With MIPTV and the second annual MIP Digital Fronts a few weeks away (you can register here!), VideoInk reached out to a diverse lineup of influential video industry executives scheduled to present or appear at the event. Our conversations covered their individual businesses, plans for MIPTV and the Fronts, and the video business as a whole. You can access them all here. Enjoy!
Sarah Wood is the co-founder and COO of video ad-tech company Unruly, which specializes in working with brands and media companies to run and analyze video campaigns across the open web. In other words, she’s sitting at the center of a field that — in her own words — is “getting shook up” as players such as Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat turn their attention to video content and distribution.
It’s no longer a world dominated only by YouTube, and that means a lot more fragmentation and information for video creators to unpack. We talked about that and more with the Unruly executive:
What are your views on the rise of platforms like Snapchat, Vine, Twitter, and Facebook as viable places for running social video ads?
The video ecosystem is getting shook up — evidenced by Facebook video shifting the balance of power, which now accounts for 18.4% of the online video market (comScore). However, it’s important to note, that with more than 60% of video views still occurring outside of Facebook or YouTube, the lion’s share is happening on the “open web,” the billion-plus sites outside of these walled-garden platforms.
Mobile first applications such as Snapchat, Instagram, and Vine are frequented by a young, highly engaged and super-sharing audience. This is something Facebook doesn’t have.
Snapchat, which Facebook famously tried to buy, further fuels the short-form content war. In Snapchat’s case, what may have seemed like a fad has now proven to capture the imagination of not only a young demographic, but also a whole host of forward thinking marketers. Looking forward I expect to see the trend of ephemeral content will flourish over the coming months.
But ultimately, the consumer will decide, what, where, and how much content they consume. No longer is YouTube the default option. This is exciting for the video ecosystem. Whether they want to watch and share short-form content on their mobile on their commute to work, or browse longer videos at home on their tablets while relaxing on their sofas, what’s great is that consumers will have a full spectrum of platforms to discover video content on.
What are some of the key factors in predicting an ad’s “shareability”? How does this differ on mobile vs. desktop/laptop?
There are two main reasons why videos get shared: emotional responses and social motivations. Whichever emotions a brand seeks to trigger, they must do so with intensity. Mid-intensity responses do not drive sharing or deliver earned media. So if
it’s humor a brand is going for, go for a belly laugh versus mere amusement.
Humor is the most commonly deployed psychological response. However, it’s also the hardest to do well and the most culturally sensitive. Therefore brands should look to other psychological responses — for example exhilaration, anticipation, nostalgia, inspiration, awe, surprise — as a starting point for creating shareable content.
Unruly recently partnered with Dubai-based Future Tech Media. What made Dubai and the Middle East in general an attractive market?
We’ve been working in the region since 2009 and found there is a natural appetite for social video with viewers more likely than their global counterparts to engage with video content. According to data from hundreds of campaigns we’ve run across the Middle East, share rates (1.3%) and clickthrough rates (13.1%) are three times higher than the global average (0.5% and 4.9% respectively). Digital ad spend is expected to increase 37% every year to reach $1 billion by 2017.
As a global company, does Unruly mainly focus on connecting with brands from around the world at MIPTV? What do you hope to accomplish at MIPTV this year?
We work with many global brands — including broadcasters — to distribute their digital promos, kick-start global conversations, and increase advocacy and tune-in with viewers and consumers.
At MIPTV we’re going to be addressing head-on the TV paradox: the fact that broadcasters who are so brilliant at entertaining us with the most engaging TV formats haven’t yet unlocked the secret to promoting their formats using social and digital video ads. We are in a “Golden Age” of television, with many broadcasters and OTT providers producing movie-quality TV content and a wide variety of highly-engaging shows and formats. But promotional videos are lagging behind and under-performing on social and digital platforms. Using proprietary data from our Viral Video Chart, which houses social sharing data on 1.3 trillion video views, I’ll be showing how TV networks can identify the drivers of virality and harness the power of social to find new audiences for their shows and engage millennials in a multi-screen world.