Year of the Mobile for Savvy Advertisers

Richard Hicks, ITV’s Head of Mobile explores the importance of mobile in today’s marketplace and the industry’s failure to match this with consumer needs.


2012 was another “year of the mobile”, but for whom? Ultimately, the  content providers giving affordable access to quality content and second-screen functions through vast technology.

Surprisingly, brands are yet to catch up with consumer needs, with 40% of publishers not having an optimised mobile experience. Smartphone penetration was up to 60% in the UK last year and recently out-performed PC and laptop shipments. This once small medium is soon to take over all other platforms for unique reach!

Mobile is used and integrated in everyday lives but in business equates to a very complicated ecosystem. What can mobile do for the consumer and how can you  integrate this into your business plan is vital. Execute incorrectly at your own peril.

At ITV we look at how the mobile and tablet experience can be accessed and viewed seamlessly. Today’s consumer now expects content to be available when-and-where they want it, on their at device.

ITV headliners:

  • ITV Mobile Player App – Launched just over a year ago with 6million+ downloads and already accounts for 27%+ of all ITV VoD views. That’s 2million+ unique customers viewing 2 videos more than 30minute+ dwell time a week!

  • Shazam – A superb partnership for consumers to pull extra content from the TV screen. Taking advantage of the second-screen behavior, users can “tag” brand offers, messaging and content.

  • Dual Screen “play” apps – Following the ThinkBox, IAB, ITV research over the last 3 years it was something we tested early and can safely say ITV are now the UK’s  leading dual-screen broadcaster. Great success stories for Fifa Worlds Cup, Britain’s Got Talent, Dancing On Ice and X Factor programme related apps. Our active dual screen audience has seen steady growth from 8% up to 35% peak.

  • Mobile Web – ITV’s first optimized site went out this year for News and Sport with a successful launch March 2012. Receiving sticky monthly unique browsers of 4.2m Million and mobile organically accounting for 35%!

  • Ad Formats – ITV are ever innovating and key to driving user engagement to the point where our consumers and your potential customers appreciate advertising as premium content itself. All formats are optimized to all screens from the same ad-server giving more control and make campaigns work much harder for brands. Rich media and new VoD formats are all on the way for 2013 across all mobile products mainly focusing around iOS and Android with 90% ITV consumer iOS based at the moment. AdSync will be available along with various levels of high impact sponsorship.


The speed of usage for smartphones and tablets has naturally lead the market to fully integrate all platforms into 1 goal and joint strategy. Platforms ITV are across right now are TV’s, CTV’s, PS3, PC, iOS, Android and soon to be more.

Things to consider for a successful mobile strategy:

  • EVERY strategy should have a mobile strategy.

  • 6million+ iPad units sold in the UK with the recent launch of iPadMini still yet to be included.

  • What is the audience and behavior on this device?

  • Discovery of your content, wherever they want to access it.

  • How best to engage with this audience through advertising ie Shazam, Apps etc.

  • Choose a creative that fits behavior i.e. “Swipe” not “Click” and compatible - knowledgeof all operating systems and app stores is key!

  • What data you want to get back and how this is achieved.

  • Using the phone functionalities enhances the user experience and drives engagement – Location Based GPS, Share, Calendar, save a date/reminder.


The capabilities of mobile are vast and have serious rewards for the savvy advertiser. Just remember, mobile performance across the market is at an optimum right now. Average click-through, swipe-through and engagement rates can be 600% higher than PC for most formats.

People trust brand messaging around premium content but even more so on their personal mobile and tablet devices - their “precious”. Are you making the most of mobile?

To find out more, contact Richard.hicks@itv.com 0207 156 6806

Illustration by Dale Edwin Murray at YCN Talent Agency
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