Five Themes for Ad Week 2015
Ad Week — it’s back! The world’s premiere gathering of advertising and marketing professionals is upon us again, and I am excited to reconnect with some of our industry’s biggest innovators. I expect five major themes to emerge:
- Native and video will dominate the creative discussions. All the targeting technology in the world won’t help if the ad isn’t engaging. Native and video are two tremendously effective ad formats — on our platform, mobile video ads generate as much as five times the engagement rate of traditional banners. With the increasing screen size on smartphones, I expect to see even more mobile video ads in the future.
- Measurement matters. As marketing professionals we like to believe that our decisions are driven by data. But let’s face it, mobile measurement is complex and it’s tough to always “give credit where it’s due.” Attribution partners will play an increasingly important role in measuring ROI among advertising partners and platforms.
- Programmatic is the future and the future is now. At Millennial we are seeing a rapid shift toward programmatic delivery. Yes, it’s a confusing new world but the efficiencies are driving adoption by our managed media partners. In a recent Millennial survey, 91% of buyers who invested in mobile programmatic are increasing their ad spend in 2015. And we are here to help them buy however they are most comfortable, including programmatic direct, private marketplaces or fully RTB. I suspect that “programmanaged” will be the game in 2016 — check out this session, featuring my colleague Mark Connon.
- Viewability is central to mobile. Obviously, this topic is near and dear to me and to Millennial Media. Ensuring that a consumer actually sees an ad is essential to making advertisers trust in and commit to the mobile medium. As of this writing, the Media Ratings Council (MRC) has instituted an online display viewability definition (at least 50% of an ad’s pixels must be viewable for at least one second), but has yet to set one for mobile. Marketers (and the agencies that represent them) want that clarity, and soon we will see an industry shift from served ads to viewable ads.
- Ad blocking will create a lot of discussion around new business models. There’s been a lot of media coverage surrounding Apple’s ad blocking capabilities for iOS 9 Safari, and the rise of independent mobile ad blockers. In Western Europe, ad blockers already reduce publisher revenue by as much as 20%. Millennial Media believes that the digital advertising ecosystem has a responsibility to protect consumer experience and choice, but at the same time it is hard to overlook the challenges ad blockers bring to the publishing ecosystem.
Our recent “What’s My Worth?” report shows that today 3% of polled consumers across the US and EMEA pay for apps to remove ads. Furthermore, four in five (79%) stated that they understood and accepted the value exchange of ads supporting free apps and content. Nearly three quarters (72%) of polled consumers said they expected ads on mobile devices to keep content free. So let’s hope that consumers will understand that publishers will need to protect their revenues in order to create compelling content.
Millennial Media is the leading mobile ad marketplace, making mobile simple for the world’s top brands, app developers, and mobile web publishers. The company's data and technology assets enable advertisers to connect with target audiences at scale, while driving monetization for publisher and developer partners. AOL acquired Millennial Media on October 23, 2015. Millennial Media boosts AOL's global, mobile capabilities and scale across ONE by AOL for advertisers and agencies, and offers the most attractive monetization platform for app developers.