The Well-Manicured Walled Gardens of Video

Aug 01, 2019 • Aaron Goldman

More and more video consumption is moving into the walls of gardens that boast large communities of people who have consented to share their data as part of the quid pro quo for free content. The addressable – and engaged – audiences within these closed ecosystems are gold to brands, and budgets are being allocated accordingly.

This past week, the steady growth of video advertising across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Snap came into focus this week as each company beat analysts’ revenue expectations in their Q2 earnings reports. Let’s zoom in on how each of companies have tended to their walled gardens of video.

As I told The Drum, “Facebook continues to accelerate in value creation for advertisers. Its Q2 earnings are a testament to the fact that brands rely on the platform for full-funnel performance. With an increased focus on balancing consumer expectations of personalization and privacy, the walls of the Facebook garden are growing higher.”

And as I noted in Mobile Marketing Magazine, “With over 100m people ages 18+ in the US watching in-stream video on Facebook each month, the platform provides strong reach and the targeting capabilities are second to none. In particular, we see more growth ahead with premium video including Facebook Watch as well as packages like Facebook Showcase.”

From a Twitter perspective, more than 80% of the ad budgets currently running through 4C on Twitter are video format. As I shared with The Drum, “Twitter has become indispensable to both consumers and advertisers. When something happens in the world, it’s reflected on Twitter in real-time. For brands, you need to be there if you want to be part of the conversation. At 4C, we’re seeing particularly strong growth with video on Twitter. The sight, sound, and motion of video advertising literally pops out of the feed and engages a captive audience.”

Looking at Snap, where nearly 90% of the ad spend running through 4C is video, it’s clear that marketers prioritized the platform during their annual planning process. As I mentioned inAd Age, “Snapchat has had a higher place in the marketing plan for brands than in years past” and “brands that use 4C to buy ads on Snapchat had increased their spending by close to 60 percent year over year in the second quarter.”

Elaborating in The Street, I said, “Snap’s strong Q2 performance is evidence of continued advertiser confidence in the platform. At 4C, we’ve seen a steady acceleration in advertising budgets allocated to Snap from a wide range of brands. The platform continues to drive engagement with an elusive demographic and, as that base grows older, Snap will only increase in value to brands.” Of course, it’s not just the online platforms that offer well-manicured closed ecosystems for video. Traditional TV networks, cable operators, and emerging over-the-top (OTT) providers enable data-driven advertising across premium video inventory.

To that end, this week we released the UK results from a study conducted by Forrester Consulting and commissioned by 4C. In it, 79% of marketers said they recognize cross-channel video advertising – including TV, digital video, social video, and OTT – as an increasingly important medium. 77% agree that video is evolving from a mass-reach medium to one that enables targeted reach to more precise audiences, and 73% say that effective use of video can boost business performance in other channels.

As I concluded in MarTech Series, “For brands to succeed, cross-channel planning should revolve around consumer preferences and budget allocation should be anchored on business results. In a multi-screen world, video stands out for its ability to deliver rich storytelling at scale throughout the customer journey.”

Clearly, the future of media is anchored in cross-channel video. And the future of cross-channel video is rooted in the walled gardens of closed ecosystems. Fortunately for 4C clients, it’s all in Scope.