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  • Writer's pictureRussell Vilardi

The Ultimate Guide to Mobile Video Advertising

Social influencer recording a streaming DTC advertising.

The Ultimate Guide to Mobile Video Advertising

Is your firm taking advantage of mobile video advertising? Mobile video ads, when done right, are more engaging and effective than other types of advertising. Given the growth in both ad-supported streaming video and smartphone use, you could be left behind if you don’t embrace mobile video ads –which this guide will show you how to do.

Key Takeaways

  • Mobile video ads are advertisements inserted into streaming video content and mobile apps.

  • There are five main types of mobile video ads: instream, interstitial, in-app, gamified, and rewarded.

  • Mobile video ad revenues represent more than two-thirds of the digital advertising market.

  • Mobile video ads drive user engagement, encourage interactivity, and can be precisely targeted.

What is Mobile Video Advertising?

Mobile video ads are motion ads that appear within video content played on mobile devices or embedded in mobile apps and games. Mobile video ads can be programmed before mobile video content (pre-roll ads), at the end of the content (post-roll), or in the middle of any video segment.

Savvy marketers who wish to reach users on their smartphones and tablets utilize mobile video advertising as part of their mobile marketing mix. Ideally, mobile ads are scaled to work best on smaller mobile screens.

Types of Mobile Video Advertising

Marketers can choose from several types of mobile video ads. While all mobile video ads can be compelling and effective, some types are more suitable for various types of campaigns and brands.

Instream Ads

An instream video ad plays within the mobile video stream – either before, after, or in the middle of video content. Instream ads can, if not programmed correctly, interrupt the video content at inopportune moments.

Interstitial Ads

This appears full screen on viewers’ smartphone screens, typically within a mobile app. Interstitial ads are often programmed at a natural transition within an app, such as between game levels or menu transitions. These types of ads are popular among developers of free mobile apps to generate user revenue.

In-App Ads

In-app ads, sometimes called native ads, purposefully reflect the visual design of surrounding content. Mobile app video advertising is designed to look and feel like organic content within an app or website. Despite the name, in-app ads can appear not just in mobile apps but also on websites and social media feeds. Because they blend in with the environment of the app or website, they tend to be less obtrusive than other types of ads.

Five important mobile in-app advertising statistics.

Gamified Ads

A gamified ad is an interactive ad that users “play” like a videogame. By allowing users to interact with the ad in a fun and interactive fashion, they can increase user engagement and effectiveness.

Using gamification in marketing campaigns.

Rewarded Ads

Rewarded ads offer rewards when users watch them. They’re especially popular in mobile games, where users can advance to the next level or earn points by watching a video advertisement. These ads are typically short (15-30 seconds) and non-skippable.

Mobile Video Advertising By the Numbers

Mobile video advertising is a huge industry and offers numerous opportunities for marketers across industries. According to IAB’s Internet Advertising Revenue Report, mobile video ad revenues hit $27.3 billion in 2021, representing 69% of the total digital advertising market.

Mobile vs. desktop digital video ad revenues, 2019-2021

The growth in mobile advertising revenues mirrors the growth in mobile video viewing. Statista reports that more than 60% of users watch videos on their smartphones. The average U.S. adult spends 50 minutes each day watching mobile video content.

Benefits of Mobile Video Advertising

Mobile video advertising offers many benefits to advertisers, including:

  • Mobile video ads drive user engagement. The immediacy of holding a mobile ad in your hand builds a strong bond between advertisers and viewers. Some studies show that mobile video ads deliver more than twice the click-through rate of other forms of advertising.

  • Mobile viewers tend to watch video ads all the way to the end. Unlike viewers on connected TVs (CTVs) or desktop computers, mobile viewers are more likely to watch video ads from start to finish – at least in part because mobile ads tend to be shorter.

  • Viewers share mobile ads. Mobile devices make sharing videos easy, and viewers take advantage of this functionality by sharing the ads that they like. This increases the reach of mobile video ads at no extra cost.

  • Mobile ads can be precisely targeted. Because smartphones have built-in geolocation, mobile video ads can be targeted geographically, demographically, and behaviorally.

  • Mobile devices encourage interactivity. Mobile video ads can be more interactive than ads on CTVs or desktop computers because of touchscreen handheld convenience, which increases viewer engagement. This is especially true for in-app and gamified ads in mobile apps.

Considering these benefits, mobile video ads are extremely cost-effective. Marketers with low budgets can get a bigger bang for their buck by moving more money into mobile video advertising.

What Does the Future Hold for Mobile Video Advertising?

Mobile video advertising has a bright future. The growth in free ad-supported television (FAST) and advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) services means more opportunities for marketers who want to take advantage of video advertising. The continuing growth of high-quality original streaming video content will further drive this trend.

Mobile device usage also continues to surge, as evidenced by the growth in smartphone sales from leading manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung. The spread of 5G cellular technology will further serve to drive more mobile internet use.

All of these factors mean that more individuals will be watching more videos on their mobile devices – and more of this video content will be ad-supported. New technologies, such as augmented reality, will present new opportunities for engaging mobile users in ways that will increase engagement. This will likely drive an evolution in mobile ad formats, creating new ways for advertisers to get their messages to mobile consumers.

Amid all this change, the effectiveness and value mobile video advertising offers will remain constant. Advertisers who want to reach the most potential customers with the most efficient ad spend will divert more and more of their ad dollars to mobile video advertising. This channel is big today and will get only bigger in the years to come.

Optimize Your Mobile Video Advertising Performance with Penthera

To maximize the effectiveness of their mobile ads, marketers want potential customers to have a seamless mobile viewing experience. Unfortunately, many mobile streaming platforms suffer from issues such as irrelevant ads and ad startup delays, which can drive viewers away.

To mitigate these and other issues that affect mobile ads, Penthera's 2nd Look solution shifts ad decision timing closer to when ads run, helping mobile streaming services deliver more targeted advertising to viewers, and increasing viewer engagement. It’s just one of several solutions Penthera offers to help improve the mobile streaming video experience.

Contact Penthera today to learn more about getting more out of your mobile video advertising.


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