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Mobile TV Usage: What’s the Story?

August 29th, 2019   ||    by Susan Kuchinskas

Mobile TV viewing is growing fast. Marketers need to rethink their strategies to account for the rise in mobile viewing and the convergence of digital, mobile, and TV.

In 2019, people spent more time on mobile devices than they did watching television, eMarketer said.

And they’re not only texting. They’re watching more and more video content, whether that’s digital-native video or television content on mobile devices.

Transparency Market Research (TMR) priced the global mobile TV market at $7.69 billion in 2015. TMR expects that to grow at 9.5 percent through 2024, at which time it will be worth $17.02 billion, reported PortNews24.

A lot of that growth is attributed to mobile subscriptions, with people viewing TV and video on smartphones and tablets. Faster mobile data speeds and the deployment of 4G and 5G also contribute to the adoption of TV viewing on mobile.

For consumers, this option makes cord cutting more likely, according to Advanced Television. Quoting research from Parks Associates, it said that US households with broadband that are highly likely to cut the cord in the next 12 months watch more than 6 hours of video content on mobile phones each week, while all US broadband households tend to watch 2.5 hours of mobile TV each week.

Broadcasters and stations shouldn’t fear, according to Strategy Analytics per Broadband TV News. The analyst firm projects TV content to gain the biggest proportion of video advertising spending, thanks to multi-screen access and OTT services from broadcasters.

A Pivot for Advertisers

Marketers and agencies have long been aware of mobile uptake. In fact, MediaPost reported that mobile will account for 43 percent of all ad spending by 2020, according to eMarketer. In 2019, mobile will account for $76.17 billion of domestic media ad spending, compared to $69.87 billion spent on television.

But mobile and mobile TV are part of the same animal. When Scott Shapiro, Sinclair vice president of corporate development, spoke at the RSN Summit, he told the audience, “A sub is a sub is a sub. We don’t care if they are watching on their TV or their app or wherever. Even within the younger generations, the passion for the content is there, and it’s our job to figure out how to foster and present that,” reported Sports Video Group.

Convergence Is the Future of Advertising

TV and video can be seen as a subsegment of mobile advertising—perhaps the most attractive part of the mobile medium for advertisers. Biteable noted that viewers retain 95 percent of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to reading text, and 72 percent would rather learn about a product or service by watching a video.

MarTech Series pointed to new ad technologies that make mobile video ads compelling: interactivity, video previews, and playable rich media ads.

Mobile advertising has matured so that the majority of agencies don’t differentiate between mobile and digital, while TV buying is also converging with digital buying within agencies. In fact, 52 percent of agencies combine their digital video and linear TV buying, according to Marketing Dive; a full 91 percent plan to combine them by 2021.

Local stations can be part of the mobile TV landscape, thanks to services such as ABC’s Localish, provider of localized, mobile-only content, and Didja, which streams local television signals to mobile and TV-connected devices. Didja plans to add local ads to its streams.

Mobile networks are getting faster; mobile devices are becoming more sophisticated. We think mobile TV is a great play for advertisers and stations.

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