Spotify Debuts First Vertical Video Ad In Branded Moments

What Happened
Spotify unveiled its first vertical video ad unit for mobile listeners to appeal to mobile advertisers. Brands advertisers can purchase the mobile-optimized unit in Branded Moments, an ad product Spotify recently introduced that lets brands target users based on the context and mood they are in. The idea is to infer the context a user is in based on the type of playlist they are listening to. Playlists are divided into categories such as workout, party, dinner, and sleep. Users who watch the vertical video ads will receive 30-minutes of audio ad-free listening, but they may still see additional display ads. Brands such as Bacardi, Gatorade, and Bose are among the first to try out this new ad unit.

Why Brands Should Care
This is not the first time Spotify has come out with a product that aims to sell brands on playlist-based targeting. In May the music streaming service launched “Sponsored Playlists” which allow brands to sponsor popular playlists to reach a bigger audience on its platform. The welcome addition of vertical video ads offers Spotify advertisers a way to deliver a more eye-catching experience to mobile consumers.

Spotify is facing increased competition lately, as Pandora and Amazon both launched their own music streaming subscription services this week. Nevertheless, with 70 million global listeners on its ad-supported free tier and a growing portfolio of ad products, Spotify remains in a relatively advantageous market position and is a valuable emerging marketing channel for brands to reach their target audiences.


Source: AdAge

Pinterest Debuts Mobile-Only Promoted Video Ads

What Happened
Pinterest has joined the ongoing push for video ads among social media sites as it debuts its first video ad product, Promoted Video, on its mobile apps. Users will see the GIF-like Cinematic Pin ads as a teaser for the video ads, which users can tap on the Cinematic Pins to play in a new page that also displays a gallery of branded pins below the video. The Promoted Video ads run up to five minutes long and can be formatted horizontally or vertically. Pinterest says it has no plan to bring this video ad unit to desktop devices at the moment.

What Brands Need To Do
Leading social media companies have long been putting a lot of effort into building out their video products and vying for the ad dollars flowing into digital video. Facebook launched its auto-playing video ad in March 2014, and Twitter quickly followed suit with Promoted Video ads in August 2014. In this regard, Pinterest may seem a bit late to the party, but the way it incorporates the video ad into its existing mobile user experience should provide some add-on value for brand marketers looking to further engage Pinterest users and leave a lasting impression beyond Cinematic Pins.


Source: Marketing Land

YuMe and IPG Media Lab Evaluate the Impact of Digital Video Ad Lengths

Research Test Ads Provide Insights Regarding What Ad Lengths Work Best Across Device and Location

Click here to download the full report.

Shifts in the way people consume video content are changing how marketers strategize about video advertising. Increased consumption of snack-sized content, for example, has made shorter video ad formats more popular. Concurrently, longer video ad formats have become increasingly prevalent as marketers start to invest in custom content created for digital platforms. While marketers are clearly experimenting with new video ad lengths, they are faced with increasing complexity about what works most effectively.

To help address these questions, today, YuMe, Inc., the global audience technology company powered by data-driven insights and multi-screen expertise and IPG Media Lab, the creative technology arm of IPG Mediabrands, unveil our latest joint research, addressing the effectiveness of different video ad lengths, looking at micro and longer form ad formats, devices and consumer perspective. Key findings include:

  • Ads perform differently based on length – developing a creative length strategy is imperative for success
  • Micro ads have a leg up on smaller screens, where video takes up 100% of screen real estate and short content is the norm
  • Having grown up with short form content, millennials respond best to micro ads, and also tend to see them as higher quality and more enjoyable than older consumers do
  • Shorter ads can serve as a quick reminder of established brands to drive top-of-mind awareness and longer ads can be employed to educate about a new brand
  • While every device performs differently, the 15 second mark is the shortest amount of time for making an impact on persuasion metrics

AdLengths Infographic_2-29-1

(Click on the image for the full-sized infographic.)


Click here to download the full report.



