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Mobile video more than glorified TV: Opera Mediaworks’ Pancham Endlaw

Following the unprecedented growth of mobile in India, marketers in the mobile-first country are betting high on the video story in India with improvements in the technological space. To engage consumers in the current stage of content clutter in the market, it is critical for publishers to step-up their content and look at new platforms for distribution. In conversation with Digital Market Asia, Pancham Endlaw, Head – Advertising, South Asia at Opera Mediaworks talks about how Opera Mediaworks is exploring opportunities in the mobile space with its mobile video product AdColony Instant-Play.

Over the last couple of years, the drop in the prices of mobile handsets has redefined the mobile platform as a source of video content consumption. India is attributed as the second largest market for smartphones globally and with the user base of 650 million in the next four years, India will soon be ahead of all its peers in the mobile race, according to an industry study by Cisco.

However, despite the easy access to mobile phones, brands in India are not keen on expanding the video experience on mobile in India. Major obstructions in the way include poor speed of internet, lower bandwidth, among other infrastructural challenges in India, said Mr Endlaw. “The biggest challenge is changing the general perception of marketers around mobile video who continue to believe that mobile video experience is broken due to bandwidth constraints in India,” he continued.

But Opera Mediaworks shared its solutions in the space – Opera’s AdColony Instant-Play HD video technology which will enable consumers to enjoy seamless video experience even with poor internet connectivity. Its new product AdColony Instant Play uses less than one second to load on the phone and play content in high definition quality.

Furthermore, despite the existence of competitors in the market who are exploring the mobile video space in India, Opera Mediaworks believes that it will win the mobile video race on back of its ability to load content in less than a second and in HD quality offering a better overall brand experience.

“Mobile gives the power to the advertiser to indulge in one-on-one interaction with the consumer even after the content is played, which helps in engaging the consumer and creating a better brand experience on mobile instead of just attributing mobile as a ‘glorified TV’,” said Mr Endlaw highlighting the product’s differentiating factor against its rivals in the Indian market.

The video technology emerges following Opera Mediaworks’ acquisition of AdColony in July 2014. AdColony’s proprietary high definition video technology is integrated into Opera Mediaworks’ core mobile advertising platform, and together the combined companies are implementing AdColony-powered video products across shared portfolio of advertiser and publisher offerings to deliver high definition video experience to consumers.

Video in mobile advertising plays host to enormous opportunities in the space that can help brands and marketers develop engaging conversation with the consumer. Mr Endlaw also added that video should be blended with the content in a non-intrusive manner to derive maximum benefits.

Opera Mediaworks is projecting 20-25 per cent of its revenue coming from mobile video in the coming quarters as half of its video content will be focused on mobile. Further, it views India as a large market for video which will provide a uptick in video during the festive season.

“In India, mobile video is gaining traction from marketers, agency, consumers and largely all stakeholders in the marketing industry,” added Mr Endlaw. The mobile-first and mobile-only phenomenon in India will be the major drivers of growth of mobile video in the country, and the personalised and customised experience of the mobile will further push consumers to adopt the platform, Mr Endlaw summed.

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