It’s been over a year and it’s safe to say that the pandemic hasn’t disrupted the video industry like it has others. In fact, it’s had the opposing effect. People spend more time at home, and consumer video viewing will continue to outpace expectations. Video is becoming more and more relevant as time goes by.

Given the consistent rise of video viewing, we’ll be running through some trends we can expect in the next 12 months or so and how it can affect you as a stakeholder within the video landscape.

1. Contextual video advertising

With the improvement of content contextual placement solutions such as Suggests, we’re seeing more interest in these types of solutions resulting in it being a common implementation for media publishers that are looking to increase their instream supply. With improvements on content and relevance accuracy, editorial teams are accepting these implementations to complement their journalism.

Additionally, growing privacy concerns are leading to a boom in contextual targeting as brands and advertisers look to pair their message and creatives to the right viewer in a non-cookie environment.

With this in mind, the next logical step is to further optimize the entire funnel and create contextual video ads to complement the content.

We’re seeing improved standardization of video categories along with new technology that goes beyond text analysis and leverages things like machine learning to analyse cross-screen video content (sound and images) that can help power contextual campaign growth.

2. Increased use of scalable formats and secure interactive video ads

Facebook has always been a big advocate of video, demonstrated by the rollout of Instagram stories (along with the TikTok boom). Users are becoming far more video orientated, so brand marketers are adapting their strategies to reflect this.

What this has resulted in is that marketers will become a lot more flexible with their creatives. Traditionally, TV ad creatives were the go-to format to run within instream positions. However, with the scale that’s now become available on platforms that primarily support vertical and square videos, brands will look at creating relevant creatives to run in these aspect ratios. Naturally, these creatives will then be pushed out to other verticals outside of social platforms, such as publisher sites, to run in outstream positions.

In addition to this, we’ve seen huge success from the likes of e-commerce brands and at the same time witnessed the struggle of bricks and mortar amidst today’s pandemic. We can see e-commerce is going to continue performing strongly and we’ll see the shoppable format gain popularity this year.

Social platforms have created buying tools within their content creation templates to offer shoppable video. Where in the past the largest factor holding this format back was the question of whether users were ready, we’re now seeing that consumers are gaining trust and feel secure enough to transact within a video.

SIMID can play a large part in this as the format itself is secure compared to its predecessor. This will give agencies a USP to pushing this format towards the brands they represent.

An example of this in action would be a video going into detail about the 10 best vacuum cleaners where the metadata of the video is exported along with sound and images to the DSP where vacuum brands can then analyse this information and elect to run their creative in an ad slot in the video.

3. Subscription fatigue

A surprising statistic: due to the pandemic people now subscribe to more streaming-video services than ever. On average people are willing to pay for 4 different services, up from 3 pre-COVID-19, while incomes have drastically been decreasing due to job losses. This is going to be short lived until restrictions are lifted where we’ll likely see it go back to 3 services. VOD platforms will probably make a shift to ad supported formats to continue maintaining their revenue streams once people start dropping a platform or two.

Here ad scheduling and podding becomes more important than ever. With long form content, video platforms will need an easy way to be able to call multiple ad breaks at specific points in their video content. This has traditionally been done within their ad servers, but video platforms have acclimated to this and have developed their own scheduling systems within the Online Video Platform. This allows publishers to easily and dynamically insert ads bypassing things like ad blockers and real-time insertion of relevant ads based on audience segmentation.

Pay-per-view is also on the rise, whether it’s in front of a paywall or each content piece is purchasable. We’ve seen this on facebook, influencing platforms and large news publishing sites. This is also an incentivized way for publishers to create a profitable subscription model, particularly for unique and original content.

4. 5G

We’re going to see a lot of movement within the video front with the growing adoption of 5G devices, particularly in regions that lack a solid infrastructure for wired/cable internet. This will result in users using their 5G devices and move away from normal OTT devices so they can stream 4K and VR video, causing a considerable shift in the way users consume heavy asset video content in these regions in comparison to their counterparts in regions that have better access to cabled high speed internet.

Ad buyers can take advantage of DCO (Dynamic Creative Optimization) based on bandwidth. They can deliver assets based on the users connection, so we’ll probably see the adoption of heavier assets with better quality.

5. Shift in marketing budgets

We’ve seen a trend in the shift of ad spend in 2020 of brands moving their budget outside of brand unsafe environments such as Facebook. With the inability of social platforms to be 100% efficient in policing things like racism, political discussions and hate content, particularly in video, brands have chosen to push more of their video monetization budget towards content platforms that don’t incite discussion such as news and entertainment websites, and it’s likely that they will continue to do so. We look at some other reasons why there have been an uplift in digital budgets below.

Boost in sports streaming

Given the nature of the pandemic, and the inability to attend games, consumers are streaming sports at home more than they ever have before. This means that license agreements for high value sports are in high demand. This has stimulated new and increased budgets for the sporting industry for brands that had limited tenancy for video ads, such as Underarmour.

Shifting static OOH budget online

Although OOH (Out Of Home advertising) hasn’t suffered as much as anticipated, the growing concerns of brands that are unable to get the reach they once had with static OOH are looking to spread some of their OOH budget to online avenues. In saying that, the pandemic has fast tracked programmatic buying for DOOH (Digital Out Of Home) due to the nature of last minute lockdowns which is a positive outcome for the ad industry as a whole.

Growing mobile app video ad budgets

More than any other global region, APAC leads the world in mobile app adoption, and advertisers are targeting popular app environments such as gaming, music streaming, and messaging apps. This includes video streaming apps and has fast tracked app publishers to take advantage of higher revenue ad slots for video such as In-Feed to create video supply.


As traditional TV is on the decline and viewership stalls, brands are moving more and more of their TV budget towards CTV and OTT.


These insights into the top video trends for 2021 can help you assess and develop an approach to ensure you can succeed in moving your video marketing strategy in the right direction.