Commentary

Sizmek Makes A Play For Mobile Autoplay Ads

Austin-based Sizmek, using a workaround, is introducing autoplay for HTML5, that would let an advertisement run, without sound, automatically when a user lands on a mobile video site.

Of course, with varying amounts of consumer acceptance, Facebook and Twitter already use autoplay, and as more and more video views originate via mobile phones, Sizmek’s ability to offer it to other publishers is a big deal for them, or so they believe. 

It sees a big market in it for studios touting, for example, action films whose spectacular video is probably all the advertising consumer might want. Sizmek hosts a video conference Thursday to discuss its autoplay-on-mobile announcement.

“These ads aren’t a nuisance. That’s what people get mad about,” says Jaime Singson, director, product marketing. The ads Sizmek envisions are only about six to eight seconds long.

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Then the idea is to keep the user engaged with some follow-up interactive feature that ad might (willingly) lead them to.  “To date, limitations placed on video playback led to frustrating metrics and less than ideal ROI from allocated media spend,” the company quotes Pete Hotchkiss, a movie digital marketing exec for Substance Global.

The silent autoplay ad is certainly nothing new. Advertisers learned quickly that users faced with autoplay don’t have to be distracted racing for the mute button if there’s no sound to stifle. That only leaves the ad.  

There’s a different thought-process about autoplay ads on mobile devices. Those ads play routinely on laptops but many OS developers intentionally disabled autoplay on mobile devices in order to protect user’s bandwidth because, most times you’re paying for it through your data plans. JWPlayer has a good guide to which phones do what, or don’t. Most mobile video ads depend on a user’s consent; Sizmek’s tool does not.

But there is at least some feeling that mobile autoplay is inevitable. Virool, for one, has introduced a native advertising version. Usually there are ways to work around autoplay.  Twitter, after it debuted its version of autoplay, added a way for users to disable it when they’re on a mobile device. Facebook does too.  

THE FUTURE, FORETOLD AGAIN: A new report from Bain & Co. say just  half of U.S. marketers say TV networks will be among their top five places for ad spending within three years, Financial Times reports. While that seems not-so-startling considering other shifts in advertising, Bain says it’s the first time it’s seen a decline in TV’s appeal in the ring of the top five places-to-go. Some have already left. One fast food chain said it will spend nothing on TV this year, and instead ramped up digital spending.


pj@mediapost.com
1 comment about "Sizmek Makes A Play For Mobile Autoplay Ads".
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  1. Andrew Hunt from Addroid, July 8, 2015 at 2:35 p.m.

    Addroid has been powering autoplay video ads on mobile devices for over three years, including iOS and Android.  Our platform allows for ads to be served through any open ad server, DSP or programmatic trading desk.  Our metrics and real world case studies show that high quality, autoplay video creative drives positive campaign outcomes, particularly on mobile.

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