By Jeremiah Agada
Building brand awareness and successfully interacting with consumers is a crucial part of marketing today. Conversely, content has always remained a valuable currency of marketing, and video content is one of the methods many advertisers explored to improve consumer interactions and brand awareness in 2018.
Globally, video is expected to form a staggering 82% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2021! For example, YouTube alone has 1.9 billion monthly logged in users, and YouTube campaigns are seeing over 99% success rates on brand safety in 3P beta tests with IAS and DoubleVerify.
71% of people that belong to the Generation ‘X,’ Gen Xers for short, turn to YouTube to learn how to do something when they want to gain a new skill. TV programs with dedicated YouTube channels see an increase of 30% in reach and 25% in ratings. The highest viewability & audibility on the web is 95% each. Industry average viewability is just 66%. What more? People spend a collective 180m hours a day watching YouTube on their TV screens.
The major driver for growth of video content is largely due to the growing users of mobile phones. The numbers above confirm what many already know: Mobile video set records in 2018, with even more growth predicted to come in 2019 and beyond. Smartphones became the dominant channel to watch online video, with mobile’s share of online “video starts” crossing 50% for the first time. In tandem, mobile is forecast to account for 72% of the growth in spending on OTT video advertising. As video continues to blossom, 2019 is likely to see big players in the space fight for dominance.
For clarity, OTT stands for ‘over-the-top.’ The term is used for the delivery of video content via the internet, without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay-TV service. Such content is not just available via set-top-boxes, but also via any devices that can access the Internet – such as phones, tablets and smart TVs with a broadband connection. Popular OTT services include Netflix, Instagram TV-IGTV, Youtube and the latest among them, Facebook Videos.
OTT can largely be broken down into three different revenue models: SVOD (subscription-based services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu); AVOD (free and ad-supported services such as Youtube, IGTV); and TVOD (transactional services such as iTunes, Vimeo On Demand and Amazon Instant Video that allow users to pay for individual pieces of content). The focus here is on the most popular of the three in this clime; AVOD.
With the world having more than two billion smartphone subscribers, mobile devices has been the primary driver of OTT video and ad growth in the past five years and will be playing a greater role in the next five years as consumers continue to shift their viewing habits toward smartphones and tablets. Mobile is forecast to account for 72% of the growth in spending on online video advertising, while its share of the online video ad market will grow from 50% this year to 59% by 2023. Smartphone users are becoming more comfortable with viewing online video as the share of mobile screens that measure at least 4.5 inches increases, according to a report by the Forrester.
Growth drivers include more time spent watching long-form content on smartphones, continuing a trend that saw mobile’s share of online video time grow from 29% in Q1 2016 to 55% in Q1 2017. Not only are viewers more likely to be engaged with long-form content, but the quality is expected to improve, two trends that appeal to marketers.
Forrester’s forecast highlights many interesting trends, including the greater segmentation of the mobile ad market. The in-app share of mobile video will grow from 78% this year to 84% in 2023, the firm predicted. The bias toward in-app ads for mobile video is based on the fact that instream video ads make up more than 80% of video ad spend share. Instream video is biased toward in-app viewing, based on the high in-app visitor share for YouTube and Netflix, which have videos suited for instream video advertising. More than half (54%) of marketers said that in-app ads offer more accurate user data, compared with only 30% who said the same for mobile web ads, per Forrester.
Forrester’s survey data confirms other research showing that the share of online users who stream ad-supported content on a smartphone or tablet has been generally trending upward over the past three years. Nielsen data show that smartphone share of online video time per person grew from 21% in 2016 to 30% in 2017. Smartphone users are becoming more comfortable with viewing online video as the share of mobile screens that measure at least 4.5 inches increases. Telecom operators are making it more affordable to watch mobile video on the go with more affordable data plans, per Forrester.
To further buttress, research from Google and Ipsos—based on a survey of 1,519 smartphone owners between the ages of 18 and 34 who were asked to keep a detailed diary of all of their online and offline video interaction, suggests that watching video on smartphones is “far less distracted than it is on TV.” Specifically, watching video on TV was the sole activity for Millennials for just 28% of the time. (The rest of the time they were watching TV was spent multi-tasking—eating, texting, chatting to a friend, or even cooking.) In contrast, watching mobile video was the sole activity for over half (53%) of respondents.
