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The Coming Convergence of Mobile, Video and Programmatic

If you’ve followed recent advertising industry news trends, three topics on the tip of every marketers’ tongue are programmatic, mobile and video. Spending on programmatic advertising continues to grow by double digits each year, with some sources predicting spending will pass $25 billion in the US in 2016. At the same time, the popularity of mobile and video with consumers is also causing a growing share of ad dollars to flow to these two formats. Here are three reasons why we may see even more convergence in the years ahead.

One reason for the growth of mobile video is an acknowledgement of changing consumer viewing habits by advertisers. It’s probably no surprise that consumer consumption of video on mobile devices is on the rise, driven by growing interest in “watch anywhere” services like Netflix, YouTube, Facebook Video and live video services like Periscope. As more consumers and advertisers embrace mobile video, the world’s biggest mobile advertising platforms are working to create new methods to buy mobile video inventory programmatically. One example of a platform experimenting with this approach is the popular mobile video and chat app Snap (formerly known as Snapchat), which just launched its own programmatic product.

Meanwhile, a growing percentage of programmatic advertising spending is happening with mobile and video campaigns. Programmatic buying began with display ads but is increasingly used to purchase video as well as TV. “Publishers are becoming more comfortable with programmatic technology,” confirmed eMarketer’s Lauren Fisher. “That has accelerated spending in mobile and other formats that have traditionally shied away from programmatic, such as video.” The same eMarketer research above predicted 75% of all programmatic display advertising will be mobile by 2017, while a separate IAB study predicts 41% of all video ad spending in 2016 would be programmatically purchased.

Finally, the growing convergence of mobile and video with programmatic buying is another sign of advertisers’ growing desire for deeper analytics and more accountability. The sophisticated consumer-targeting options offered by programmatic, coupled with the incredible personalization offered by advertising on mobile devices, will help create a perfect storm for advertisers looking to get more granular and targeted in future campaigns. This also comes at a moment when more advertisers are discovering that mobile video ads often see higher clickthrough rates than their desktop counterparts.

Mobile video and programmatic buying are still new to some advertisers. But as consumers spend more time with mobile video, advertisers get more comfortable with programmatic and platforms experiment with new programmatic-driven products, it may soon become a competitive disadvantage not to get involved.