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What’s more likely to be attention-grabbing?

Mr. Isam Bayazidi’s (CEO at ikoo)

The Chief Executive Officer of ikoo tells Kipp Report about media consumption now and how things will be in five years.

January 16, 2013 5:29 by

I’ve never truly grasped the concept behind selling an idea to someone, but then again I’ve never found a very strong urge to. People are becoming more aware that to hundreds (if not thousands) of companies, they’ve become nothing more than a transaction, a potential target or if you want a more comical image; a stick figure with two giant popping eyeballs. We’ve become so used to being sold to that we’ve made peace with the fact that where ever our heads turn, we are being targeted.

On the other end of that spectrum, advertisers and marketers are always on the look out for the latest and best possible way to reach us. Print is dead, some say. No, online is new and thus ineffective, they retaliate. Now when Kipp spoke to Isam Bayazidi, the CEO of ikoo, (an integrated digital marketing solution provider in MENA) he told us that online video is becoming ‘a serious contender for online advertising budgets’. In fact, he also added that in a matter of time, approximately 90 percent of content on the Internet will be consumed through video; so it was only right for us to ask him…

Do you truly believe that 90 percent of content on the Internet will soon be consumed in the form of Video? I only ask because as more and more users engage on social networks, people seem to want their information in quick and little bites.

Video content is going to be king. Recent research conducted by networking company Cisco, predicts that 90% of consumer traffic will be video this year. That’s a global number, but reasonable given the increasing time given to watching video online, and the amount of bandwidth it consumes.

As broadband penetration increases and grows across the region, online video will also develop as a key digital marketing channel. The consumption of online video will be instrumental for the growth of the Middle East’s online contribution within this space.

The challenge with online video is the home grown production of Arabic video content. This is certainly being addressed by the key publishers and production houses in the region who are investing in video content to reach critical mass and support the commercialization of this platform.

So there is a delay here, however, video production is being prioritized and ikoo is certainly supporting the effort of local talent within the region.

What unique aspects does video advertising have?

Video advertising allows you to connect to a wider and more engaged user base.  Video tends to garner more attention than regular online ads, and are more likely to be watched and remembered by online consumers, which contributes to increasing your ROI.  Also, with the technologies available with the digital ecosystem, we are able to track and evaluate consumers’ media consumption habits, which then allows us to generate valuable behavioral data; accurate and measurable data.

Video advertising has the advantage of reaching out to a mass audience, but what have you found about its effectiveness?

As this is a newly launched network, case studies and data about effectiveness is being compiled. A very obvious indication of video advertising’s effectiveness could be the proof of consumers shifting behavior to favoring communication that is more visual in nature; like videos and inforgraphics that have emerged recently as well. Studies have down that consumers are now using multiple devices, simultaneously, and perhaps giving more attention to the Tablet and Mobile. That could result in better effectiveness metric, especially for branding and awareness campaigns.

Do you worry about those that perceive it as more invasive than other forms of advertising?

Several studies suggested otherwise. Because the standards of Video advertising allowed for “Skipping” the Video ad (Something that consumers can’t do on TV), and because video ads are becoming more and more relevant to the consumers habits and interests, the ads are not being seen as irrelevant or invasive as other medias. Some Video sites allows users to “pick” the advertisement they want to see, and when doing so, they could be far more engaged and interested in the ad message.

Would you say that TV ads, compared to digital video ads, are on their way out?

TV is, and will continue to be, the large screen in everyone’s home, that takes a big part of his or her attention and media consumption. What online video has done, especially when combined with TV content that links with it, is increase reach and engagement of users even on TV. When users are able to “Catch up” with the episodes they missed on TV using their iPad, or see additional video content online that increases their interest and engagement, it results in higher and more engaging viewership across all platforms. We see examples in this region of successful execution of TV and digital strategy, and expect that more TV channels and content owners will move to do the same.

What do you predict the patterns of media consumption will be like in 5 years or so (GCC)?

With increasing availability of content online, and the emergence of Smart TVs that allow internet access right of the TV screen, On-Demand Online video is bound to increase. As with traditional media, audiences are likely to spend more of their time with visual/video content than print/text. As well, allowing “video” consumption is now possible while outside home (mobile, tablets, etc.) the amount of video content consumed is set to increase.

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