New technologies, rules and tools have been rolling out in the new year, opening marketers to fresh possibilities when it comes to interacting with audiences. Here are six to keep an eye on:
With addressable TV, brands and advertisers alike can serve different ads to different audiences that are watching the same TV programs. Although addressable TV technology has been around for years in the form of addressable linear TV advertising, utilizing set-top boxes, advertisers have just begun to increase their investment in addressable.
A lot of this newfound attention can be attributed to the emergence of addressable OTT (Over-The-Top) and CTV (Connected TV). These new mediums allow consumers to view their TV programs through streaming devices like Smart TVs, Apple TV, Chromecast and Roku, as well as via streaming services like Hulu, YouTube and CBS All-Access. On the ad campaign side, with addressable TV through OTT and CTV gaining traction on programmatic platforms, there’s an opportunity to incorporate it more into paid media campaigns. Take advantage of it.
Overall, addressable TV allows advertisers to be more precise with their advertising. It gives advertisers the opportunity to provide more relevant content to the end user based on their data points, demographics and interests. We can now garner deeper insights, limit ad exposure, utilize sequential targeting and target cross-platform. Addressable is also cheaper than traditional linear TV advertising with a higher return, all while requiring less time for purchase.
This rising star in animation is built directly into a website or web-based platform. Web-based animation uses libraries to implement animation across a series of components, illustrations and other user touchpoints. These include both 2D and 3D solutions that render through already existing frameworks like WebGL and SVG as well as animation frameworks that manipulate the Document Object Model (DOM).
As web technologies have gotten more complex and consumer needs have become more personalized, animation has become a core part of our day-to-day digital experiences. Users expect a level of polish and finesse, not to mention interaction, that animation helps communicate. The process of adding animation to web-based platforms has, until recently, been cumbersome. But now we have new frameworks like Lottie, SpringJS, Greensock, and so many others that have boosted efficiency while lowering costs by allowing a near-seamless pipeline between animators and developers. Meanwhile, we can see more quality end products when it comes to websites that showcase web-based animation.
In April 2019, Facebook announced plans to move Spark AR, their tool for creating and publishing Instagram Story and Facebook Camera effects, out of a closed beta and into the hands of community creators. These effects let users express themselves in the moment and provide rich and interactive layers to their experiences.
We published our first (and simple to use) effect for attendees of our office block party after the release. Our followers could drop a spiced-up, 3D version of our logo into their environment to share while at the event, adding a little interactive excitement to the occasion.
With a recent update to Spark AR, target tracking technology is available so creators can anchor AR experiences to actual, flat surfaces in the real world. This allows people — and brands — the opportunity to build these experiences into posters, packaging or billboards. Now, brands can bring their previously static ads to life.
5G is the next generation of mobile broadband positioned to replace or augment 4G LTE connections. Why it’s exciting: faster download and upload speeds are possible, as well as decreased latency. For perspective, 5G speeds could reach up to 100 gigabits per second. That’s 100 times faster than before.
It’s groundbreaking for areas where low latency is critical, like remote surgery and navigation overlay. 5G can also come in handy with video surveillance, connected vehicles, virtual and augmented reality, and more.
At the moment, though, a meaningful rollout of 5G this year isn’t likely. A fully integrated 5G network may be more viable in 2021. T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint are all talking about small rollouts (for example, AT&T indicated having a live network in 21 cities as of October 2019). But the rollout details are vague, and the moves aren’t impactful enough to experience major change just yet.
Bottom line: Your 5G smartphone purchase can be put on hold for a bit.
With the initial rollout of Wi-Fi 6 near the end of 2019 comes the updated standard for Wi-Fi. Coming in with higher speeds, Wi-Fi 6 offers 9.6 Gbps, versus the 3.5 Gbps of the previous-generation Wi-Fi 5. Interestingly, these are maximum speeds unlikely to be reached or needed in typical Wi-Fi use, as the general download speed is 72 Mbps.
So, why does it matter? Wi-Fi 6 is more than a speed upgrade. It also offers new technologies to make it easier to have multiple Wi-Fi devices connected to one network. Since a router can communicate with a limited number of devices at the same time, more connected devices means the overall network will slow down more. Wi-Fi 6 allows routers to communicate with more devices simultaneously. It also makes it possible for routers to send data to a number of different devices in the same broadcast, while giving Wi-Fi devices the power to schedule check-ins with the router to save battery life.
What that means: One Wi-Fi 6 laptop connected to a Wi-Fi 6 router is probably only a little bit faster than a Wi-Fi 5 laptop connected to its corresponding router. However, as more Wi-Fi 6 devices get added, their existing speeds should be easier to maintain despite an elevated demand on the corresponding router. This won’t just be beneficial for public venues that can require hundreds or thousands of connected devices (think office buildings and stadiums), but it will also be helpful at home. Today, the average home contains nine Wi-Fi devices, while an average of 50 could be seen in just a few years.
Just two catches: To really enjoy the benefits of Wi-Fi 6, users will need both their device and router to meet this new standard. In addition, internet service provider plans haven’t necessarily caught up to next-gen router technology, and they may not for a few years.
So, sit tight for now. Keep your focus on addressable TV, web-based animation, Spark AR, and user access and control. Our team at Sphere is here to talk through any of these innovations, and more. Contact us today.