YuMe, Frank N. Magid Associates and Razorfish have released results of a study on how consumers interact and view content/advertising on Connected TVs (CTV). Among the key findings are that consumers are receptive to CTV advertising and that choice and control in advertising are a priority for them.
For example, participants said that they have a low tolerance for interruption and would rather be shown ads that have relevant calls-to-action, rather than something completely unrelated to the content being viewed. Participants also said that their attention is drawn to on-screen animation but want ad interactions to be kept simple and easily accessible. Additionally, utilizing video advertising works best because CTV should be a lean-back experience.
Comcast has acquired video ad manager FreeWheel for $375 million cash, validating reports that have been circulating since the weekend, but at a higher valuation than rumored. The deal is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in a couple of weeks. FreeWheel will become an independent operating subsidiary within Comcast, comparable to how thePlatform and STRATA, two prior Comcast acquisitions, function. FreeWheel's 3 co-founders, Doug Knopper, Jon Heller and Diane Yu have signed multi-year employment agreements.
Innovid announced today that it has been chosen as the preferred video ad partner for Atlas, the ad serving and measurement platform which Facebook acquired from Microsoft last year. As a result of the deal, Innovid will be integrated with Atlas so that clients can run addressable and interactive video ad campaigns across screens via one unified console. Analytics for the Innovid video ads will also be provided within Atlas and billing is integrated.
FreeWheel has released its Q4 '13 video monetization report, revealing among things, that ads viewed in live streaming jumped 148% vs. Q4 '12, and now account for nearly 10% of ads viewed in online video streams served by pay-TV operators and TV networks. Related, ad views in authenticated, TV Everywhere content rose 268% vs. Q4 '12. Overall, ad views were up 30% year-over-year. Brian Dutt, who manages Advisory Services at FreeWheel and oversaw the report, shared more detail behind these and other data being released.
SpotXchange landed at the top of comScore's January, 2014 U.S. rankings with nearly 3.5 billion video ads viewed, up from 2.9 billion in December, 2013. I spoke to SpotXchange's CEO Mike Shehan to learn more about what was behind the rise and get his overall take on the video advertising landscape and programmatic. Mike patiently shared an extremely detailed window into this quite complicated market. An edited transcript follows.
Please save the date for the 4th annual VideoNuze Online Video Advertising Summit on Wed., June 25th in NYC.
The Ad Summit will once again be the premier learning and networking event for video industry executives. Last year's Ad Summit drew 300+ attendees and 40+ speakers for a full day of thought-leader keynotes, panel discussions, fireside chat interviews, presentations and technology demonstrations.
This year's Ad Summit will be held during CE Week NYC, a sister event to the Consumer Electronics Show. VideoNuze is collaborating with the Media and Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA), which hosts CE Week NYC, on co-promotional initiatives that will drive an even bigger and more engaged audience at this year's Ad Summit.
The Ad Summit provides a deep dive into the hottest video industry topics such as programmatic, RTB, multi-platform, audience measurement, online originals, content marketing, branded entertainment and lots more. Attendees can expect to take away actionable insights and develop new relationships.
For decision-makers at agencies, brands, content providers, technology companies and others in the video ecosystem, the Ad Summit is a must-attend event.
The 2014 event web site is coming soon. In the meantime see LAST YEAR'S event web site for more background.
If you'd like to learn more about speaking and sponsorship opportunities, please contact me.
I'm pleased to present the 215th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. In today's podcast, we welcome as our guest Mark Trefgarne, CEO and co-founder of LiveRail, a leading provider of programmatic video advertising solutions for content providers.
In the podcast, Mark explains what LiveRail does, defines what "programmatic" means to the company, how humans will always be involved in the buy/sell, offers a timeline for how programmatic will take more share of video advertising and articulates the benefits of programmatic to content providers. Mark also delves into the impact of multi-platform, mobile and TV Everywhere delivery plus key challenges ahead and more.
Apologies in advance, Colin's and Mark's audio levels are a little low. Update - audio levels are fixed)
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (25 minutes, 22 seconds)
For a glimpse into cloud computing's significant contribution to the successful scaling of online video advertising, yesterday BrightRoll shared some details of its relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS) which it has been working with since 2008. According to BrightRoll, AWS now processes 30 billion data points per day in order to deliver 3 billion video ads per month. BrightRoll said in 2013 it delivered over 23 petabytes of content, which will double in 2014. In a related case study, Kenneth Cheung, BrightRoll's senior director of engineering said that "If AWS didn't exist, BrightRoll would be a different company."
Extreme Reach has closed its $485 million acquisition of DG's TV ad business, approximately 6 months after announcing the deal. Extreme Reach's CEO and co-founder John Roland told me this morning that all DG customers are being transferred to Extreme Reach's cloud-based delivery platform. The combined company will have $270 million in revenues and 750+ employees.
As John explained, while the short-term tactical benefit of the deal is to gain significant scale in the core business of delivering TV ads to over 7K different broadcast TV stations in North America, the longer-term, more strategic play is to better position Extreme Reach for the fast-approaching era of multi-screen advertising.
