NEWS ROUNDUP: DIGITAL MEDIA CONSUMPTION SURPASSES TV, MOBILE AD REVENUE SKYROCKETS, LIFESTREET CEO SPEAKS AT CASUAL CONNECT, AND THE IMPORTANCE OF AD TESTING
It’s official: Americans now spend more time on their mobile devices than they do watching television. In fact, the rise of mobile was a common theme this summer, as the IAB brought us news of double-digit growth in global mobile ad revenue. To help advertisers and publishers keep up with growth across all platforms, CEO Mitchell Weisman spoke at the Casual Connect Conference to explain how thinking small is the secret to growing BIG. Finally, LifeStreet Media discussed how the RevJet revenue maximization platform makes ad testing less painful and more powerful, generating higher revenue for publishers and higher volume user acquisition for advertisers.
- U.S. Consumes More Digital Media Than TV for the First Time. The numbers released from eMarketer and reported in Mashable show that Americans spend an average of four hours and 40 minutes per day using a mobile device or computer, versus four hours and 31 minutes watching television. That nine-minute difference marks the first time in US history that digital media consumption has surpassed TV viewing. But, the rise in digital media use isn’t just a matter of minutes. In 2010 Americans were averaging a measly 24 minutes per day accessing non-voice media through their mobile devices. In 2013, however, they averaged over five times that, reaching two hours and 22 minutes per day. This means that not only are mobile devices largely responsible for the rise in digital media consumption, but they make up over 50% of our digital content use. So what does that mean for mobile advertising?
- Well, figures from the IAB and IHS this month revealed that, globally, mobile ad revenue has increased 83%, from $5.3 billion in 2011 to $8.9 billion in 2012. A TechCrunch article attributes much of this growth to the booming smartphone market – a reasonable assumption considering that global smartphone shipments grew 47% in the second quarter of 2013, hitting 230 million devices during that time (Strategy Analytics, 2013). This expansive smartphone distribution comes with a marked increase in mobile internet usage, which grew 111% from 2011 to 2012 in the US alone. The bottom line: more and more users are turning their eyes to mobile screens, creating greater opportunity for advertisers to acquire users and increased opportunities for publishers to cash out on the increased demand for their inventory.
- So with all this opportunity, how can advertisers make sure they’re capitalizing on industry growth? LifeStreet Media’s CEO, Mitchell Weisman, spoke at the Casual Connect conference last week to prove to advertisers that “growing BIG means thinking small.” More specifically, he cautioned advertisers against looking at user acquisition data in large groups, because, “averages lie.” Instead, he advised advertisers to focus on performance in more granular segments. The use of real-time bidding (RTB) for example, allows advertisers to spend more effectively by buying impressions individually rather than in bulk. This model enables advertisers to break up the inventory they buy according to how it performs for them. With RTB, there is no reason to overpay for low-value users, and more importantly, there is every reason to pay up for the users who will bring in long-term revenue streams. As a result, approaching ad spending decisions by looking at a few smaller pictures allows advertisers to perform better in the big picture.
- The advantage of thinking small was emphasized further in LifeStreet’s blog post this month, begging the question, “Online advertising has come so far. Why hasn’t ad testing caught up?” Advertisers spend an abundance of effort and money on highly sophisticated, carefully targeted ads, but take little time to test how smaller variables – such as ad layout and content – impact performance. LifeStreet’s RevJet revenue maximization platform turns every impression into a valuable data point across multiple tests. From visual objects such as text, color, and animation, to logical objects such as bidding algorithms, targeting algorithms, and trafficking decisions – RevJet tests any variable that contributes to revenue. Moreover, RevJet uses every single impression it serves to test all of those variables simultaneously, making it the first universal object server the industry has seen. This process called Iterative High Velocity Testing, or IHVT, not only makes every impression more valuable, but makes it easier to assess and leverage the big differences that little details will make. The outcome: a seamless process that leads to smarter, more efficient, and more effective digital advertising.
The key take-away this month is clear: mobile is growing big and fast. The trick to keeping up with the industry: think small to grow BIG.