Each week brings more innovation, product announcements and new business models to the ever-changing video industry. This week was certainly no different, and news from 3 companies - Google (a deal with CBS for its Unplugged skinny bundle), VUDU (a new ad-supported on-demand movie offering) and LeEco (a range of new products from the Chinese giant, including TVs and content) - caught my attention. Each has the potential to cause further industry disruption, or amount to nothing. Below I share thoughts on each.
In an interview this morning at the Paley Center, Turner Chairman and CEO John Martin hit on several key themes he believes will be critical to the company’s future success. Specifically, Martin cited business flexibility, the power of data, the shift to audience-based ad sales and mobile. Following are some of the details of the interview, which was conducted by the Guardian’s Matthew Garrahan.
It’s no secret that Google, Facebook, Amazon, IBM and Microsoft have begun using AI for commercial purposes, and now, numerous marketing and advertising agencies have begun to follow suit. Indeed, AI has begun to permeate the marketing and advertising industry because of its capacity to process, analyze and optimize big data in ways heretofore impossible.
As a result, we are seeing a revolution in digital advertising, including in the video sector, and in particular, programmatic advertising; and it’s a revolution that’s only just begun. In fact, industry experts believe that what we see today is just the tip of the iceberg of what we will see four years from now when AI will have an even more profound impact on marketing and advertising.
I’m excited to share that Dan Lovinger, EVP, Entertainment Advertising Sales Group at NBCUniversal and Amanda Richman, President, Starcom USA, will be our keynote speakers at our SHIFT // 2016 Programmatic Video & TV Ad Summit on Wednesday, November 30th in NYC.
Dan will be interviewed by Mike Shields, senior editor at the Wall Street Journal, about how NBCU is innovating with programmatic. With its NBCUx private exchange initiative, NBCU has been one of the most forward-thinking TV network groups. Most recently NBCUx was extended for linear TV, enabling buyers to leverage data and automation across NBCU’s TV networks. In the interview, Dan will discuss how NBCU is building on its traditional ad sales strengths with programmatic, what’s on the roadmap for further innovation and how programmatic will scale across the TV industry.
Amanda will be interviewed by Matt Spiegel, Managing Director, Marketing & Technology Solutions at MediaLink about agencies’ evolving role in the programmatic video & TV era. Agencies have new opportunities to use data and technology to add value for clients as planning and buying models evolve. Amanda will share insights about how agencies are re-inventing their role for the programmatic era and what’s ahead.
Both Dan’s and Amanda’s keynote sessions will be highlights in a packed day of deep-dive sessions, with over 25 speakers already on board from throughout the industry.
Early bird registrants save $100 off the regular rates, with further discounts available on 5-packs and 10-packs. And, startups and students can register for the reduced $245 ticket (contact me for the code).
I hope you’ll join us for this must-attend day of learning and networking!
Learn more and register now!
SpotX and Vemba have teamed up to ensure that video syndication is profitable for both video content providers and online publishers. The companies have jointly launched a new product that enables publishers to set minimum profit margin parameters which determine whether a pre-selected video from Vemba’s library should actually play.
SpotX’s SVP, Global Revenue Sean Buckley and Vemba’s CEO Garrick Tiplady explained to me how the product addresses critical syndication challenges and works at a practical level.
French video ad tech provider Smart AdServer has ramped up its vertical video ad formats to meet market demand by both publishers and advertisers. In a recent briefing, Romain Job, Smart AdServer’s Regional Manager, US, explained to me that the convergence between video and mobile is driving strong demand for ad units that conform to users’ mobile behaviors.
Vertical video has been popularized by social networks like Facebook and Snapchat which encourage users to quickly thumb through feeds and select videos to view. Conversely, some companies like Verizon with its Go90 mobile app, are encouraging users to turn their phones horizontally to view video.
Topics: Smart AdServer
Operative has officially launched Operative Compete, a SaaS platform for publishers to centrally manage all of their programmatic partners. Operative Compete works for display and video inventory and across header bidding and waterfall set-ups. A beta version of Operative Compete has been in use by Outdoor Channel, Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, Nasdaq and Meredith Corporation.
Programmatic is becoming a bigger part of the advertising landscape, with eMarketer forecasting that $25.2 billion, or 73% of all U.S. display and video advertising will be transacted programmatically in 2016, rising to $37.9 billion, or 82% of spending, in 2018. eMarketer cites two reasons for the surge in programmatic: buyers’ and sellers’ increased comfort using automation and technology to transact, and increasing demand for audience-driven buying.
