“Although we are prone to believe that global trends are far away, the Internet and the Millennials have brought a completely different media consumption to Serbian market. We are no longer allowed to think locally. However, the Serbian market has some specific traits that we shall touch on in this report. On the next pages, you will have a chance to read about the most important global media trends, but also see the review of the position of such trends on the Serbian market. We will see what is the exact meaning of the “Age of TV Everywhere”, analyse whether the OTT TV has killed broadcast television, what is the position of Serbia as regards vertical video and “bite sized” advertising, who owns the best chatbots on the market, how Serbia became one of the leading countries as per number of blockchain developers, how marketing through audio recording on “smart speakers” is coming to us, which the new “must” things are for mobile marketing and/or the influencers “- said Ljubica Vukčević, Insight Manager Direct Media United Solutions.
1. Age of TV Everywhere
OTT TV is not cannibalizing broadcast TV – it is complementing it
Even though live TV viewing has dropped during the last decade (from 10.5 hours in 2010 to 4.1 in 2018, in the USA), TV is still the medium that takes most of our time (43% of all media consumption), according to Nielsen. This means that TV still has the greatest reach and commands most of the time.
Over-the-top television is new age broadcasting. TV via live streaming, BBC iPlayer, Netflix, multi-platform video, smartphones & consoles has ushered in the Age of TV Everywhere and burgeoning content. What is it that Amazon Prime, Hulu TV, Sling TV, HBO Now and Netflix offer that has shaken up broadcasting? On demand access, video-on-demand, stand-alone streaming, multiple screens viewing, flexible subscriptions, slimmed down television bundles/skinny bundles, original content, audience interaction and cost-effective packs are among a few things on the platter. Therefore, broadcasting has moved beyond linear television, expensive cable bundles and inflexible programming.
Streaming and OTT television are “positive for TV advertising” with streamlined and targeted advertisements. Big Data and Audience Analytics are new trends in the broadcast and TV industry and they are taking TV advertisement to the next level. Subscriber information and data pulled from multiple sources, including social TV, networked engagements, audience measurement tools and the like are shaping television advertising.
This goes to show that, while the streaming giants like Netflix continue to spread globally, online TV is not cannibalizing broadcast – it is complementing it.
Future of TV is about personalized technology, on-demand viewer experience, individuated content distribution, binge-watching, small television shows and independent cinema, innovative television formats, more localized and vernacular content, ad-free models to targeted ads and the fact that everyone is connected to a smart TV.
So, What is Happening in Serbia?
In Serbia, broadcasting TV is still an absolute king. Average daily TV viewing in 2018 amounted to 5.3 hours. From the beginning of 2017, Nielsen has been monitoring time shift viewing in Serbia and the current share of TSV is about 2.5%, even though 25% of total TV packages offers this option.
There is a trend of considering reception type digital – total digital reception is almost 85% (30% more than in 2015!).
In Serbia, TV content is still watched on TV set mainly – only 10% of TV viewers watch TV program on a computer, 3% on tablet and 9% on smartphone.
Since January 2016, Netflix is available in Serbia, but their market share is still very low – according to Nielsen and TGI Serbia, Netflix penetration approximates 1%.
Considering OTT TV, IPTV penetration in Serbia is still around 18%. This October, the SBB established EON platform – this platform allows high quality TV broadcasting, video-on-demand, multiple screen viewing, voice search etc. Since smart TV penetration is still low (16%) compared to 29% globally, EON makes every TV smart, by using their platform. This platform allows you to watch content on TV through EON Smart Box, on tablet and smartphone, PC or streaming devices (such as NVIDIA SHIELD, Chromecast and AirPlay).
2. Video is going to Be Everywhere – Vertical Video and Bite-Sized Videos in Micro Moments
By the end of 2019, video will account for an astounding 80 percent of all the Internet traffic.
In the mobile-first world, vertical video rules the day and we only expect it to keep growing. Today, 94 percent of people hold their phones upright when capturing content on the smartphones. Billions of Snapchat and Instagram stories are created worldwide every year, nearly all shot vertically.
Live video is taking off, as well: according to the Facebook, live videos have six-times the engagement as non-live videos. We are already seeing more live vertical videos on mobile-first platforms, such as the Snapchat and Instagram.
