VIDEO SYNDICATION / MOBILE VIDEO Video First: The Rise of Mobile Video Consumption

Recently, Huffington Post Canada's mobile traffic has eclipsed traditional desktop for the first time. And it won't be the only time. Canadians are increasingly adopting multi-platform behaviours. According to comScore, Canadians spent 48 percent of their time with digital media on their PCs – and the remaining on tablets and smartphones.

This creates a new opportunity for companies, and as a result, the advertising industry is ramping up. Agency executives report that more than half expect to increase spending on mobile video ads, and that 35.9 percent of all digital video ad dollars will go toward mobile this year.

Following their acquisition by Verizon, mobile has become increasingly significant to AOL's business. Its online properties have been redesigned to optimize the mobile experience and to more easily highlight its award-winning video content. Marla Natoli, director for mobile and video products, AOL Canada shares four ways mobile is impacting their approach to video:

Cross-Channel Impact

While the growth and popularity of mobile is helping to shape how advertisers and publishers approach video, there is still a need for a cross-screen, 365-degree-approach. For Natoli, being successful means ensuring content will work all screens.

"At the end of the day, it's the consumer who will choose where and when they will watch. Our job is to make sure that content is compelling, and available however they decide to consume it," said Natoli. "All AOL content, whether it's original or custom video for our advertisers, is available across all screens – on an app or web, across smartphone, tablet, or PC. We make it easy for consumers to discover and enjoy the content they want, no matter the platform."

Additionally, a lot of views come through social media. While consumers might not make a habit of visiting a site every day, they are discovering the content through social media apps on their device, which is changing the way audiences consume content, and leading to a trend of mobile-exclusive audiences that only increase the importance of mobile for both publishers and brands.

Snackable content

While Canadians are watching more kinds of mobile video, including long-form or on-demand TV, mobile has also influenced the rise of shorter-form, snackable video.

"Our shorter-form news reel summarizing the top stories for the day are a strong performer on mobile," Natoli said. While short-form video content is taking off, Natoli cautions that there needs to be balance, "We don't focus on short-form exclusively for mobile. We look to the data and the content to find the right mix for our audience. "

Mobile-only experiences

Mobile has also unlocked new experiences for consumers and advertisers alike. From virtual reality apps to location-based marketing, mobile devices are opening up new opportunities to reach consumers in interactive ways.

"With video, there's always an opportunity to take the user to the next step of the purchase funnel and increase engagement, but on mobile, we can look at new ways to do that," said Natoli. "Videos that interact with your surroundings, or ads triggered by proximity to a retail location don't necessarily make sense on a desktop, but mobile can bring them to life."

Technology is the key

Technology is the underlying factor that allows publishers and brands to unlock the value of video and mobile. As audiences continue to refine their preference for how and where to consume content, technology platforms that understand media across all screens is paramount for brands. From data access to smart targeting and optimization, it is a powerful technology platform that will ultimately facilitate elevated storytelling and communication between brands and consumers. AOL has invested heavily over the past several years to acquire and build industry leading technology across all pillars including display, video and attribution, and bring them together into one platform to offer brands and publishers a unique opportunity to shift to a much more holistic approach to media.


Marla Natoli, Director for mobile and video products, AOL Canada