LONDON: The tech giants’ allocation of significant investment to developing long-form, original video content will have a major impact on the viewing habits of consumers and brands will need to consider how best to traverse a changed media landscape, according to a new WARC report.

A WARC Trend Snapshot, Video’s content newcomers, outlines how the success of SVOD (subscription video on demand) trailblazers such as Netflix and Amazon, coupled with the growth of connected TV, is opening the door for the likes of Apple and Facebook to become a part of the highly-competitive ‘lean back’ TV viewing experience.

“From an advertising perspective, the industry is at the beginning of a long process to improve the relevancy of brand communications served alongside long-form video content through the use of data,” the Snapshot says.

While digital media companies currently need to act like broadcasters to win TV dollars – inventory in the long-form space continues to centre around 30-second pre-roll and mid-roll ad units – their ability to target on a one-to-one basis opens up new possibilities for advertisers.

In one sense, the entry of the tech giants into this area is a recognition of the continued success of the legacy broadcast model.

“TV in all its guises remains incredibly robust, and remains the largest single constituent in the video ecosystem,” said Rhys McLachlan, head of global TV strategies at Videology. “And TV’s ability to drive reach, which is what advertising is all about, has remained.”

He noted that Apple and Google have both made strides into the living room with native TV apps and devices – the latter launched its YouTube TV app in October – but suggested Facebook faces a “device challenge” to ensure its Watch platform delivers large audiences.

“The battle that Facebook has is getting Watch [a new feature housing original video content] on to television screens,” he said. “The mobile phone is not the greatest device for the viewing of high-calibre, long-form video content.

“If you are paying $33m for 47 minutes of editorial content, the best means of consumption is on the TV set.”

These new players will also have to address how they develop from being mere platforms to becoming curation businesses.

“It is important for Facebook, for example, to show it is investing in the content ecosystem, and not just sitting on top of it,” noted Matthew Hook of Dentsu Aegis Network.

SVOD players, meanwhile, may have to shift away from a subscription-only model to accepting a limited number of ads.

Sourced from WARC