Those of us in the video app and advertising space may not have seen much to get excited about during Apple’s recent product announcement event. At first glance, why should any of us be concerned with a smartwatch after all?
But if you look a little closer, there were a few nuggets worth examining further. Forget about the Apple Watch and the new Pay scheme. The real news for video app publishers and advertisers in lay in the early stages of the event — the iPhone 6.
For starters, the bigger screens on the two new iPhones — the iPhone 6 (with a 4.7-inch screen) and iPhone 6 Plus (with a 5.5-inch screen) — are a welcome addition. But bigger screens for bigger videos are only the start of the new enhancements. The video camera can now capture footage at 1080p and even supports slow motion as well.
Also notable are the improvements in transmitting video. The new phones boast three times the Wi-Fi speeds of previous devices, and support 20 total LTE cellular high-speed bands for when Wi-Fi is not available. And more robust internal processing, with the new A8 chip reportedly 50 times faster than the original iPhone, making it 50 percent more energy efficient, supports all this.
What does all of this mean? Better display means better video quality. Better video capture ups the ante on the pairing user-generated content with professionally produced content. Faster transmission means less buffering video, as does more efficient processing power.
The upshot? If there was any doubt that smartphones are multimedia devices ripe for video consumption, the iPhone 6 should dispel those concerns. Any video publisher without a strong and embedded mobile strategy as part of their distribution and monetization plans had better get up to speed, and fast. Just look to Ooyala’s most recent video report, which states 20 percent of all online video now takes place on mobile phones – a 400 percent increase over the last two years.
Of course most of the attention was given to Apple’s new “category” — the Apple Watch. Let’s be clear here…this is not a video device. The screen is too small, the processing power isn’t there, and nobody wants to watch video on his or her wrists.
But while the Apple Watch is not yet and may never be a device for consuming video in any form, it does have one feature worth noting — notifications. The watch is synched with the apps on a paired phone, sending notifications from those apps to the watch for faster and more noticeable alerts.
We’ve already noted that video apps supporting push notifications generate more video views, an average of two to three times over normal rates. What’s more, notifications for new videos tend to drive increased views of archived videos as well. So optimizing your alerts for the Apple Watch isn’t a bad move. Apple even introduced a tool called Watch Kit that developers can use to optimize their alerts for the new device (think thumbnails, screenshots, etc.).
One last thing on that note: Consider also the potential for Apple’s Home Kit to integrate with the Apple Watch, in which the watch could slowly become a remote control for multiple devices and screens. You won’t watch the video on your watch, but you might control it.
Finally, Apple spoke volumes without saying a word when it comes to Apple TV. Yet again, there was no announcement of an actual TV product, no updates to the Apple TV bridge device, and no talk of content or distribution deals. That Apple spent more time, money, and resources establishing a new category putting a screen on your wrist than further disrupting the most ubiquitous screen in our society should tell all video marketers quite a bit about where the company’s priorities are.
Programmatic is taking over the digital advertising world, and at an even faster rate than expected, according to eMarketer, which raised its forecast for programmatic ad spending in the U.S. on the back of growth in mobile and video programmatic buys.
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