InMobi entered the video advertising space just over two years ago and it is already expecting video ads to be one of its strongest verticals in the coming years.
The ad tech company has seen video ad consumption more than triple in India over the last year and expects video ads to make up approximately half of its revenue in the coming year, up from around 25-30 per cent last year.
“Video advertising will be a big focus for us since we expect video consumption to go through the roof. Last year, we saw 2x increase in video ad consumption globally and in India this number was higher than 3x,” said Vasuta Agarwal, VP & GM (India) at InMobi.
Speaking about the company’s strategy for video advertising, Agarwal said that the focus would be on creating innovative ad formats for their advertising partners as well as building measurement and performance transparency through tie-ups with third party firms.
InMobi currently works with Integral Ad Science, DoubleVerify and have recently tied up with MOAT for verifying viewability of ads on their platform. On the audience verification front, the company works with Nielsen and ComScore.
“We are looking at how we can disrupt the ad experience and make it more engaging and immersive for users. A lot of the products we will be releasing in the coming months will be about innovation of the video ad format. Increasingly, our partners and advertisers are looking for more metrics on video apart from completion rate. A lot of our focus is on how we can tie up with third party measurement firms so that our advertisers don’t have to just trust our numbers when it comes to viewability or audience verification,” she said.
Video advertising is hot property the world over currently and is expected to be the fastest growing ad format for the foreseeable future. For example, a 2016 eMarketer study said US digital video advertising would grow in double digits annually, far more than TV.
However, it seems InMobi does not expect major cross media cannibalisation to happen in India any time soon. When asked about how exactly were video advertising budgets increasing in India, she said, “One part is because of shift of money from other formats on mobile, and even desktop, as people are looking for more user engagement and experience, conversions, etc. and video does this better than other ad formats. Typically, we have seen that video gives two to three times the engagement rate of other ad formats. Rethinking about TV spends is still in early days. Some portion of that may also, at some point of time, move to mobile video as it offers more opportunities for personalised experience and measurement while TV is more of a generic mass medium.”
Another thing that could further boost video advertising in India is programmatic advertising, but it, admitted Agarwal, still has some entry barriers.
“It (programmatic advertising) has been a buzzword for a while but the actual adoption has been slow. There might be a little bit of technology barrier. There is some wariness in India because people are not sure what kind of inventory might be available especially on open exchanges. However, we are seeing that there is definitely an openness to understanding programmatic and seeing how they (advertisers) can move towards it this year. An area we see a lot of adoption happening is in private marketplaces. We will also see a lot of shift in emerging countries like India in programmatic buying of video ads,” she said.