A new report from Ooyala entitled, “State of the Media Industry 2016,” states that publishers are beginning to think and act like video producers. This includes both traditional media publishers and new players in digital media. The study confirms that data-driven video content is becoming the cornerstone of many digital marketing campaigns, and the content that provides the most ROI will be that which personalizes the story for the consumer. Let’s take a look at some highlights of the report:
The State of Video & Traditional Media: 2016
#1 Millennials Consume News via Social Media: While Baby Boomers still comprise two-thirds of newspaper audiences, Millennials get their news through a mix of digital publications and social media feeds. They’re news junkies who prefer not only visual content but up-to-the-minute, shareable video that one-dimensional print publications can’t offer. Media giant Meredith has recognized this, recently partnering with Unconventional Studios to produce lifestyle videos for its digital magazine targeting Millennial women. And The Independent recently became the U.K.’s first national newspaper to move to a digital-only future.
#2 Mobile Comes First: Recent comScore data shows that desktop internet use might have peaked last year, and is in a steady decline in favor of mobile – particularly on video savvy social platforms. That’s why many media companies are launching mobile-first content to stay abreast of consumer wants and ahead of the competition, such as Hearst’s joint content deal with Verizon for the Go90 video service.
#3 Generation Next: Serving the under-21 Gen Z is a whole new ballgame, its content consumption habits are different from Millennials in notable ways. They want to be a part of the content creation experience, in addition to just absorbing it, and they’re even more socially and tech-savvy than their predecessors. Moreover, they already spend more time on smartphones and tablets than Millennials, so look for publishers to prioritize personalization of both short-form and long-form video for their mobile devices.
4# Partnerships Reach More Consumers: A 2016 Reuters Institute Digital Leaders survey revealed that 79% of the digital leaders polled are planning to invest more in online video than they did in 2015. Publishers are turning to partnerships and acquisitions to fill voids in content, audience growth, financing, and distribution. For example, NBCUniversal has invested in both Vox and BuzzFeed in the last year.
#5 Data is Driving Change: Data is a fundamental component of any digital business today. Without it – and systems to analyze it – media companies are flying blind in a world of constant disruption. Publishers are looking to fully understand how audiences engage with their content and ads.
#6 Virtual is the New Reality: Given that key virtual reality (VR) categories include travel, news and gaming, it’s no surprise that publishers like National Geographic are embracing the format for their audiences. USA Today’s newly-announced VRtually There channel is billed as the first branded VR news channel.
#7 Personalization is the Present: The media industry has been moving away from the traditional approach of helping viewers find content via recommendations through a manually-fixed playlist. Smart discovery engines today make one-to-one recommendations, offering up videos that a viewer is likely to enjoy based on what other viewers with similar consumption patterns watched.
#8 Short-Form Leads: Snackable, mobile-friendly content is growing in popularity among media companies looking to increase engagement and revenue. Ooyala recently took a look at the most popular digital videos of 2015 across its publisher network and found that 95% of the videos tracked for the research were under 5 minutes in length, with the sweet spot being around 2.5 minutes.
#9 Long-Form Grows: Long-form is rising as well; audiences today are becoming more used to watching it on mobile devices as screen sizes have grown, and as connected TV (CTV) usage has grown in the home. For publishers, long-form content can be a prime point of brand differentiation, as well as an efficient use of production resource as companies can create short-form clips from one piece of longer content for a variety of purposes and platforms. For example, Time, Inc. just announced the People / Entertainment Weekly Network, an ad-supported over-the-top (OTT) video channel serving up long-form content consistent with the two publishing brands.
#10 Live Takes Off: It’s no secret that Live streaming is booming globally as audiences demand more real-time connections to their favorite content on their preferred devices. That’s particularly true in media categories like news and sports where content has far more value delivered live than via on-demand replays. BuzzFeed counted 800,000 concurrent Facebook viewers tuning in to watch a 45-minute live feed on how many rubber bands it takes to explode a watermelon.
#11 Ad Avoidance on the Increase: While the digital ad market is increasing and will soon surpass TV, a growing problem looms: Digital audiences have turned to ad blocking in force. It has grown into a huge global challenge driven by Millennials – and in some ways, by the industry itself, which has allowed cluttered, poor-quality ad environments, privacy issues, and irrelevant ad experiences to grow at the expense of the viewer. A recent Millward Brown study noted that over 60% of online video viewers would be more agreeable to advertising if they could control the ads they see, and over 40% responded favorably to personalized ads. The same study showed that nearly 50% of mobile users dislike ads in video content.
#12 Programmatic Matures: Private programmatic marketplaces (PMPs) and automated guaranteed trading methods have become popular programmatic tactics for premium inventory, as they most resemble traditional direct video ad sales, help drive favorable ad yields, and satisfy buyer demands. They also offer more control over inventory, rates, and trading partners. Fraud and viewability are still big problems for publishers globally, but increases in premium video inventory and better metrics are slowly helping to allay these concerns.
2016 sees video firmly at the forefront of consumer consumption, whatever the platform, whatever the device. Traditional media publishers and new players in digital media need to deliver video content to the audience on the audience’s terms.