Findings from a new global research study commissioned by AOL, show that Australian media buyers and advertisers are gearing up for a dynamic 12 months ahead, as new video formats and approaches to media explode into the market.
A significant 65 percent of Australian media agencies are currently buying or plan to in the next year VR digital video believe there is a place for virtual reality in the digital video marketplace. This is above global expectations (60 percent). The overwhelming majority - 79 percent (same as global) - believe that new video formats will provide a better consumer experience.
The overall data from the study paints a picture of a media industry in Australia that is keen for innovation and preparing for the rapid disruption of traditional media experiences in the near, rather than mid-term, future.
Using programmatic to drive change
The survey also finds that Australian media buyers are some of the most prepared in the world to embrace change. Locally, 4 percent of buyers expect to go “all in” with programmatic, and increase spending by more than 100 percent. This is the highest rate in the world, in which just 2 percent expect to list spending by more than 100 percent. Of organisations expecting to increase spending to programmatic by over 50 percent, almost a quarter (22 percent) of Australian buyers plan to lift spending to that extent, which is again ahead of the global trend (18 percent).
Sellers, however, expect more muted interest withonly 1 percent of sellers in Australia expecting programmatic spend to increase by over 100 percent, compared with 5 percent globally; while 22 percent of sellers expect spending to increase by over 50 percent, this is well below global expectations, which sits at 33 percent.
One of the challenges holding programmatic back in Australia is a lack of expertise. 61 percent of the local media industry reports lack of expertise to be an obstacle in selling video inventory programmatically. Australia is the only market where this is the principle concern, and is well over the global trend (30 percent). Other major concerns are brand safety (55 percent), the perceived risk of losing a direct buyer relationship (45 percent) and a lack of existing process and systems (45 percent), which are more in line with global trends.
How are consumers experiencing content
Most Australians watch video content daily. Across the market, and across all devices, 65 percent of consumers are watching some kind of video daily and 59 percent of them watch more video now than they did a year ago. More consumers prefer to watch content online or through a connected TV (65 percent) due to the convenience and flexibility that it offers.
People like videos that are shorter too. Perhaps it’s because the smartphone is always within reach with 68 percent of consumers responding positively to the question “I can’t live without my phone or it’s always within arm’s reach”, but 72 percent of consumers watch videos of less than one minute at least once a week, and 74 percent of consumers watch videos 1-5 minutes in length. This is a significant contrast to people who watch longer videos - just 55 percent of people watch videos 10-20 minutes long each week, and only 57 percent of people watched videos longer than 20 minutes.
This appetite for bite-sized videos is also being driven by the changing way that consumers are discovering content. 31 percent of consumers discover video through social feeds, and a further 31 percent get content from people they know. This is having the effect of decentralising the flow of content from producers to consumers; the actual platforms that people get content from are wider and broader than ever before.
Mobile spending on the rise - but not so much in Australia
In this context it is unsurprising that there’s an increase in spending to mobile platforms. Almost half (44 percent) of advertisers expect to increase mobile video spend by at least 25 percent over the next year. Even more (46 percent) of publishers expect to see the same increase in spending.
That being said, Australian advertisers and publishers have lower expectations than the market as a whole. Globally, 47 percent of advertisers and 57 percent of publishers expect to see a 25 percent increase in investment into mobile video. In the US, the numbers are 70 percent and 79 percent respectively. The relatively muted interest in mobile video in Australia appears to be a result of regional factors; for the broader Asia-Pacific and Japan region, 45 percent of advertisers and 52 percent of publishers expect to increase spending in mobile advertising by at least 25 percent in the year ahead.
Growth expected to come from different places for publishers and advertisers
The trends outlined above mean that advertisers tend to believe that more social content will be the driver for growth this year. In total, 42 percent of advertisers reported that they believe “social media video offerings” and “better targeting and personalisation of video ads” will be the top growth drivers in digital video.
Meanwhile, for publishers, the demand’s in the quality; only 33 percent of publishers believe that social media video offerings will drive growth, but 67 percent of them believe “better quality creative” will drive growth and revenue.
Alex Khan, Managing Director AOL Asia & ANZ commented, “What is clear is that the proliferation of devices, and new ways of consuming content, is fundamentally changing audience’s expectations of that content. It’s now far too easy to flip between platforms, and attention spans are increasingly limited, as we see with the relatively high demand for super-short video experiences.
Advertisers and media agencies are looking at a wide range of different opportunities to reach out and engage with this more dynamic audience. Programmatic and mobile are major opportunities, as finding audiences through digital media and social media becomes important. But, equally, that drive towards providing quality content will lead publishers and advertisers to look at emerging media. VR, AR, and other experience-based media is expected to become a booming opportunity over the next year, as the technology starts to mature and audiences continue to look for dynamic, exciting experiences.”
AOL is a global, mobile media technology company with a mission to build brands people love. AOL is recognized as a leader in the digital space, dedicated to delivering premium content to consumers and innovative advertising solutions to brands and publishers. A subsidiary of Verizon, AOL is shaping the digital future.