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From A Wider Variety Of Content Creators To Live Streaming – Here Are The Trends That Shook Up Video In 2015

From live streaming to shifting agency roles and responsibilities around video, the online ad industry continued to evolve at a rapid rate in 2015. But what have been the key trends over the last 12 months?

In the second instalment of Unruly’s 2015 Trend Series, we look at a wider variety of creative content and the battle between Meerkat and Periscope.


1. Live Streaming Went Mainstream And Established Itself

In the spring of 2015, the live streaming market took center-stage through a heated battle between Meerkat and Periscope. The latter received a leg-up when it was acquired by Twitter in March for $86m, and, according to Digiday, it has since been downloaded 10 million times. Facebook joined in on the action and began rolling out Live Video to select users in the US in December.

Brands from Lilly Pulitzer to Nissan to J.C. Penney have all used the live streaming format to deliver messages, ranging from special offers to Q&As and sneak-peeks into events. And with good reason. Just over a fifth of US internet users polled by Horizon Media in April 2015 had used or were interested in using Periscope or Meerkat!

However, if live streaming is here to stay, live streaming services have a bit of work to do. According to Horizon, just 9% of internet users had heard of Meerkat, and only 6% said the same about Periscope.


2. Non-Traditional Content Creators Levelled The Playing Field With Big Creative Agencies

During 2015, we saw a massive desire for clients to be able to make more content, without incurring huge additional costs. The most shared ad of the year was Android’s “Friends Furever”. The ad used UGC clips compiled by Storyful to tell a heart-warming story of friendship between unlikely animals. The ad campaign has since gone on to become the most shared ad of all time, amassing more than 6.2 million shares, proving that you don’t need expensive budgets to make an impact online. Among the most shared ads of the year, a number of campaigns – from Disney to ROC to The Ad Council – also used UGC and/or low production style footage.

Vice and Buzzfeed have been leading the way on this and we are starting to now see a lot of other publishers setting up custom content studios. This wider variety of creative content makes the journey a lot more exciting for the viewer and will ultimately drive higher engagement rates!


3. Everyone Wanted a Piece of Video

During 2015 we saw marketers spending more and more on digital video, as budgets shifted away from broadcast and cable television. And that’s not going to change. In fact, more than two-thirds (68%) of marketers and agency executives plan to increase their digital video ad budget spend over the next 12 months, according to a study by the IAB.

The IAB and Nielsen also have recommended shifting 15% of planned TV spend to digital for incremental and duplicate reach. And it’s not just shifting funds – the study also revealed that two-thirds of marketers and agency executives believe original digital video will become as important as original TV programming within the next 3 to 5 years.

With this increased focus on video, there has been a tsunami of account reviews from brands, while the question over who owns video budgets is continuously up in the air. Is it Content teams? AV? VOD? Trading? Broadcast? Social? PR? Every team wants a slice of the video budget.