Mobile Video Ads See Opposition

The emergence of video on mobile devices opens new channels for marketers to reach consumers, though a report from Starcom finds a majority of consumers prefer ad-free content.

As video for mobile devices including video-enabled iPods; cell phones; and other mobile video devices, marketers must work to serve consumer preferences to build revenue models. Close to 70 percent of consumers lean toward ad-free content downloads when given a choice. The finding contradicts data from another recent report showing an interest for ad-supported over pay-per-download video content. Some consumers understand the ad proposition; one in five will download ad-supported content. Sponsored and brand-integrated content is of slightly more interest than straight ad-supported video.

“This is a new type of media, and it has created a new type of consumer,” said Starcom USA VP and Director of Insights and Analytics Richard Fielding. “An in-depth understanding of how consumers respond to and interact with mobile videos is crucial to fostering meaningful advertising engagement — which will surely proliferate on these small screens in the not-too-distant future.”

Though the ubiquitous iPod ventures into video formats, research shows a majority of respondents prefer to watch longer-format content on a television set. The data demonstrates a lean back preference for movies, but leaves the door open for lean forward content produced especially for mobile devices. Eighty percent of early adopters express an interest in mobile device-specific content.

Mobile devices arnot created equal. Early adopters fill video-enabled MP3 players with music videos; short films; sitcoms; dramas and other content. Cell phones appear to be used for more utilitarian uses like weather; financial news; and other updates. While respondents expressed a preference for watching long-form content on a larger screen, 65 percent said they would watch a movie on MP3 players; 40 percent said they would sit through a movie on their cell phones.

The report identifies mobile video audiences as early adopters, early majority and late majority, but says there’s no real fragmentation in content category offerings. It does say early adopters are most likely to download short films and music videos.

Starcom’s Insights and Analytics team conducted a survey of 1,000 consumers age 13 and older to determine their attitudes toward mobile video devices such as video-capable MP3 players and mobile phones.

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