It’s no secret consumers are watching more videos from their smartphones and tablets – and here in Canada, that appetite for mobile video is only going to grow, according to the numbers presented at the BrightRoll Video Summit in Toronto this week.

According to research from IAB Canada, Canadian consumers spend almost 2,500 minutes a week perusing videos from their mobile devices. That far outstripped the amount of time we spent with broadcast TV, as well as both legacy and digital versions of radio, audio, newspapers, social media, games, and magazines.

And during the BrightRoll Video Summit on Wednesday, more research from Nielsen and IAB Canada showed Canadians’ love of mobile video represents an enticing advertising opportunity – perhaps even more so than in the U.S.

Thomas Eaton of Nielsen presenting at the BrightRoll Video Summit in Toronto. Oct. 29, 2014.
Thomas Eaton of Nielsen presenting at the BrightRoll Video Summit in Toronto. Oct. 29, 2014.

That’s because among Canadian ad inventory buyers, like marketers and agencies, mobile devices will get a 40 per cent lift in importance over the next three years. While that number wasn’t as impressive as the 85 per cent spike in the U.S., what was interesting was that broadcast TV’s importance plunged more dramatically here in Canada, versus what’s happening south of the border.

Nielsen and IAB Canada found broadcast TV will experience a 48 per cent decline in importance among Canadian media buyers and sellers alike. That drop isn’t nearly as pronounced in the U.S., where TV’s significance is slated to fall around just 21 per cent.

Beyond comparing mobile video and broadcast TV, Canadian media buyers said they feel mobile phones will garner still more importance as a way of advertising, jumping 23 per cent over the next three years.

“Mobile does represent an interesting opportunity,” said Thomas Eaton, vice-president of platforms at Nielsen, during his presentation at BrightRoll’s summit. While he noted people aren’t necessarily “cord-cutting,” the name given to the idea of cancelling a cable subscription in favour of consuming Internet video, there are still a number of advantages to investing in mobile video ads.

“You have an audience of younger viewers … you are reaching people who are underexposed, and you’re not jamming [your ads] all into the couple of hours during primetime,” he said.

The shift towards mobile video in Canada is one that didn’t seem to really surprise Brent Bernie, president of comScore Canada.

“Mobile video is a whole new force,” he said, during a presentation at the BrightRoll Video Summit. However, he added there’s really only one consumer, who’s actually agnostic about the channels where he or she consumes content and isn’t necessarily fixated on silos of content.

Nor do these findings necessarily mean marketers and agencies should abandon broadcast TV in droves, Eaton said.

“Any marketer will pick a channel or strategy. They’ll have to take all media in consideration,” he said, in an interview on Wednesday. During his presentation, he added broadcast TV and mobile video aren’t a “zero-sum game” and are not cannibalizing each other – instead of having to choose to use one or the other, marketers will need to adopt the strategies that make the most sense for their brands and products.

Still, it makes sense to test things out and see what their results are, based on the data they access from mobile video metrics, Eaton said.

“Where is the inflection point? It’s not with chasing TV,” he said. “Marketers are dipping their toes into the water … and moving dollars into mobile.”

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