Verizon Media Amps Up The Need For 5G
Rumblings about 5G mobile internet speed have been ramping up over the past month with Verizon Media at the forefront of the conversation. During its Newsfronts presentation this week, the mobile provider emphasized the benefits of the faster speed combined with its first party user data to help improve technology. Areas most benefited would be ad and media products as well as a series of programs they hope to release that revolve around the faster connectivity.
With an array of uses, Verizon plans to utilize the technology to fuel its endeavours such as its newly unveiled video series “Hypezilla” which will include augmented reality technology and “shoppable” content. In addition, the increased speed will improve viewing for the Yahoo Fantasy Football mobile app (also owned by the company) that includes NFL streaming rights for live game coverage.
There’s no doubt the increased speed will raise the bar both for media capabilities and for user expectations. However, there are still many unanswered questions about current devices being able to withstand the upgrade and how 5G will impact the overall market.
Walmart Announces Original Content with Shoppable Ads
Vudu, the streaming service owned by Walmart, is reportedly expanding its programming to become more competitive and amplify available advertising opportunities. With Walmart selling over 50% of all US televisions, growing their streaming service is a natural growth progression. Currently Vudu provides movie, video game, and TV series rentals. However, Walmart plans to invest in original programming, which will include at least 6 family friendly shows that will be available for free on the app with the intention of attracting new users who will then make additional purchases.
Vudu plans to steer clear of subscription fees in favor of adding “shoppable” content for viewers to drive ad revenue. Users will be able to purchase products seen in programs, likely similar to Amazon’s x-ray technology, where options will appear on the left hand side of the screen and will change based on what’s presented in each scene. Viewers can then order items, such as household products, electronics, etc., directly through Walmart for home delivery or in-store pick-up. Advertisers will have the option to sponsor product placement to reach audiences and drive sales. Walmart sees the approach of “shoppable” content as a lucrative way to avoid additional fees but the theory is still being tested and will be contingent on view reception.
Walmart is taking a gamble using the new programming to grow its users. However, if it works, it will be a great way to use their own resources to continue to feed their various marketing funnels and drive business on all fronts.
User Behavior Dictates Social Media Shift to Mobile
It comes as no surprise that eMarketer confirmed the continued shift of social media users accessing their accounts strictly through mobile devices. Reports indicate 51% of 2019 users will be mobile only with continued growth in the coming years. As smartphones capabilities grow, use of laptops/desktops in American are on the decline, with many homes strictly relying on mobile device(s). As this trend continues, smartphone users will surpass desktop/laptop internet users for the first time and will expand the gap in the coming years.
What does this mean for marketers? Social platforms will continue to invest in ad opportunities that are “mobilized.” Facebook in particular has already started testing a more mobile-friendly swipe interface to meet the demand. It is also continuing to leverage Stories in Instagram, which are primarily for mobile use based on the content dimensions as well as the recent addition of Checkout on Instagram for easier in-app purchasing.
The shift isn’t slowing and in response, marketers are investing ad dollars in mobile-first social media content. It will be interesting to see how users continue to drive technological advances and advertising opportunities in the space.