Mobile World Congress 2016: Get Ready For More Mobile Videos As Companies Push For 5G

What Happened
Today marks the third day of the 2016 Mobile World Congress, where plans for 5G network have been dominating the conversation. Companies like Intel, Nokia, and wireless equipment supplier Ericsson all revealed their plans to push for the new wireless technology. Ericsson said it would start 5G radio test-bed trials this year, but pegged the full commercial roll-out of the networks at 2020. As more and more connected devices and data-rich personalized services become available, the demand for faster and more powerful networks will only grow.

Besides the developments in IoT, another driving force behind the push for 5G networks is the increasing consumption of mobile video. A 2015 study from the IAB confirms that 35% of viewers are watching more video on their smartphones, and they prefer to watch videos in apps rather than on the mobile web. Therefore, it is no surprise that Buzzfeed, the leading site in creating viral videos and branded content, announced at Mobile World Congress yesterday that it is launching a mobile app for binge-watching Buzzfeed videos. Available for both iOS and Android, the app currently carries no ads, but Buzzfeed says it plans to roll out native advertising down the road.

What Brands Need To Do
As digital video continues to draw consumer attention away from linear TV content and print media, brands must follow the eyeballs and start developing fun or useful branded video content to engage the audience, and take full advantage of the mobile video boom to reach customers. One way to do so is working with experienced publishers like Buzzfeed to create branded videos and distribute them through their content portals. But thanks to the field-leveling power of streaming platforms, where branded video content can live alongside traditional media content, brands can consider developing their own video apps as well.

To read more on how brands can reach viewers on mobile and OTT platforms with branded content, please check out the Appified TV section in our Outlook 2016.

Header image courtesy of

Event Recap: AdWeek — Future. Video 3.0

As part of our continuing Advertising Week coverage, this morning we attended a discussion on breakthroughs in audience targeting in cross-platform video advertising. Moderated by Scott Donaton, Global Chief Content Officer & Head of UM Studios, the panelists consisted of Bryan Gernert, CEO of Resonate; Jamie King, CPO of Keek; Andrew Snyder, Video Sales VP of Yahoo; and Matt Van Houten, Ad Sales Director of AT&T Adworks.

Video 3.0 and the Content Business

“Everybody knows mobile is the future, and mobile video is the key to that future”, declared Snyder at the start of the session. This mobile video content has been dubbed “Video 3.0” and is promising for advertisers partly because the viewers of Video 3.0 are measurable and can be targeted. Furthermore, “there is hope for a single content marketplace,” as Gernert noted.

More Helpful & Less Disruptive

The panel also discussed one persistent issue in video advertising—its disruptiveness. “Pre-roll video ads can sometimes be disruptive to viewer experience, and that depends largely on the content,” King noted, as the discussion turned to using behavior data generated by Video 3.0 to determine to the right context for video content.

The bottom line here, as Gernet and Donaton concluded, is that “advertising is the ‘necessary evil’ that fuels the content business”, which, with the improved targeting and measuring capacity of Video 3.0, will hopefully become more helpful and less disruptive.


Report: Consumers Prefer Long Form Video

Mobile lends itself to snackable content, right? Not so, according to a new study from Vuclip which finds that consumers prefer long-form movies and TV shows opposed to shorter form content. While the study does not answer how these numbers compare to PC video, it would still be contrary to popular belief. Perhaps this is based on the fact that the majority of mobile consumption occurs at home, not on-the-go.

Hulu Enables Free Mobile Viewing

Hulu’s decision to package short clips for free on mobile is a smart move for the internet TV giant. It serves as a highlight of last night’s TV action, is appropriate for the “snackable” nature of mobile and will serve to convert users to paid subscriptions.  With mobile video viewers increasing from 63.7 million to 74.4 million over the last year according to eMarketer, Hulu is well positioned to capitalize on the growth.

YouTube Capture App

YouTube is getting into the micro video sharing business with the launch of its Capture app for iPhone and iPad. Just hit the record button, write a caption and share the clip directly on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter simultaneously. YouTube’s entry into the space could be bad news for companies like Tout that are just starting to get traction with a similar product.