Mobile Video Advertising Is Irrelevant

Today we announced the launch of mobile video advertising across our network. In spite of this, I feel strongly that mobile video advertising is fundamentally irrelevant and will eventually be removed from the pool of industry jargon.

What makes me think this? Mobile video is irrelevant because the medium doesn't change anything about our ability to offer scale, targeting, optimization or performance media to our advertisers. In addition, mobile video advertising is served in a nearly identical way to online video (i.e., a forced view before the consumption of free content), so the experience of viewing the ad doesn't change the way it's consumed or performs.

Touting mobile video ads is the equivalent of touting media tied to a certain type of computer (laptop video ads), browser (Chrome video ads) or type of location (college video ads). Advertisers very rarely target ads based on the type of computer, browser or location category, and it is safe to assume that mobile will not be separated from online for most campaigns in the future.



Simply having inventory in a specific medium (mobile, set top box, etc.) is not a differentiator in a marketplace in which the ad unit and experience are consistent.

As a result, we expect mobile video advertising to be a line item on online video advertising campaigns and that the largest sellers of online video advertising (i.e., big publishers and ad networks) will ultimately dominate the mobile video advertising category. If a video network is already running a $100k campaign for two days prior to a movie premiere, why wouldn't they offer to allocate 20% of that budget to mobile inventory?

What is significant about the new mobile inventory is its massive scale and how that impacts a video network's ability to deliver results for its advertising clients. IPhone and Android inventory becoming "video-enabled" is the equivalent of the video industry growing by 25% overnight. The benefits for advertisers who work with vendors that can deliver this high-volume, high-impact inventory will be profound, and will enable them to reach consumers in a new and impactful way.

9 comments about "Mobile Video Advertising Is Irrelevant".
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  1. Izzet Agoren from Crystal Semantics Limited, September 23, 2010 at 12:38 p.m.

    Video enabled iphones and android phones resulting in 25% growth over night? Sounds a bit optimistic to me. Does your number consider the average viewership durations and the bit pipe issues on mobile?

  2. Jared Grant from Cutwater, September 23, 2010 at 12:51 p.m.

    I definitely think there are similarities in the video mediums - pre-roll and forced view whether on mobile or on laptops/desktops, but I think the bigger opportunity is creating custom video content (whether it be straight up ads or branded content) for the mobile format. I think rich media in this space for instance takes advantage of the video enabled devices. There is a lot of potential there for engaging non-intrusive communication if done right. Additionally, as we become more and more reliant on our mobile phones content becomes easier and easier to access on it only make mobile video on a path for even more relevancy. Just like when the internet grew online only video destinations appeared. It doesn't seem unlikely that video destinations will appear and only live in the mobile space. (This was not sent from my iphone)

  3. Brady Brim-deforest from Marx&Trotsky, September 23, 2010 at 2:08 p.m.

    Tod — I agree that the medium (mobile video) doesn't fundamentally change the advertising experience itself, but it can and will change the relevancy of ads served to the viewer.

    That differentiator might cause the format of mobile video advertising to change, but it most certainly will help to better tailor ads to audience.

  4. Dan Mckillen from HealthDay, September 23, 2010 at 2:12 p.m.

    A question about the statement in the article:

    "mobile video advertising is served in a nearly identical way to online video (i.e., a forced view before the consumption of free content), so the experience of viewing the ad doesn't change the way it's consumed or performs."

    I can't help wondering if the writer believes that seeing an advertisement on a big, flat-screen computer monitor is no more effective than seeing an ad on a four inch mobile phone screen. I realize there are a lot of larger screen mobile devices in use now but most mobile viewing is done on small screens. To suggest that ads on these small screens perform the same as ads on big computer screens just doesn't sound right to me.

  5. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, September 23, 2010 at 2:41 p.m.


    Despite your correct assertion that " video advertising is fundamentally irrelevant...", you confuse the issue with what I would assert as misplaced emphasis on the media supply.

    Expand the clutter all you like, it won't make advertising any more appealing - or relevant - to consumers who have the means, motive, opportunity and inclination to avoid it.

    The only ones who care about growing the ad supply are the intermediaries who buy and sell it, period.

  6. John Maher, September 23, 2010 at 2:49 p.m.

    OK, first, for all of you that are apparently uneducated or just plain stupid, the plural of medium is NOT "mediums"'s The word "mediums" denotes two or more psychics, like the Psychic Hotline, where you ought to post this claptrap. A video ad is a video ad, whether it’s forced or selected. Its purpose is to make an advertising impression, not convey the experience of seeing the Sistine Chapel for the first time. We’re in the advertising business people. We sell stuff.

  7. Christopher Cook, September 23, 2010 at 5:53 p.m.

    It needn’t be a forced view before the desired content is experienced. The addition of the mobile platform within the branded content model does offer additional scalability, as we preach the content IS the brand message, and that association develops brand affinity to niche audiences who demand their content, their way, on their device of choice. Branded entertainment, we suspect, will become the driving force of next gen video advertising models.

  8. Bruce Goldstein from UNIVERSAL, September 23, 2010 at 7:12 p.m.

    The jargon is irrelevant but the delivery of video ads to mobile devices with or without accompanying multi media content is not. The lack of standards, amount of devices, models, platforms interoperability between carriers and a myriad of other barriers has been what has help back the adoption of the video ads for mobile. The key is to not require an app or download but to have the delivery of rich media "latch" on to the features of ALL phones no matter what barriers are thrown at it. For 3 years THWAPR has been solving these problems and delivers the best user experience on the video and adapts all this to fit a UI that must accompany the videos..

  9. Todd Zander from healthline, September 24, 2010 at 5:22 p.m.

    wow. this has to be the most ridiculous positions i've read in a long time on mediapost. online and mobile video advertising may be packaged together ultimately (like display and search for Google) but mobile and online video advertising are two completely different beasts: user experiences, engagement, call to action, measurement, ad units, etc. shoehorning mobile capabilities into an online platform hasn't worked yet. according to this theory, Medialets and iAd are irrelevant and iPad ad units are irrelevant - because they should be thought of in the same vein as online ad units. maybe brightroll needs another light bulb?

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