Mobile TV is here, but what’s in it for publishers?

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Back in the 1950s, when television became widely adopted in the US and UK, it revolutionized the way people consume entertainment. It brought the world into private homes.

Fast forward to 2019 where adoption of new technology, like OTT & VOD, is again changing entertainment. TV consumption patterns reflect the change that is happening. This has created a huge potential for media companies.

But I want to dedicate this post to something that I find way more intriguing. In fact, this is probably one of the most exciting trends I expect to hear about this year. Mobile TV. Some fast-moving publishers are already capitalizing on this opportunity.

Instagram and Snapchat are leading the way

With Instagram’s growing user base, major product announcements, and recent changes in leadership, this Facebook-owned platform made a lot of noise in 2018.

In June, we witnessed the historical announcement of IGTV, designed for watching long-form vertical video and “built for how you actually use your phone”. While many publishers are still testing the waters and assessing risk, a few bold ones, such as Meredith, have seized the opportunity and begun developing original lifestyle, cooking and travel content exclusive to this relatively new platform.

Snapchat, on the other hand, has had a pretty difficult year. In Q1 a notorious tweet by the world’s most famous 21 year old created a $1.3B dent in the company’s market value. The bad news continued to hit hard in Q2 and Q3, with reports of a major loss in users and its shares sinking to a new low.

Despite the low numbers, the platform favored by gen-Zs continues to fight to restore its glory, and Snapchat TV might help it do just that.

Announced in October, Snap Originals introduced several original series produced for a young audience, with episodes released daily. It’s still early days, but snap has already announced that the platform will be collaborating with a long and impressive list of partners (including Fox Sports, Hearst, and Cosmopolitan) to produce 25 more series to be broadcasted on Snapchat.

With the state of growth in mobile traffic and social media platforms’ growing expertise in video, I can’t help but find this new format of content extremely promising. I truly believe that we are witnessing the beginning of the end of traditional TV consumption, and expect to see more publishers take the leap of faith and partner with platforms offering Mobile TV.    

But what’s in it for publishers?

Other than partnering with the mega-platforms to create expensive (and frankly, pretty experimental) original content, there are some quick-and-easy innovative approaches publishers can adapt to capitalize on this promising trend.

More than anything, mobile TV has introduced some major changes in user behavior. Let’s take a look at some of these changes:  

  • Video anytime, anywhere – Instead of zoning out on the couch at the end of the day, users are using their mobile devices to consume video content at any time throughout the day: while riding the train, waiting for their next meeting at the office, and perhaps even when nothing decent can be found on the actual home TV. The sporadic yet steady consumption of video on-the-go should be giving publishers the final push they need. Traditional text stories MUST be accompanied by fresh and relevant video content. By adding such content to each webpage, publishers can stretch the average 2-3 minute session typical to reading an article, to an average of 10-15 minute session that includes watching several video clips.  

 

  • Content data –  Since the content is processed and monitored through digital platforms, previously-unavailable data is suddenly found in abundance. Publishers can now know pretty much everything about how their content is being consumed. From understanding which content categories serve as the best engagement-magnets to learning which celebrities their user want to watch. Most importantly, publishers can identify the content that generates the most revenue.

 

  • Revenue diversification Once new video units are implemented, they can easily be harnessed to create new and reliable revenue sources. Besides your run-off-the-mill pre- and mid-rolls, publishers can introduce non-intrusive in-player display ads that are contextually linked to the video content. These in-player opportunities can also be used for e-Commerce integrations, inviting users to shop and buy products featured in editorial video content directly through the player.

 

Get in touch to learn more about how AnyClip can help publishers benefit from the growing demand for premium video on mobile.