Mobile video doesn’t just command our attention. It’s also emerging as the best way to explore products and offers before making a purchase. This is the key takeaway of research conducted four years ago by Animoto, a company that provides an online video creation application. The findings are a clear indication that consumers don’t want to spend time reading about a product, they want video.
Interestingly and impressively, brands in Nigeria have been taking good advantage of this to reach more and more people that on OTT platforms, predominantly Youtube. New players like Facebook Watch and Instagram’s IGTV that launched in 2018 have their work cut out for them as many advertisers are still observing these platforms. Unfortunately, despite Facebook’s billion-dollar investment in these platforms, they have so far underperformed. Facebook clearly sees Watch as a driver of growth, having expanded its ad sales to 40 countries, but the service has struggled to drive viewership. The company will have to prove that both Facebook and Instagram are sources of original content, not just social platforms.
Youtube however, has continued to have a field in this space in Nigeria. This is not unexpected as it has over a billion users — almost one-third of all people on the Internet who each day watch a billion hours of video, has consistently been generating billions of views.
Recently, a released list of the top 10 most watch TVCs on the Youtube platform in Nigeria which represents over 17 million views all in 2018, shows the leadership board of viewership for brands on the OTT platform. The top ads of the year represent brands that have executed the most popular ads, as determined by YouTube’s strongest signals of viewer choice – including factors like watch time, views, and mix of paid/organic views.
In the first is place is the Traditional Wedding Day (blind bride) ad by the MTN brand. The ad had a whooping 2.6 million views. Closely following behind it with 2.3 million views is Jumia’s Black Friday ad. Stanbic IBTC’s ‘Enabling you to be’ ad sits on the third most watched TVC on Youtube with 2.1 million views.
Union Bank’s ‘Enabling Success’ (2.7m), UBA’s ‘919 dance’ (1.6m) MTN Pulse’ ‘Takeover (1.6m), the hilarious Airtel Nigeria’s ‘The-Inlaws – Tutorial (1.4M), P&G Nigeria’s Ariel Assurance (1.3M), GTBank’s ‘Come Let’s Eat Together’ and GTBank Food & Drink 2018 (1.2M) and LG inverter’s ‘The new Inverter equation of home appliances’ (1.2M) TVCs sum up the ten most viewed TVCs in Nigeria last year.
Globally too, the OTT platform released the leadership board as follows: Alexa Loses Her Voice – Amazon Super Bowl LII Commercial, 50.1M views, YouTube Music: Open the world of music. It’s all here., 39.5M views, OPPO F7 – Real Support Makes Real Hero, 31.7M views, Nike – Dream Crazy, 27.3M views and Turkish Airlines: Safety Video with The LEGO Movie Characters with 25.2M views.
Others are Groupon 2018 Super Bowl Commercial | “Who Wouldn’t”, 25.5M views, Samsung Galaxy: Moving On, 17.4M views, HomePod — Welcome Home by Spike Jonze — Apple, 16.3M views, Gatorade | Heart of a Lio, 13.7M views and Rescue Blue the Dinosaur – LEGO Jurassic World – Pick Your Path, 10.8M views.
Looking at this year’s top ads on YouTube, Google, through its Country Director, Juliet Ehimuan-Chiazor, made some key observations that should be of vital importance to creative advertisers, media planners and buyers, advertisers and other key stakeholders in the industry. They are as follows:
Family: Emotive storytelling is key to building brand love and preference; that’s an insight this year’s top performers quite literally brought home, with family and belonging emerging as key ad themes, as shown in Airtel NG – The-Inlaws.
Culture Connects: More and more brands are infusing culture into their storytelling to boost resonance, as MTN did with its Traditional Wedding Day ad.
Music: Music has found a place at the heart of YouTube – so it’s no surprise to see many of our winners riffing on musical themes this year, like UBA did with 919 Dance video.
Connecting to 2018: Amid a year of political and social turmoil, many brands chose to take a stance on social topics, leading to some of the year’s most thought-provoking work, including Union Bank’s Enabling success.
Connecting to a trend: Infusing popular offline trends into YouTube ads helps brands build authenticity and connect to the heart like P&G Nigeria did in its Ariel Assurance ad.