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5G – Why video marketing will become even more important

So, what is 5G?

Expected to hit the market in March 2019, the roll out of 5G is going to have a huge impact on video content marketing as it will make downloading, streaming and interacting with live video even easier.

Yes, it’s going to take a bit of time for the masses to catch up as currently 4G masts don’t have the capability for 5G, so the networks will have to build new sites. But the UK’s biggest mobile operators have shown they are committed by spending almost £1.4bn in the race to secure spectrum to launch next-generation 5G services. We expect it will be at least 2020 before it hits mainstream use, possibly longer, which means that urban areas are more likely to see the benefits way before our rural friends.

We already know that YouTube viewers consume billions of hours of video each day and Gen Z are spending longer online on mobile than on all other devices combined. Ofcom data shows that 16 to 34 year-olds watch an average of 2 hours, 37 minutes of non-broadcast content a day across all devices.

We can be pretty sure that viewing time is not going down any time soon. But with the intro of 5G the power of video is going to become even greater.

So what is 5G and what makes it different to 4G?


Mobile companies say that 5G data speeds will be up to 20 times faster than 4G speeds, meaning steaming data-heavy applications will happen in seconds rather than minutes. Yes, it will take time to get the majority of customers switched to 5G but those early adopters will be hungry for new and creative content to exploit the benefits. To give you an idea of what we mean by fast, a 5G connection should enable users to download a whole HD movie in about 10 seconds but eventually it will be possible to reach speeds of up to 100Gb per second.

Low transmission latency

This is the time it takes for a signal to be beamed from a tower and received by a device. Huawei tells us that with 5G latency is reduced to just 1 millisecond. To help put this into perspective for you:

Driverless cars currently using 4G networks when driving at 60mph will travel for more than four feet before they receive a signal telling them of a hazard in front, with 5G they will travel just 2.8cm before it responds to the threat. Whoa. Now that is quick.

Gaming, virtual and augmented reality enthusiasts should notice faster speeds and less delay when controlling their screens, response time to their action will be pretty much instantaneous. Brands and advertisers will have to respond developing even more creative immersive experiences and video offerings.

Longer form content will be included in the type of video content we see viewed on mobile and tablet devices. As mobile device technology continues to evolve, e.g. phones with built-in projectors are already available, this opens up the ability for users to project both live and streamed content anywhere.

Live Social TV & Streaming

Currently, more people watch Twitch than Netflix. Never heard of it? Twitch began as a video game streaming service but it’s since expanded and now offers a variety of different live streams aimed to appeal to a broader audience such as live panel discussions, cooking shows and podcasts. Whether these categories will be as successful as the gaming element, the jury is still out – but it’s one to keep an eye on as 5G hits the market.

With the rise of Facebook Live and IGTV, vertical format is something we should be embracing as more and more people will have access to stream content on the go, the type of content consumed on mobile devices will change. That’s not to say that horizontal formats are on the way out, the 16:9 is going nowhere, but we will need to think differently about how we make our content work and pay equal consideration to all formats.

‘Delivering a successful campaign is not about producing a single piece of content, but the entire universe around it – the 16:9 and its various 1:1 and 9:16 cutdowns, Instagram stories, swipe-ups, gifs. The list goes on. I have learned, and continue to learn, that each individual piece of content is as important to the success of the campaign as that hero spot.’ Jo Lumb, We are Social for The Drum.

When utilising 5G networks, organisations will be able to deliver video in hi-res, VR, AR and 360. Those that develop the most engaging and innovative video experience will capture the largest digital audience.

The mobility enabled by 5G, will allow TV content to beam directly to mobile devices without the need for a fixed internet connection. This will have a big impact on the uptake of VR and 360 content that depends on 5G’s combination of speed, low latency and mobility’. Charlie Mawer, Red Bee for The Drum.

Our conclusion?

5G is going to take a bit of time to reach us but it is coming so it needs to be on your radar. Innovation is going to be key when it comes to the video content you share in 2020 and beyond. Being at the forefront of trends, technologies, new formats, and live social TV will give you the best chance to stand out in a time where we are constantly consuming content.

As important as it is now for brands, ensuring you are keeping up with the prominent and up and coming influencers is going to be even more vital as Live Social TV is going to be accessible on the go which will mean more eyes on your products in real-time. BUT don’t pay over the odds for influencer posts that will get lost amongst the masses, make smart choices with exclusive influencer co-branded campaigns rather than one-off, overpriced posts. Augmented and virtual reality is going to play a huge part in creating innovative & shareable user experiences so start budgeting for those bigger, more tech heavy projects that are going to create some noise.

We’ve hoped we’ve slightly cleared up the question ‘What is 5G?’. Ultimately we’ll all be learning together what’s possible when it hits, but file size worries, download time-lags and buffering will be a thing of the past so the potential for video content advertising is going to be limitless. We can’t wait!

Need help with your video strategy? Get in touch with us here.

Sources: The Drum, WIRED, uSwitch, The Guardian, BBC.