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Publishers shift focus to vertical video

July 18, 2017 | By Todd Krizelman, CEO – MediaRadar @ToddKrizelman

Mobile is changing the way we consume video online. No, this doesn’t just mean that they are watching more video on mobile. Mobile viewing behavior is impacting a lot more than you might imagine. In fact, MediaBrix ran an experiment which found that less than 30% of people turn their phone to view horizontal video ads, and when they do, they only watch 14% of the ad.

So how are publishers reacting to this? In our own study, we found that many have shifted their focus to vertical video. They’re realizing that this method is more user-friendly, and better accommodates the way people take in video on smartphones and tablets. Here’s a full overview of what we discovered.

More than 100 Media Properties Ran Vertical Video.

For publishers, vertical video ads have become more prominent than ever before. In Q1 of 2017, 112 mainstream and mobile websites ran vertical video advertisements. While still low compared to the entire media landscape, it’s a new industry-high. This is the result of barriers to entry. Those running vertical video tend to be more sophisticated, with enough financial resources to fund innovation. This includes divisions at Hearst, Conde Nast, and Time Inc., as well as Vox Media, AOL, Business Insider, and NBC Universal, according to our data.

Most Vertical Video Ads are 15-Second Spots.

Per our analysis, roughly 70% of vertical videos are 15 seconds in duration. As with many new formats, there’s a lot of testing in video duration. For example, MFS Investment Management is running this 90-second ad, while others are staying short at 5 seconds, such as this avant-garde ad by CHANEL. The majority, however, are running 15-second spots. This is interesting since Snapchat, a vertical video leader, has a current max of 10 seconds.

Entertainment Leads the Charge.

Movies and TV programming represent nearly 40% of all vertical video ads online. In second and third place – though far behind – are apparel at 9% and retail at 7%. Marketing for TV programming and film has adopted vertical video the most aggressively, with dozens of examples, ranging from Patriots Day to Taboo. This lopsided adoption indicates that there is massive potential for this format.
Our report shows that vertical video ads are steadily becoming more popular among publishers as consumption and mobile usage increases. It will be fascinating to see how publishers’ use of vertical video evolves in the second half of the year and beyond.

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