It is not enough anymore for brands to create good content. To stand out in a sea of millions of stories, the brands also need to tell stories in shorter increments, with bite-sized videos. As Gary Vaynerchuk puts it, brands today have to “storytell in micro-moments, because it is apparent that we are living in an AD culture, where everybody is short on the only commodity that matters in this life— time.” Our time is even more fragmented online. Instead of spending many hours online, surfing the web and social media, people explore the digital world in short bursts, from mobile devices. Those micro-moments — moments when people go online looking for recommendations for what to do, where to go, what to buy – are exactly the opportunity to connect through storytelling.
What about Serbian Market?
According to the RATEL, 46% of the Internet users consume video content at least once a day. Nevertheless, when it comes to the vertical video, Serbia is still unprepared for such trend. Since most advertisers in Serbia do not make custom videos for digital but just use TVS on digital, vertical video is something still far away. This is even less believable if you bear in mind that video format accounted for the biggest growth in 2017 – 44percentage.
3. Snack Ads
All this brings us to “Snack Ads” – short videos of less than 10 seconds.
As a result of an abundance of video content, people are developing much shorter attention spans, so it is difficult for brands to produce videos that keep the consumers attention.
That is where “Snack Ads” come into play. As you can see in the graph above, 89% of audience engages during ads for shorter than 10 seconds. By the time the video is shown for 60 seconds, almost half of the audience loses interest.
Expect to see shorter ads being used more by brands in the near future, to try keeping their audience engaged. YouTube is the best example of a company using snack ads, and Fox is a following suit, declaring they will begin implementing this format on their streaming services and linear programs.
Snack Ads in Serbia?
“Snack Ads” are used on digital (YouTube Bumpers) and TV (Bumpers & TVS). 6- second bumpers on YouTube made about 8% of total digital budget (Direct Media Clients), on the average. Considering Snack Ads on TV, they accounted for only 3% of total TV advertising (example from October 2018), while most TV ads in Serbia (35%) are between 30 sec and 1 minute long.
4. Visual Search
Visual Search is a new type of search engine and can take the user experience to an entirely new level. Visual Search allows users to upload an image for performing a search and get more specific results.
Not surprisingly, Pinterest jumped on the visual search bandwagon – they raised $150 million in venture finance at a $12.3 billion rating to focus their efforts on the visual search. They came out with Lens, a new visual search tool that allows users to take a photo of an item to find out where to buy it online, search for similar products or display pin boards of related items.
Google Lens is an app that allows your smartphone to work as a visual search engine. Announced at the Google’s 2017 I/O conference, the app works by analysing the pictures that you take and giving you the information about the image. For instance, when you take a photo of an Abbey Road album, your phone can tell you more about the Beatles and when the album came out. If you take a photo of an ice-cream shop, your telephone can tell you the name of the shop, deliver reviews and tell you if your friends have been there.
Microsoft also has its own version, called Bing Visual Search that allow users to easily search for a particular element within an image. This visual search tool will not only find matching images, but also display product pages for the relevant item.
Do We Use Visual Search in Serbia?
5. Chatbots on the Rise
Chatbots are on the rise, taking over the customer service with many brands. By 2020, 85% of customer interactions are predicted to be dealt with by chatbots.
Not only are the bots an effective way of mass communication, they also allow for a 24/7 two-way communication channel between your audience and the firm. On top of boosting customer satisfaction, this will also boost your response rate on Facebook — improving SEO and the likelihood of your brand being recommended.
Some are hesitant of integrating chatbots into their customer service, out of fear of poor user experience. However, fear not, a recent survey revealed that 70% of consumers reported a positive experience and a further 9% were mutual about the experience.
On top of the aforementioned benefits, Facebook Messenger has reported a Click Through Rate (CTR) of 80%. This has huge market potential.
Chatbots are not a new thing but, with better technology and integration, they could become more commonplace in the years ahead. The Chatbots could even overtake apps when it comes to making an online purchase, because they allow you to do so without downloading an app.
So what is Happening with Chatbots in Serbia?
Maybe Chatbots are not at such a huge rise in Serbia as globally, but they are coming. We have a few examples of Chatbot usage here in Serbia, but probably the best ones are the Raiffeisen Bank Chatbot – REA (Raiffeisen Electronic Assistant) and Tuborg Chatbot, that Tuborg launched first in Serbia and then globally.
