Stuart Flint, VP EMEA at Oath, looks at the key trends that will shape the year ahead that advertisers and publishers need to know.
Rising tensions over data regulation, transparency and dominated the ad world in 2018. Advertisers and publishers will face more challenges in 2019 including more consolidation and talent going in-house. But there is also a great opportunity to innovate and create new and exciting experiences for consumers as technology takes another leap forward with 5G.
5G heralds a new age of advertising
The extra bandwidth provided by the jump from 3G to 4G spurred on today’s app economy; providing the foundations for everything from Uber to mobile video streaming. The roll-out of 5G will have a similarly transformative effect. With speeds up to 20 times faster than 4G, 5G will enable marketers to process more data, allow the use of higher-resolution ads such as 4K video, and further advertisers’ ability to personalise messaging in real time.
The additional bandwidth from 5G will mean faster loading times, reducing the performance impact of ads and making websites easier to navigate. This means publishers and advertisers can provide immersive and interactive advertising in high definition, potentially resulting in the reduction of ad blocker use. But its impact will be felt through more than just mobile and desktop screens.
The mass roll-out of 5G will be the foundation on which the ‘futuristic’ technology we have only touched on so far is built on. Take live-streaming as an example: with 5G, this new technology will see us able to produce interactive experiences, content, and capabilities in real-time that we are only just starting to imagine. Later down the road, we expect to see this to start including VR to driverless cars and IoT.
Harnessing extended reality (XR) for immersive advertising experiences
Public appetite for Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will continue to grow in 2019. This mass adoption of AR and VR technology will drive more interactive advertising, enabling consumers to see or test a product or service in a virtual or mixed reality world.
The potential for the use of Extended Reality (XR) will be unlocked in 2019 as marketers will finally be able to harness the technology to create these immersive experiences. Greater immersion will mean greater engagement, as XR advertising draws consumers more fully into the brand’s world. In 2019, well executed XR ad experiences that provide utility and enhance reality will help build emotional connections that motivate consumers to buy from (and be loyal to) a brand.
Publishers – new revenue streams and navigating data regulation
Next year, publishers will examine, even more closely, new revenue streams and look beyond the ad model.
Paywalls have had varying degrees of success over the last decade – in 2019 we will see an increase in the use of subscription or membership models and micro-transactions, in addition to the ad model, with readers paying for deeper content by the article or even access to data from reports. Each publication will differ – all publishers will need to explore what will provide additional value to their readers that they are ultimately willing to pay extra for. Publishers will also face challenges on how to grow new value around the audiences or content they are investing in, which will place greater emphasis on partnerships.
Like all years there will be ups and downs. But 2019 looks broadly optimistic for the ad world – eMarketer predicts that digital ad spend will rise to $327 billion globally and mobile will equate for a third of ad dollars worldwide. There will be challenges but the opportunity that 5G provides means that if our industry can break down silos between agencies, media owners, technology players and brands and work together, the canvas just got a whole lot bigger with new immersive technology coming from what 5G will facilitate, and it will create even smarter and seamless experiences that people will want to participate in with brands if we do it well.
By Stuart Flint