Commentary

5 Key Takeaways From Mobile World Congress, In Case You Weren't There

If you weren’t in Barcelona last week at the Mobile World Congress, Mark Connon, global chief mobile officer for AOL Platforms, shared a few observations:

Mobile Is Surging

“Advertisers we spoke with largely confirmed what everyone knows -- that they’re planning on investing more in mobile ads, with video driving most of the growth. On average, 57% of consumers globally watch videos on a mobile phone every day, per AOL data. Accordingly, 47% of advertisers expect to increase their mobile ad spending by at least 25% this year.”

Mobile Data Scale and Quality Are Critical

“Among both advertisers and publishers, mobile data quality and scale were hot topics. Quality and scale are essential for buyers and sellers to be successful. For publishers, it helps more effectively merchandise inventory. For advertisers, it means better audience targeting across mobile. For vendors, the best approach here is an open one, offering multiple data sets to help advertisers build their brands and publishers make more money.”

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Linear TV Dollars Are Going to Mobile

“Dollars for mobile have to come from somewhere. The "where" was a key part of the dialogue at Mobile World Congress. Advertisers are funding their increases in mobile and mobile video by shifting more money away from TV budgets. If you look at the data, it supports that. According to eMarketer, 2017 represents a major milestone for ad spending, as total digital surpasses TV for the first time. Mobile is driving that, upending traditional ad budgets.”

Virtual Reality (VR) is Poised for Growth

“There were several VR and 360-degree video launches at this year’s show from brands and platforms. This is fitting, since mobile is driving the rise of immersive video viewing. In our own recent global study on VR, 31% of all U.S. consumers, for example, expect to watch more videos in VR over the next year. Mobile is supporting an innovative wave of video experiences.”

Mobile Transparency and Accountability

“At Mobile World Congress, transparency was a hot topic. Advertisers want accountability, especially in the mobile ad supply chain, where more dollars are going. And the recent Media Rating Council verification announcements by Facebook and Google, just prior to the event, only fueled interest. Advertisers are demanding deeper insight and firmer guarantees on how agency and technology partners are acting on their behalf. That’s not an unreasonable request. Advertisers’ partners -- vendors, agencies, publishers -- need to deliver here.” 

This column was previously published in RT Blog on March 9, 2017.

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