Mobile Viewing Both Opportunity and Threat, Finds IBC Panel
The rise of mobile viewing is one of the central themes of IBC 2015, with multiplatform delivery a given for any new offering. A recent Ericsson report showed that teens and young adults watch over half of their TV on laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
In an IBC conference session with the provocative title "The Relentless Rise of Mobile: Opportunity or Threat for the TV Industry?" the panelists found mobile to be a little of both. The path now is to create mobile-first strategies, not digital-first, but that doesn't mean that TV's days are numbered.
"People want to watch great TV content on the best screen that's easily available to them," said Jon Block, EMEA vice president of product and platform for video advertising company Videology. Most of the time, the living room TV is the best screen available. Teens watch mostly on mobile because their parents are using the living room set, he suggested. Still mobile devices have undeniable advantages: They're interactive, offer a personal single-user experience, and are always available.
While the TV industry is seeing fragmentation, with TV set viewing declining, overall TV viewing is way up. "People are just consuming video everywhere," Block said.
The challenge for advertisers is to reach viewers on their mobile devices. Block said creating cross-screen entertainment and advertising experiences—getting viewers to explore, click, and buy while enjoying a program—a tremendous opportunity.
Up to 60 percent of TV viewers look at their mobile devices during ad breaks, noted John-Michel Masson, global director of synchronized experiences for media research firm Kantar Media, citing a stat from Rovi. "This is a serious threat to the TV industry," he said. To turn it into an opportunity, his company has been using audio watermarking to create innovative second-screen experiences that synchronize with the TV content. One application in Japan used it to create second-screen subtitles that helped viewers improve their English.
The high cost of mobile data leads to data shock, said Matt Stagg, principle strategist for British mobile network operator EE. When video is streamed adaptively, it's hard to explain to customers how much an hour of video costs. EE has been creating streaming solutions that allow it to send video to large numbers of viewers with no congestion and lower streaming costs. Stagg showed the results of EE's work at Wembley Stadium that allowed attendees to watch multiple camera angles and real-time instant replays from their mobile devices.
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Using audience data from Nielsen, Videology customers can plan, buy, measure, and optimize TV and online campaigns from one platform.
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