I'm pleased to present the 213th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. Today we focus on Amazon, which is already an important player in video, and is poised to become more so. Among the topics we discuss:
- plans to increase the price of its Prime service (and the role of expensive video licensing in driving this)
- the possibility video could be split off from Prime and become a more pure competitor to Netflix and others
- the many roles that video advertising could play as part of a new deal with FreeWheel
- why an Amazon connected TV device (widely rumored) would be highly strategic
- whether Amazon will enter the pay-TV business (as has also been widely rumored)
- the role of Amazon's original online productions
All in all, Amazon is circling the video space in many different ways, with potential to be quite disruptive. It's still very early in the game for Amazon and 2014 could be a big year. We'll see how it plays out.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 32 seconds)
Yesterday, FreeWheel quietly announced that it's powering video ads for Amazon. Though the announcement was light on details, anytime Amazon moves into a new space, as it's doing with video ads, it's noteworthy. I spoke to Doug Knopper, co-CEO of FreeWheel, who noted this is the company's first customer that isn't a pure media company, underscoring for him how ubiquitous video and video advertising are becoming.
Though under tight constraints from Amazon about what he could say, Doug emphasized that, as with all Amazon initiatives, the focus is on creating a better customer experience. In FreeWheel's release, Lisa Utzschneider, Amazon's VP of Global Ad Sales positioned video ads as a discovery vehicle, helping customers learn about related products.
European video ad tech provider Videoplaza announced this morning that it has launched Aunia, a private, invite-only video ad marketplace for Spain's largest broadcasters. Videoplaza Founder and CEO Sorosh Tavakoli told me yesterday that Spain's challenging economic environment and the broadcasters' desire to tap into programmatic revenue motivated the initiative.
Specific Media jumped into the programmatic video advertising fray today, with a new offering called "Programmatic from Specific Media" that includes real-time bidding. According to Bill Schild, SVP, Global Marketing for Specific, one of the key differentiators is viewability ratings on all inventory, powered by Vindico's Adtricity technology (Vindico is a sister company to Specific, with both owned by Interactive Media Holdings).
Jivox, a multi-screen interactive ad technology provider, has raised a $5.8 million Series C financing. The round was led by Fortisure Ventures, with participation by Shah Capital and existing investors Opus Capital and Helion Advisors. Jivox intends to use the financing to grow its sales and marketing plus further build out its Jivox IQ video ad creation/management platform.
Back in February, 2006, I wrote a newsletter titled, "The $10 Million Super Bowl Ad?" In it, I suggested that sometime in the future, a Super Bowl ad could cost $10 million, up from the $2.5 million they were then selling for. My rationale was that subsequent online video viewing opportunities would drive not just exposure, but also new creative opportunities to engage the audience, translating to more advertiser value.
As it has turned out, the value of Super Bowl ads has indeed continued to march higher, with this year's spots going for $4 million. And no question, the subsequent online video views that Super Bowl ads receive reduce the net CPM that advertisers are in effect paying. But what I didn't anticipate were 3 key trends that have made Super Bowl ads even more valuable - and will continue to do so: the accelerating fragmentation of TV audiences, an emerging pre-game release/teaser strategy for the ads and the escalating media coverage Super Bowl ads themselves now receive.
Topics: Super Bowl
Beachfront Media announced earlier today that its Beachfront.iO video ad platform has been extended to deliver ads to connected TVs/devices including LG, Samsung, Google and Roku. This means that video content/app providers can tap into ads from multiple sources and manage them across smartphones, tablets, desktop and now connected TVs within one dashboard.
Primarily the extension allows content/app providers to maximize their revenues, improve targeting and achieve better time to market. Frank provided more details in a short video interview today at NATPE, see below.
In another sign of how significant programmatic is becoming to video advertising, SpotXchange announced this morning that 46% of its revenue came from programmatic in 2013. In December alone, it was up to 57%, 4x as much as a year earlier, in December, 2012. Programmatic powered a 74% increase in Q4 '13 revenue vs. Q4 '12.
LiveRail, whose programmatic video ad platform powers monetization for numerous premium content providers, announced this morning that it has appointed former NBCU ad executive Peter Naylor to its board of directors. Peter had headed up digital media sales at NBCU, where he helped lead the company's programmatic initiatives. Peter is a well-known digital media executive, serving as chairman of the IAB board and treasurer of the OPA.
Last week at Adap.tv's Worldwide Publisher Conference, Curt Hecht, The Weather Company's Global Chief Revenue Officer shared an eye-opening data point: 1/3 of the company's online ad revenue now comes from programmatic, though it only started selling ads this way around 18 months ago. And contrary to lingering concerns that programmatic reduces the value of inventory, Curt also said
ads sold programmatically actually generate some of the company's best pricing, and that overall CPMs are up since programmatic was introduced.
Programmatic is one of the biggest trends in advertising today, allowing ads to be bought and sold via marketplaces using data and specific audience targeting criteria. Real-time bidding is also a feature of programmatic, though not always. Programmatic also reduces some of the back-end friction associated with the exchange of RFPs and IOs.
I'm pleased to present the 210th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
2014 is shaping up to be another very busy year for all things video. In this week's podcast, Colin and I share our top trends to look for in 2014 and why. And in the spirit of accountability, we also review our 2013 predictions from a year ago - what we got right and what we got wrong.
Listen in to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 26 seconds - sorry, for running long, lots of content this week.)