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Cross-platform video advertising is emerging as the new norm as buyers distribute ads across a growing range of devices and content platforms. However, significant hurdles remain before industry stakeholders can maximize the business opportunities in an always-on, multiscreen world, as explored in a new eMarketer report, “Cross-Platform Video Ad Buying: Gaining Ground, but Fraught with Hurdles” (eMarketer PRO customers only).
Well over half of US internet users multitask with smartphones or computers while watching TV. eMarketer estimates that the share of internet users who will use smartphones simultaneously with TV at least once per month will reach 68.0% in 2016 and increase to 79.1% in 2018; the share of those who will use computers with TV will be 52.1% and 52.8% during that same time. Multitasking with tablets and TV is not as prevalent, likely owing to the lower penetration of tablets compared with smartphones and computers.
“We’re seeing more and more second-device viewing, where a viewer is simultaneously using several devices to view related content,” said Jeff Cooper, marketing strategist for marketing services firm Netsertive. “For example, someone is watching a football game on their TV but also checks the scores of other games and periodically updates fantasy team rankings on a third screen. To capitalize on this type of viewing behavior, the best thing a brand marketer can do is pair a social media campaign with a TV campaign, helping to drive TV viewers to their social media profiles or content.”
Within the multitasking group, however, only about a quarter consume digital content that relates to the linear or digital programming on their TV set—much to the chagrin of programmers, who would prefer that second-screen clicks pertain to what’s on TV. This percentage is expected to increase to 26.4% in 2018, eMarketer estimates—not a dramatic difference from 2016 levels.
The relatively low incidence of related content is less of a challenge for advertisers. As long as people are using connected devices while watching TV, the relationship between the program and the digital activity becomes secondary. The main point is consumers are using the devices in huge numbers, so as long as marketers can reach them, it doesn’t necessarily matter whether there’s a contextual link between the TV show and whatever the users are browsing on their smartphones and tablets.
Many advertisers have made substantial progress in trying to reach consumers via any and all devices they may be using. A Q2 2016 study by video ad tech firm Videology found that 62% of US digital video ads on its platform went across desktops or laptops, mobile and connected TV—all the digital platforms included in the study.
By comparison, only 44% of Videology’s campaigns in Q2 2015 went across all measured screens, and 26% were desktop/laptop only. These differences highlight how far the ad industry has moved away from a PC-centric approach and toward multiplatform campaigns.
The share of US ad budgets spent on buys combining linear TV with digital video has increased over the past two years, from 29% in 2014 to 35% in 2016, according to an April 2016 report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) conducted by Advertiser Perceptions. The study specified that the ad buys were for TV and digital video from the same programmer or TV network.
eMarketer PRO customers can view the full report here.
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