The term "mobile-first" can describe many things: site design, ads, marketing strategy. It has become the battle cry of media buyers and sellers everywhere as they work to create experiences that meet consumers' evolving behavior, preferences, and needs.
But in the quickly changing realm of the web, it could be that mobile-first is no longer enough. We've gone beyond it. Priorities have shifted.
Welcome to the "video-first" internet.
Video's breadth and influence over today's digital environment can't be denied. Recent research from Cisco predicts that global IP video traffic will represent 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic by the year 2020. Consumers are hungry for video content, and they want it wherever they go—Zenith Media reported that daily time spent watching mobile video will surpass time spent watching videos on desktop computer screens by the end of this year, while the number of worldwide digital video viewers is expected to top 732 million in 2017.
As a result of consumers' growing interest in online video, buyers and sellers are changing the way they approach content and messaging. This has been brewing for a while. Back in 2015, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported that 68 percent of marketers and agencies anticipated increasing their video ad budgets in the year to come. Video is expected to be the fastest-growing digital advertising category on mobile and desktop, as well as overall, through the year 2020.
In fact, 70 percent of global advertisers told Forrester Research last year that they intended to increase their video budgets for the next two years. More than 70 percent of publishers, meanwhile, planned to offer more video inventory for their advertising clients.
That's good news, because if the video-first internet has one problem, it's that there isn't enough quality content to go around. Marketers have been struggling to find premium video inventory for years. As consumption goes up, so too does demand.
Back in March, we witnessed the lengths to which publishers are willing to go to turn this situation around. That's when Mashable announced it was receiving a new round of funding from Turner Broadcasting, to the tune of $15 million. That investment was largely earmarked for video production. Mashable reported that it planned to expand "its video offerings across all platforms including linear TV, enhance its proprietary technology and data platforms, and bolster its premium advertising offerings, with a focus on growing the company's branded video division."
It was the latest move in an ongoing effort to ramp up video offerings. Last year, the publisher launched Mashable Studios, which creates video-based and branded content. Mashable says it has "more than doubled" its video production since then, all with the aim of providing its ad buyers with more of the branded content and premium video campaigns they're looking for.
Mashable isn't alone. This year Pinterest started selling video ads, just like Facebook and Twitter before it. And when Facebook announced its financial results for Q3 2016, founder Mark Zuckerberg emphasized his plan to put "video first across our apps." Zuckerberg expects that within the next five years, most of the content internet users consume will be video.
Thanks to the video-first mentality that's being adopted by sellers and content creators everywhere, buyers are in a perfect position to maximize premium video for their campaigns. They can now access many big names in TV content—brands like National Geographic, ABC, and USA Today Sports—through Tremor Video's premium video marketplace. Last year, the IAB found that nearly 80 percent of buyers are already using advanced TV (despite some confusion around the term's exact meaning), and most plan on increasing their ad spend next year. With one third of connected TV owners now streaming video to their TVs every day, the potential to leverage this expanding video opportunity is huge.
Never before has there been so much quality video content available, and so many ways to align your brand with a trusted video content source. So while mobile-first still matters, it's time to turn the spotlight on video.
This is the future of digital advertising. Will you be ready for it?