February 19, 2014

Are Rich Media Ads the Future of Online Advertising?

Online advertising has been a challenge for some companies recently. While Google long ago found the path to riches by tying advertising to searches, other companies like Facebook (NewsAlert) have struggled to duplicate that success. The most notable case occurred when General Motors announced it was pulling its paid advertising campaigns from the social media site back in 2012 for being ineffective.

A Pagelever report from a year ago found that less than one percent of Facebook users engage with branded content. In this report, ‘engaging’ meant to like, comment or share a post. Viewing the post by itself was not sufficient, nor was it measurable. The main reason for the low numbers was that the content had little or no relevance to the audience.

The key to solving the engagement problem may lie with rich media ads. According to Snap Media, its Rich Media 5 (RM5) platform has shown engagement levels up to 10 times greater than static ads. The research it conducted found compelling results: 68 percent of surveyed users preferred the more interactive rich media ads to static ads.

Snap Media is the mobile advertising division of Pixel Media HK Limited, a Hong Kong-based advertising network that serves the Asian market. RM5 ads are developed in HTML5, which supports audio and video much better than previous versions, allowing designers to dispense with Flash and other plug-in video formats.

Gartner (News Alert) predicts that the market for mobile advertising will reach $18 billion this year and to $41.9 billion in 2017, with video showing the highest growth. The report also predicts that the supply for advertising space will grow more rapidly than the demand, so this growth will slow down, but the opportunity should be strong for the next two to three years.

Given that and the findings of Snap Media’s research, it’s hard to argue against rich media advertising playing a large role in the mobile market. Any site that relies on static ads viewed from browsers on a PC and doesn’t change its business model to market to more mobile users may be left out in the cold. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker


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