Raiffeisen Bank clients can send a written (contextual) message to REA through the most common channels of communication -Facebook, Messenger or Viber, and ask any question regarding the services and products of the Bank.
Tuborg has created a Chatbot that invites users into the lives of celebrities and influencers as part of a new global campaign. This Chatbot allows individuals to meet Serbian capital from the perspective of Zoran Kesić, Mimi Mercedez and Kristijan Molnar.
Blockchain is present in almost every industry now, but has an especially promising future in marketing.
With consumers exposed to so much content these days, it is difficult to keep them engaged in advertisements and make them interact with posts. Marketers are beginning to use blockchain to incentivize consumers to sit through advertisements, and engage — whether it be by leaving feedback, commenting or tagging friends.
Currently, digital advertising is built on a model where a central agent, in the form of trusted media sites (like Facebook and Google), facilitates the buying and selling process advertising. Blockchain has the ability to disrupt this model by allowing advertisers to directly buy and sell to the user. For instance, the browser application Brave uses it’s “Basic Attention Token” (BAT) to allow advertisers to pay people directly for viewing their ad. The paid amount is calculated by monitoring the viewer’s “mental effort,” creating smarter advertising spend for brands and a better experience for their customers.
Blockchain allows people to buy and sell their own personal information, yielding greater autonomy for information. The benefits of blockchain, however, are not exclusive to the customer. For marketers, the amount of leads could be lower, but the quality of leads will be undoubtedly higher.
What about Serbian Market?
Serbian Blockchain Initiative was established and registered in the first half of 2018.
The aim of the initiative was to develop an ecosystem and support, regulate the Blockchain on the market and connect corporations, developers, policy makers and enthusiasts.
Research of the Blockchain industry in Serbia has shown that Serbia currently has about 130 blockchain developers. It puts Serbia at the very top of Blockchain destinations in the world.
7. Social Media Influencers – Micro Influencers and ROI
Social Media Influencers are gaining on influence, and many of them have more followers than small nations. On the other hand, nevertheless, the trend of micro influencers in on rise.
People with a good reputation in highly relevant and niche markets are called micro influencers. They usually have a followership of less than 10,000. Still, they carry significant influence over a small market. Since these are experts in their respective fields, their voice matters to the audience they cater to. Companies can appeal directly to small segments and trigger purchase decisions with the help of micro-influencers. By combining the strength of 20-30 micro influencers, companies can create a successful influencer marketing campaign without spending too many dollars.
On the other hand, the more brands start to invest in influencer marketing the higher demand to track the success of their campaigns. There is a number of available tools on the market to help you not only track ROI from influencer marketing, but also identify who the right influencers are to approach for the brand. In 2019, the UTM parameters for tracing influencer marketing ROI will be of key significance. This involves tagging any inbound links to your website that you give to influencers as CTAs. Expressing the source, medium and name will help you track (in Google Analytics) from which specific campaign came the traffic to your site.
Influencers in Serbia?
Although digital campaigns in Serbia are moving towards the performance campaigns much more than to the awareness ones, social media influencers are mostly used within the awareness campaigns (opposite to global trend) and the most advertisers only measure the number of impressions. Because Serbian market is still small and prices quite low, this allows us to use top influencers for a reasonable price. In Serbia, there are two types of influencers: Instagram and YouTube influencers. On Instagram, the most popular influencers are girls with fashion and make-up-related content – Zorannah (905 000 followers), Marija Žeželj (649 000 followers), Jana Dačović (619 000 followers), Lea Stanković (388 000 followers) etc. On Youtube, on the other hand, the most popular channels involve gaming and funny sketches and pranks – Muđa (1.3 million subscribers), Baka Prase (916 000 subscribers), Stuberi (720 000 subsrcibers), Đota (611 000 subsrcibers), Yasserstain (575 000 subsrcibers) etc.
8. Mobile Marketing
- More than 1.2 billion people worldwide use mobile telephone
- On the average, users spend 2.8 hours on mobile telephones daily, compared to 2.4 hours spent on the desktop
- By 2019, 79% of US advertising spend will be on mobile advertising whereas in Serbia 2017, 44% of all digital advertising was on mobile telephone, with 98% growth
- 80% of social media time is spent on mobile telephone
- 89% of mobile telephone usage is spent on apps
With so many people using mobile telephone and having access to the Internet almost anywhere they go, the importance of mobile marketing is evident. But what are the most important things in mobile marketing to look at?
