Mar 08

The past couple of weeks have produced a news trend in the online video space all revolving around the same topic. The increased usage of smartphones and how that is affecting the video ecosystem.  This is always a good time to take a step back and look at the data to identify what kind of story it is telling. So this week’s blog post is a summary of those numbers and sources with one very important message for online marketers. The increase in smartphone and tablet usage, increases video views on devices which is a content marketing and video advertising opportunity.

Image courtesy of adostrategies.com

46% of U.S. Adults Own Smartphones
This headline comes to you courtesy of Media Post, but the data is from a recent Pew Study which indicates that as of February 2012, almost half of all American adults (46%) are smartphone owners. (Nielsen and comScore also reported similar trends at 48% and 42% respectively). In other words, nearly 3 out of 5 adults own a smartphone which makes them soon to be the majority with a good chance that the number will only increase. Every demographic is represented in this number but the groups which have the highest overall adoption rate (60%) are college graduates, 18-35 year olds, and those with an annual household income of $75,000 or more.

Key Online Video Mobile Demographic: 18-34
Similar to the Pew study mentioned above, Nielsen also recently released new data confirming a similar demographic (18-34) leading the smartphone adoption rate (Source: Media Post). However, they have taken this data one step further and looked into the behavior of this group they call “Generation C” which take personal connections to new levels with their use of devices, apps, and social networks. They are also avid multi-taskers, checking email or social networks while watching TV, which supports past research noted in previous blogs.

Video Half of All Mobile Internet Traffic with Mobile to Surpass PC Internet Users
A quarterly report from Bytemobile indicates that video now accounts for half of all mobile traffic, which according to a TechCrunch article is also testament to the rise of smartphone and device usage. This report notes that Android is generating more ad volume than iOS devices, with tablets leading the way overall compared to smartphones in terms of video traffic. An eye opening piece of research conducted by Forrester indicates that currently one fifth of the world’s mobile population  are using the internet to go online. Global penetration of mobile internet users will exceed that of PC internet users by 2016, with emerging markets driving adoption levels.

Europeans More Responsive to Ads on Devices
Nielsen research also indicates that mobile is becoming a powerful commerce tool, facilitating consumer transactions and access to real-time information and deals. Twenty-nine percent of U.S. smartphone owners use their phone for shopping-related activities and more than half of mobile users are repeat visitors to daily deal sites (Source: Media Post). However, tablet and smartphone owners in Germany, Italy and the U.K. are more likely than American device owners to make a purchase online via PC after viewing an ad on their tablet or smartphone according to the Nielsen report, also suggesting the need for a cross-platform strategy as supported above and in past posts.

Mobile Commerce on the Rise
A December 2011 study of 4,000 mobile users in the United States and United Kingdom by mBlox, confirms the rise and interest in commerce trends. Their report indicated that 9 in 10 young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 spend one to five hours on their mobile phones each day, and 1 in 10 spend between five and ten hours on their mobile phones. One third would like brands to send promotions via smartphone or tablet, noting it is “extremely important” for there to be an “opt-out” option. This is promising news for advertisers and also supports Nielsen research above. Whether or not these smartphone and tablet users would then use the same device to purchase a promotion afterwards remains to be discovered by future research.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is a platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.

Aug 18

It’s no secret that video has exploded in the online space, nor that it is more effective than plain text and graphics. According to The Motion Effect Theory, human beings have an inherent preference for moving objects (Sundar and Kalyanaraman 2004) which is one reason why TV has been so popular for so long.

Image courtesy of Content Marketing Institute

With the evolution of the internet into our daily habits, it is only logical that as human beings we are drawn to moving objects on our computer screens as well. I’m not talking about moving ads vying for attention on the top, right and left of the content you are reading online. It’s the well done, well played online video inserted into editorial pieces and commerce pages that adds context and depth to any piece of information you may be interested in. “The combination of moving images, still pictures, graphics, sound, and text – with interactivity and mobile devices – appeals simultaneously to multiple senses making online marketing video the ultimate way to communicate, engage, and capture consumer attention” (Rick Dearborn, B2C).

According to Forrester Research, online video is 50 times more likely to appear on the first page of search results because of optimisation tactics like blended search and according to comScore, YouTube continues to be the main driver of online video content growth with 147.2 million unique viewers in the U.S. in May, 2011. Luckily for brands, videos are becoming increasingly easier and more affordable than ever to make. The important thing to remember is to create video content with a clear strategy in mind. If it is quality content, it will always find a place in the mind of the consumer. Reaching the consumer in more places than search engines and video platforms however, is a matter of strategic distribution and content management. Something we happen to know a little bit about.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is Europe’s largest preview distribution network. We serve websites, apps and . Our content is available on MSN,, IMDB, , The Times, MySpace, The Guardian, El Pais, El Mundo, Le Monde and more than 2,300 other online media. We work with more than 300 companies including Sony, Fox, Disney, Warner, Universal, and Paramount. Learn more on previewnetworks.com

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Jun 23

In the May posts regarding the Growth of Branded Content we talked about how despite the rise in both financial spend and consumption numbers, video was still an underutilised asset for many brands. Even though usage of video is increasing, in many ways that statement is still true when comparing the demand to supply. According to SundaySky’s quarterly report, 9% more retailers posted videos on YouTube in Q1 2011 compared to Q4 2010. However, the number of subscribers to online retailers’ YouTube channels increased by more than 20%.

