage as advertisers realise the small screen is not the place for display, particularly when it is either a tiny button on a Web page or an annoying ad unit flashing alongside the app it supports.

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The big takeaway of the figures is not just that online video is finally the huge revenue stream it was always destined to be, but rather that its growth rate has overtaken the percentages we have been seeing for mobile for the past couple of years.

The AOP attributes the rise in video revenues simply to publishers offering the technology and premium positions to accept the quality video advertising that brands have been trying to place on the Internet. A pent-up demand is finally being met.

Aside from the figures, the big takeaway has to be that if this is the year when publishers have risen to the challenge for online video, and are now reaping the financial rewards, what will happen when video and mobile growth combine into mobile video growth? Many people, including myself, have been pointing out that this is the huge opportunity ahead of us -- and these publisher-side figures appear to back up the assumption.

Clever people are making lots of very well-informed predictions for 2016 at the moment. Many will point to mobile video as the one to watch, and these AOP figures would suggest they are correct.

This column was previously published in London Blog on December 1, 2015.

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