As another Mobile World Congress (MWC) kicks-off next week, we wanted to take a guess at what people will be talking about at the show when they’re not testing out the newest mobile devices on display. Here are five non-hardware predictions for MWC:
1. The continued development of AR/VR technology
Every hardware vendor at the show is likely to say something about advances in AR/VR — mostly around hardware upgrades like improved processor speeds and lighter devices. However, more interesting will be the updates to the software, user experiences, and business strategies that will be used in the coming year to entice more people into these new virtual worlds. Expect updates on eye tracking software, in-game advertising, crossovers with traditional media, and more real-life applications for AR/VR.
2. Header bidding alternatives on mobile
We expect to continue to hear more about header bidding — but advertisers and publishers trying to take advantage on mobile will run up against the reality that 90% of mobile activity is still in-app, where header bidding is irrelevant. Mobile marketers hunting for inventory advantages will instead need to focus on private deals and other ways to access premium traffic.
3. Video, video, video
Yes, we know video is everything in mobile right now, but despite that we predict a lot more discussion about its value. Bandwidth and streaming capabilities needed to keep up with the capabilities of new super-high resolution devices that are coming: wireless providers are planning 5G networks to support consumer demand for high-quality video streaming. Advertisers will be looking at more ways to monetize video, especially live content. Expect some announcements between mobile players and traditional media partners, like last year’s Twitter/NFL partnership.
4. Mobile ad blocking continues a slow march forward
While it’s not nearly as prevalent on mobile as it is on desktop, it’s not much of a reach to expect mobile ad blocking rates to steadily increase. But other solutions are available to users as well: our recent consumer survey showed that users are quick to delete apps that give them too many irrelevant ads. The pressure is on advertisers to make sure they’re reaching the right people with their ads to avoid making the situation worse.
5. Is a solution in sight for cross-device targeting?
This is not a new topic, but expect cross-device targeting to still have people talking at MWC. Despite advances, cross-device targeting remains a major problem for marketers, who continue to spread media across more and more channels in hopes of reaching consumers wherever they are. Compounding the issue is consumers’ insatiable appetite for adding new devices to every part of their lives (pockets, wrists, cars and homes). Expect a lot of talk about advancements in beacon technology to help with hyper-targeted advertising.
The Fiksu DSP team will be out in force at MWC. If you’re in Barcelona and want to discuss mobile advertising strategy, give us a shout.