What does 5G mean for video advertising?


5G has load times 20 times faster than its predecessor, making this the first G designed for things rather than people

It takes connectivity to a whole new level. From wearable tech to AR and VR, the impact on how we tell stories and interact with technology is set to be huge. The big question is how will this play out? What opportunities and challenges does 5G present and how can the digital advertising industry best harness it? We spoke to IAB UK’s Video Steering Group and Mobile Steering Group to find out.

How do you think 5G will impact the video advertising industry?

Sophy Part, connections planning business director, OMD UK: With the enhanced internet speed, streaming video is set to be astronomically faster than 4G networks, creating more opportunities to encourage viewers to stop scrolling and watch wonderfully creative high-resolution ads. The potential for better user experiences will hopefully result in a higher quality of ads with less people clicking away.

Martin Salo, chief product officer and co-founder, Realeyes: Allied with the rapid rise of AI-powered IoT devices, 5G will power a new era in personalised advertising, giving marketers the processing power to find out more about their audiences in real-time than ever before, including their emotional states and attention levels.

Video ads will even be able to change their storylines in mid-flow in response to a viewer’s responses, making it more customised to consumers’ individual preferences and needs, which in turn will push up engagement rates.

Ruth Manielevitch, VP global business development, Taptica: The arrival of 5G – which is set to be the fastest mobile network ever – is going to open up huge opportunities for mobile advertising. In particular, this will have a huge effect on video advertising on mobile.  shows that video is now a driving force behind digital ad spend, accounting for 44% of the total display market at £2.31bn. As internet speeds increase, we can expect loading and buffering times to reduce, meaning consumers will be faced with higher quality content and will spend more time on video overall.

What opportunities do you think 5G opens up that weren’t previously possible?

Sophy Part: The reduced lag times will create more opportunity for innovative advertising as ads will require much less battery power and data to load. Wireless broadband will open up connectivity with hard to reach rural audiences – hopefully improving reach for digital video campaigns!

Martin Salo: With 5G 20 times faster than 4G, we’re going to see higher resolution videos and a significant decrease in ad loading times, making consumers’ interactions with advertising a lot more enjoyable.

Ruth Manielevitch: We’ll certainly be able to play around more freely with advanced technology and become more creative when it comes to campaigns. Augmented reality games on mobile are hugely popular and there might even be the opportunity for advertisers to expand in this area as well. Through 5G, we’ll be far closer to delivering advertising that is more experiential and interactive, allowing us to engage with consumers more effectively.

What are you most excited about with regards to 5G?

Sophy Part: Video wise, I’d love to see improvements in view through rates. With higher speeds and reduced page load times, streaming video could be almost as quick as a human reflex. This opens up so much opportunity to capture more audiences, as ads will not only appear before users are tempted to click away, but the super charged connectivity will also enable much more sophisticated creative executions to be delivered instantaneously.

Martin Salo: These faster processing speeds will fuel the wider adoption of Extended Reality (XR), giving marketers the chance to experiment more with Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality to create more immersive ad experiences for consumers.

Ruth Manielevitch: Faster and more sophisticated network speeds will inevitably mean that more devices will be able to connect to the 5G network and remain connected for longer. This means that there will be an even larger pool of data, which will be a game changer for personalisation. This will allow brands and advertisers to make location-based targeting more advanced and accurate for consumers. These are some exciting times ahead and we cannot wait to see what other opportunities arise from 5G technology.


This article was originally published by The Drum on 20 September 2019.

Written by



Rediscover the joy of digital advertising

Champion connections instead of clicks. Capture audiences' imaginations, not just their attention. Boldly move to your own beat instead of letting tech set the pace. It’s time to rediscover the joy of digital.