Which covers only one source of video content. The biggest opportunity to embrace video content as a way to showcase products and boost e-commerce is the brand or retailer website. According to SundaySky “a staggering 68% of retailers are not yet exploiting the obvious and accessible rewards of using videos on their sites.” Combine video with SEO best practices and it is bound to equal big dollars, as the Zappos case study proves in the report. They generate more than $500K in incremental revenue simply by following video SEO guidelines.

Now imagine enhancing the e-commerce site experience to feature live video chat, like Lands’ End is doing to improve the online shopping experience. According to the Vice President of Customer Care Service, this has not only made the customer shopping experience more efficient and enjoyable, it has helped the bottom line as well. Regardless of the method chosen, the opportunities for brands to utilise video are plentiful,  and the benefits are very tangible.

Want to read more? Check out these articles:
Online Videos Increase Traffic, Conversions for Retailers
Selling the Goods: Retailers Embrace Video as Virtual Sales People
Live Video Chat in Ecommerce Websites: The Future of Customer Service?

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is Europe’s largest preview distribution network. We serve websites, apps and . Our content is available on MSN,, IMDB, , The Times, MySpace, The Guardian, El Pais, El Mundo, Le Monde and more than 2,300 other online media. We work with more than 300 companies including Sony, Fox, Disney, Warner, Universal, and Paramount. Learn more on previewnetworks.com

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Jun 16

With every passing day consumers are being stimulated to purchase products by e-commerce sites with greater information richness, improved user friendliness, and larger coverage. Even though the internet has only been around for the past 15 years or so, it has changed consumer activity considerably.

However, whether e-commerce sites empower consumers to make better decisions when purchasing a product should be questioned. While many have written that improved decision capability comes with the increase of information, most consumers are feeling overloaded with sheer volume of information at the point of purchase. The irony is that the total amount of available information has passed the point of what consumers are able to process. E-commerce sites that offer too much information confuse rather than clarify consumers. This may be very surprising, but the fact is that consumers just use a small amount of the available information when making decisions (Caildini, 2001).

Besides, e-commerce merchants have to remember that consumers are “cognitive misers” who try to decrease any amount of cognitive effort when making decisions and as a result of that are willing to settle for an imperfect solution in return for a deduction in search costs (Häubl & Trifts, 2002).

Due to these facts, building text-heavy e-commerce sites, including long bullet point product specification pages, is not improving consumer decision accuracy. Instead, e-commerce merchants should focus on building product videos that:

  • focus on the most essential features in the product,
  • give a good product demonstration,
  • highlight purchase information (price, delivery, and payment security),
  • have a short duration,
  • are well integrated
  • and are SEO optimized.

By allowing consumers to watch product videos, the cognitive effort will decrease as easier access to the important information is granted. Along with the decrease in cognitive effort, consumers’ decision accuracy will get improved as more information can be accessed and processed in less time.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is Europe’s largest preview distribution network. We serve websites,  apps and . Our content is available on MSN,, IMDB, , The Times, MySpace, The Guardian, El Pais, El Mundo, Le Monde and more than 2,300 other online media. We work with more than 300 companies including Sony, Fox, Disney, Warner, Universal, and Paramount. Learn more on previewnetworks.com

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May 16

In the May 3rd post about The Growth of Branded Content, we presented the facts and set the stage as to how investor confidence and consumption numbers are increasing in the online video space. In this post we’ll present more facts but we’ll also expand on the philosophical part of that conversation and understand why this is happening and how it can be done better.
Here are some interesting facts:

  • Electronic Branded Content Spending for US Companies was $491K in 2009 and $478K in 2010
  • Ecommerce video has grown in the past year with 73% of US retail sites now using video
  • Retail Ecommerce spending is at $38 billion, up 12% in Q1 2011 compared to one year ago  (Source: eMarketer & comScore)

Despite these gains in numbers, video still surprisingly remains an underutilized asset for many brands. There are two trains of thought here. First, although brands are aware of the video hype, they could be hesitant to spend the money due to uncertainties in tracking capabilities in order to justify the investment.  Second, once they have invested in creating video content, how do they maximize their brand asset sharing capabilities?

Before we answer the how, here are a few bullet points on the benefits of video which may help with the why :

  • Video increases conversion rate to product sales
  • Video creates an epiphany effect that encourages content sharing
  • Video increases brand stickiness

Human beings have an inherent preference for moving objects (The Motion Effect Theory, Sundar and Kalyanaraman 2004) and since the internet is designed to share experiences, the combination of the two is incredibly powerful.  Video + internet = shared content experiences between consumers.

Posting videos on social channels and brand websites is the first step.  Creating a media specific syndication strategy with full analytical tracking is taking it to the next level. Because of the internet the marketing function has become much more scientific than ever before, including technology available to assist. The important thing to remember, is it still comes down to basic word of mouth in the end. Good content creates conversation. Interactive content creates conversion.

About Preview Networks

Preview Networks is Europe’s largest preview distribution network. We serve websites, apps and . Our content is available on MSN,, IMDB, , The Times, MySpace, The Guardian, El Pais, El Mundo, Le Monde and more than 2,300 other online media. We work with more than 300 companies including Sony, Fox, Disney, Warner, Universal, and Paramount. Learn more on previewnetworks.com

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