It’s been a big year in programmatic video advertising and as a company developing unique proprietary technology, the scale of change has not gone unnoticed or unanswered. There have been big challenges to overcome in 2015 - with the pitfalls of viewability, fraud, brand safety and ad blocker issues, all of which have become make or break components for any ad tech company that’s fixing to survive. There have been so many ‘buzzwords’ in 2015 that the very phrase ‘buzz word’, has become one itself. But without understanding, a buzz word is just that - a word and in 2016, less talk and more action is the name of game, especially when it comes to standardisation.
In reality, there’s been a lot of negative press surrounding not just programmatic but advertising itself. We need to start seeing a bigger effort made by industry bodies to provide adequate and consistent standard performance metrics that meet advertiser expectations. We also need to educate audiences about the differences between good and bad advertising for want of a better phrase. ‘Good’ advertising being useful and engaging for audiences while rewarding creatives and media companies for quality content; and ‘bad’ advertising being that with no creative ingenuity, that doesn’t comply with VPAID or VAST IAB standards, and that that paints the whole industry with the same dirty brush.
There is massive opportunity in 2016 for programmatic to consolidate the great work that’s being done with proprietary, independent tech, but there’s also a very small margin for error with agencies and DSPs fighting for the unique factor that will make or break their bottom line.
With the IAB predicting ‘around 70-80% of all digital spend will be programmatic by 2018”, the coming year is set to be even bigger than 2015, with serious ad spend shifting to mobile and programmtic video channels.
Here are our predictions for 2016 as foreseen by our trusted Oracle - Coull CTO and co-founder Aden Forshaw.
1. We will see the rise of AVOD (advertiser supported video on demand) services over SVOD (subscription video on demand)
Subscription services like Netflix, Now TV & Amazon Prime offer people strong content for a monthly fee. And whilst a lot of viewers in the UK now have subscriptions to 3, maybe 4 services, as well as the BBC iPlayer, there are a plethora of VOD services competing in the US. While competition is good, there are only ever going to be so many services people will subscribe to pay for - it is a zero sum game. Having said this, there are many traditional media companies with strong brand awareness and loyal audiences, and in some cases these brands already have their own original content. It’s these media companies who are about to jump in to translate their offering, into online platforms and apps. The big opportunity is to have these Ad supported instead of subscription based to gain market share quickly.
2. Consolidation of supply side platforms as media companies take more control of their own data and targeting
Video supply platforms will be bought or white labelled, big publishers creating more video, and media companies creating new content platforms will want to white label or buy supply platforms to help them vertically integrate to the demand side. This consolidating takes out more of the middle men, and creates a stronger proposition.
3. Shakeout of DSPs
DSPs act as the gateway to the market for advertisers, but as more advertisers bring this knowledge in-house, only the DSPs built for purpose will survive. DSPs that present no points of difference are in danger of extinction or at the very least - absorption by yet another all-encompassing powerhouse. More mature competitors with expensive legacy infrastructure will be cut out.
4. Trading desks under pressure
The route to the programmatic market is becoming more commoditised, and as this continues to happen, those trading desks without their own compelling ad products will be swept away.If a trading desk can’t provide a unique way to improve ROI, advertisers will seriously question why they’re using them at all and either move activity in house, go direct, or switch platforms to one of the many competitors.
5. Agencies - with so many cooks in the kitchen, it’s time to get creative or get out
There’s been a lot of talk this year about the role of agencies and where or perhaps even if they fit in the programmatic ecosystem. Agencies have lost the responsibility of ad spend. So if they are to survive they need to do it by getting creative and partnering with supply tech providers to enable new innovative ways of storytelling.
(image: New York TImes )
A great example of innovative storytelling that pulls in tech partners, is Google’s VR Cardboard, a piece of incredibly engaging kit, made from cardboard - who would have thought it? Well someone did, and that’s exactly the point, we need ideas and agencies need to translate ideas into action. When the New York Times, Google and VRSE.works got together to create Google Cardboard, even they couldn’t have dreamed how explosive the success would be. It really was the start of a remarkable new way of storytelling that had the most important factor considered - it was accessible. Google Cardboard struck a chord and it did so with cheap IoT hardware, which when combined with ad spend tells both the publisher and marketers stories. The scope of possibility is only limited by imagination and if agencies are to survive they need to be relevant and valuable, whilst pushing those limits to entice new, innovative tech partners to help tell brand stories in innovative, exciting ways.
So that’s our top 5 predictions for 2016 and regardless of how accurate we are, it’s definitely going to be a huge year for programmatic video and we couldn’t be more excited.