#AdTechTheVote: How Programmatic, Anti-Ad Blockers and Digital Audiences Will … – Re/code

Undoubtedly, U.S. consumer viewing habits have undergone a transformation since the 2012 elections, with digital, social and mobile content and ad views skyrocketing at the expense of traditional media. Outcomes of the 2016 elections are at stake, as candidates who are best able to harness these shifts in the coming year will be more successful in reaching their constituencies, managing campaign war chests effectively and, ultimately, prevailing in their battles for office.

In turn, the ability of content providers to leverage the digital ad technology that has evolved in response to changing consumption behaviors will prove vital in maximizing their 2016 political ad revenues.

Since the last election, digital, social and mobile content, and ad views have skyrocketed, at the expense of traditional media.

As more of the electorate consumes election-related content and advertising via digital media — and particularly digital video — the campaigns and content providers who are embracing ad tech now to reach them will be the big winners next November. For the upcoming 2016 election cycle, digital advertising will garner an estimated $1 billion — up from a mere $22 million in 2008. The video segment will likely reap much of this revenue, following overall digital media spending trends.

With the growing challenge of reaching fragmented audiences and elusive voters, candidates are not only increasing their advertising, but launching their campaigns and disseminating their messages across a wider range of digital platforms than in previous elections. Content providers need to be ready to connect them with voters via the latest video ad technology available.

2016 ballots will be driven by the digitally dominant

Of particular importance to capture: Digitally dominant, culturally influential millennials and Hispanics. Millennials have overtaken the shrinking Boomer population to become the nation’s largest generation (at more than 75 million strong). They will represent approximately a third of 2016 voters, and have seen their trailing members reach voting age since 2008.

Hispanics are among the most rapidly growing population segments in the U.S. (with an estimated 58 million members), and are expected to represent roughly 10 percent of 2016 voters. Further, post analysis of the 2008 and 2012 elections shows President Obama’s success was in large part credited to his ability to reach both of these voter groups.

Of particular importance to capture: Digitally dominant, culturally influential millennials and Hispanics.

Fast-forward to 2015 and pushing into 2016, it’s particularly interesting to point out that current reports and analyses cite that millennials (no surprise) and Hispanics are two of the leading demographics in digital video and mobile consumption. For example, a recent Nielsen report highlighted that Latinos average 10 million video views on their phones per month. Further, the average Latino spends eight hours every month watching online video — 90 minutes longer than the U.S. average. That trend is already ubiquitous across the millennial age group (more than 20 percent of which are Hispanic). EMarketer reports that 77 million millennials (which represents 92 percent of all U.S. millennials using the Internet in 2015) are watching digital video content, and a recent Animoto survey showed 45 percent of millennials would rather watch video on their mobile device than on a laptop or desktop computer.

So how will ad tech help reach voters?

Two big video ad technology trends will guide voter outreach and ad spending for both national and local campaigns over the next year: Data-driven, programmatic advertising, and anti-ad blocking. Both of these innovations will help political ad buyers and sellers surface hard-to-capture, yet coveted voter groups, and allow them to provide relevant messaging built around their ever-changing content consumption and sharing habits.

In this election, the power of programmatic advertising driven by big data will help candidates and providers on a number of fronts. These include honing in on specific voter segments with laser-like messaging and creative, guiding overall strategic media planning and inventory forecasting, and quickly reacting to campaign shifts in battleground states and beyond to optimize the impact of ad spends. In 2016, we will also see it pushing greater convergence between linear and digital TV platforms, as campaigns look to improve video advertising efficiencies and scale. With programmatic digital video ad spend projected to reach nearly $4 billion next year, the political ad category is sure to benefit greatly from this activity.

Two big video ad technology trends will guide voter outreach and ad spending for both national and local campaigns over the next year: Data-driven, programmatic advertising, and anti-ad blocking.

Meanwhile, audiences who have grown used to easily skipping political advertising on their DVRs have been turning to ad blockers to do the same on digital platforms. This phenomenon will cost content providers nearly $22 billion in ad revenue this year, and is certain to impact the fortunes of 2016 political campaigns as well, given that millennials are driving much of the ad-blocking activity. However, with the advent of anti-ad blocking technology, publishers and broadcasters finally have a reliable, cost-effective method for unlocking their blocked political video ad inventory and ensuring campaign messages reach their intended audiences.

Campaigns and content providers looking to win in 2016 should point in the direction of digital platforms to find their voting audiences, use data-led programmatic advertising to target them and anti-ad blockers to meet them where they are.


Paula Minardi is the broadcast industry marketing manager at Ooyala. Reach her at LinkedIn.



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