Progressive Web Apps will Reign
Progressive web apps are an up-and-coming technology that responds quickly to user interactions, with smooth animation and working for every user, regardless of the selection of a browser. We anticipate that by 2020, the progressive web apps will replace 50 percent of general-purpose apps for mobile telephones.
Mobile-First Indexing is a Must
Late in 2016, Google announced that it would no longer index websites based on their desktop sites but based on mobile sites. This meant that a mobile presence needs to reflect excellent content, pages must load quickly, buttons need to work on touch screens, while photos and text must appear where they should be. Google statements share that more than 50 percent of search inquiries around the globe come from mobile devices. The site must perform well in order to rank highly.
Mobile Speed Matters
According to DoubleClick research, when a page takes more than three seconds to load the bounce rate escalates to 53 percent.
Mobile Marketing in Serbia?
According to TGI Serbia, 63.7% of people between 15 and 69 years of age have smartphones. In their latest research, RATEL Serbia reported that 83% of the Internet users access the Internet using a smartphone. Moreover, the Gemius shows that weekly reach on mobile telephone is only 5% less than on a desktop (75% compared to 80%).
Even though mobile advertising accounted for a 98% growth in 2017, the investment in mobile advertising (which accounts for approximately 30% of overall digital advertising investment) still does not keep up with the mobile phone usage (64% of all open pages online are on mobile phones).
9. Smart Speaker Marketing & Voice
It all started with a Siri, and now the voice will play a greater role. It is easier to give intelligent devices a voice command to perform searches or trigger an action, such as starting a music player or buying a product.
In 2018, Smart Speaker Marketing was a lackluster, to say the least. Currently, most smart speaker platforms severely limit the kind of ads that can be placed on their products. Take Amazon Alexa for example – the ads are not allowed unless inside a podcast, music or a Flash Briefing Skill. However, brands are allowed to make Skills that promote their product or service. Google Home has given the ads a different direction. Last year, they briefly integrated an ad for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast remake into all Google Home daily schedules. After reading off commute and calendar info, they ran an ad for the movie on the day it was first shown in theatres. Like Alexa, developers can put ads in certain Google Home apps and make their own branded apps.
This is by far the most popular way to advertise on smart speakers. In short, create a branded Alexa Skill or Google Home app that is related to your brand or industry and provide a useful service.
Great example is a tequila brand, Patròn, who created a Skill called Ask Patròn. Using this skill, you can tell Alexa to “ask Patròn for a cocktail recipe.” Then, you will be presented a list of cocktails, many of which incorporate Patròn tequila.
It goes without saying that smart speakers will only become more popular over the coming years. At the same time, the smart speaker manufacturers and app developers will need to find ways to monetize them. Bearing this in mind, we expect Amazon, Google, Apple and other smart speaker manufacturers to launch their own audio ad services in the near future. These may allow businesses to buy ads that appear in third-party apps, audio content and more. Think of it as Google Adwords for smart speakers.
Advertising through Smart Speakers in Serbia?
Still too far.
We have some trends that are typical for Serbian market.
SOCIAL MEDIA IS RISING IN SERBIA, AS OPOSED TO GLOBAL TREND
Globally, social media records a serious downfall in active users – in August 2018, Snap, the maker of the Snapchat app, claimed to have lost 3 million daily active users in the second quarter compared to the year beginning. It was the first time since the Company went public in early 2017 that they reported a user decline. Snap’s report was followed by similar trends of Facebook and Twitter. In July 2018, Facebook revealed that their number of users in the United States was flat as earlier that year and that their user count in Europe fell down over the same period, even though their total number of members increased. Twitter, which struggled for years to increase interest in their platform, also said, in late July, that its monthly active users had decreased by 1 million from earlier this year.
In Serbia, nevertheless, social media are on their peak – there are almost 3.3 million active users on Facebook out of 4.2 million Internet users in Serbia (according to Gemius)! In 2018 in Serbia, the Instagram accounted for 36% growth, mostly in male population and reached around 2 million active users. YouTube has 3.5 million users, which is almost half of the total population.
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