In the U.S. this year, wearable technology products such as fitness bands, smart watches and Google Glass are expected to generate around $3 billion, according to Deloitte. In the U.K., consumers are catching up fast on this global desire for smarter, small screen technology.
These gadgets all connect to devices that stream video, which will give publishers and advertisers alike huge opportunity to target the user via small screens that are always connected. All the excitement at this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas was around wearables and the so-called "internet of things."
When Google paid $3.2 billion in cash for Nest, a company that specialises in internet-connected thermostats and smoke detectors, they showed an understanding that innovation in mobile hardware has come to an end. The focus has now shifted to what you can create when you take all the smarts out of the smartphone and build them into something else.
Take cars for example. At CES Las Vegas, Google announced its Open Auto Alliance, a tie-up with Audi, GM, Honda and Hyundai, which will bring its Android operating system to the dashboard of each of these brands. Meanwhile, Apple unveiled CarPlay in Geneva this month, allowing drivers access to their iPhone content and maps from the car's entertainment system. Ferrari, Mercedes and Volvo showcased the application whilst a host of other manufacturers have confirmed they'll be including it in future vehicle design.
Connected cars are set to become powerful mobile devices by combining small screen advertising formats with an engaged, demographically diverse audience. In theory, advertisers would be able to stream location-based video messaging via integration with onboard navigation and entertainment systems; smart dashboards from Google and Apple could also serve ads dependent on whether the driver is local to the area or visiting for the first time. Meanwhile, development in geolocation technology, such as Google's acquisition of the Waze map app for $1.3 billion last year, will see ad-friendly improvements in satellite navigation systems, including real-time traffic updates.
For publishers, broader inventories resulting from better-connected cars, homes, and wearable technology will result in powerful, hyper-targeted offers. Brands will gain access to personal wearable data that could be used to improve product development and marketing, whilst new advertising models will continue to develop that will improve the way business is carried out.
Google, for example, is already rumoured to be getting ready to leverage Glass by introducing a "pay-per-gaze" advertising model. Using Glass' eye-tracking capabilities, advertisers would be charged based on users actually seeing their ad, taking pay-per-engagement to a whole new level.
TubeMogul has focused its attention on video viewability because we believe the future will not only incorporate smarter, more personalised video advertising but also demand data on where video ads are actually seen, as well as the tools to reduce the number of ads that go unseen.
Currently, online video ad viewability is a patchwork of proprietary standards, and most data is not actionable. The bulk of reporting in the marketplace accumulates at a campaign or publisher-level, making it an extremely broad data set - therefore acting on the information becomes difficult. Standards of what counts as "viewable" also vary - many major video ad servers, for instance, consider muted videos viewable.
Our comprehensive Viewability Reporting, launched at the end of January, is powered by OpenVV - open-source technology endorsed by companies like Nielsen and VivaKi, as well as the IAB. This new reporting gives marketers accurate information to enable them to increase viewability rates across their private and public inventory. If a site has low viewability, marketers can simply turn it off in real-time. Other metrics like player size, mutes and rates of measurability help marketers isolate and eliminate unviewable inventory.
A smarter future for in-car, wearables and the home won't necessarily change the fact that a segment of society will always ignore advertisements. But for the first time, we can track exactly where consumers are tuning out, and our software gives marketers a way to do something about it. This is smarter thinking for a smarter world that is about to fully embrace the broader possibilities of personalised video.
Nick Reid is Managing Director, TubeMogul UK