FreeWheel has released its Q2 2016 Video Monetization Report, once again sharing valuable insights on premium video viewing and monetization. Continuing its precipitous drop from prior quarters, desktop’s share of video ad viewing declined to 34%, its lowest level yet in the U.S. That was down from over 62% one year ago, in Q2 ’15 and 90% just 3 years ago, in Q2 ’13.
While desktop’s number of ad views has stayed steady, the rapid growth of mobile and connected devices has exploded, up 60% in each of the past 2 quarters alone. In Europe, desktop viewing is stronger than in the U.S., with a 43% share, though that’s down from 66% a year ago.
The revelation that Facebook miscalculated the average time viewers watch videos on its platform is an embarrassment and a setback for the company, but it’s hardly a disaster for it or for the online video industry.
First, let’s all admit - any of us who has ever created a spreadsheet has, at one time or another referenced the wrong cell when creating formulas. And the more complicated the formula (and the later into the night it was created!), the more likely there will be an error in a cell reference. Often that error is subsequently caught by a colleague or a manager, looking things over with a fresh eye and methodical approach.
Fourteen industry-leading companies are on board as the initial sponsors of VideoNuze’s SHIFT // 2016 Programmatic Video & TV Advertising Summit on Wednesday, November 30th in NYC. This will be our 2nd annual SHIFT conference, following the success of our inaugural event last year which drew 375+ attendees and 50 executive speakers.
The initial group of sponsors includes Premier Partners Altitude Digital, AOL, DashBid, SpotX, VertaMedia and Videology, along with Headline Partners Alphonso, Beachfront Media, FreeWheel, Genesis Media, Placemedia, TiVo Research and WideOrbit, plus Branding Partner Roku.
I’m incredibly grateful that all of these companies are supporting SHIFT // 2016. There are additional sponsorship opportunities available; please contact me if you’d like to learn more.
The SHIFT // 2016 program is coming together nicely and will be laser-focused on key topics in programmatic video & TV advertising. The program will include a mix of keynote interviews, panel discussions, fireside chats and research presentations. As always the goal is to provide attendees with insights and data that are valuable in both day-to-day and longer-range planning. Stay tuned for more information on the program and our initial group of speakers.
Early bird discounted tickets are now available. I hope you’ll join us on November 30th!
I recently had a chance to talk with Eddie Lee, who is VP of Programmatic at 495 Communications, which combines original travel-related video and programmatic video advertising. Eddie brought me up to speed on the company and their recently launched 495 QeX product. Following is a transcript.
VideoNuze: Explain the multiple parts of 495 Communications' business and how they work together?
Eddie Lee: 495 Communications has two subsets on the supply side: one being a large publisher-direct network and the other side being our O&O content, HTML5 player (SavvyGo), and Travelsavvy.tv - true cross device inventory (desktop, mobile and CTV/OTT apps). Using our own proprietary RTB exchange, we are able to service advertisers and demand partners by providing them quality traffic, in scale.
Topics: 495 Communications
Flash became popular in the early 2000s for good reason - it added interactivity and polished design to the Web. Over the last few years, Flash has been operational and has been very important when using websites like YouTube and Hulu, among other sites.
However, with the emergence of HTML5, especially since the beginning of 2016, the Flash ad has seemingly become useless and has lost trend over the past few years. There are predictions that showing Google will finally close this ad type by the end of this year, 2016. I also predict that the majority of advertisers will need to shift their video ad supply to be delivered in HTML5 format, while currently, about 30% of the ads worldwide are in the HTML5 player (according to Selectmedia’a server stats from Aug/2016).
This morning YouTube unveiled “TrueView for action” an important update to its TrueView ad format. With TrueView for action, advertisers can add calls-to-action during and after the ad’s play. Examples of a call-to-action could include get a quote, book now or sign up alerts.
YouTube is positioning the feature as applicable for advertisers of high consideration products or services, such as financial services, automotive or travel, where the ability to move a viewer down the funnel toward purchase enhances the ROI of the ad. YouTube said that its research has found approximately 70 million 18-54 year-olds in the U.S. say YouTube already helps at least once per month in making a purchase decision.
Outstream video ad leader Teads has acquired Brainient, whose dynamic creative optimization (DCO) technology enables personalized, interactive video ads. Terms were not disclosed. Brainient aims to deliver customized ads tied to a user’s profile including their geo-location, device, time of day and other contextual information.
If you’re like me, then you’re watching more and more video on your smartphone and you’re also starting to see more video ads. That’s because brands are waking up to the opportunity mobile video represents. To help illustrate some of the payoffs from mobile video ads, Videology has published a new white paper and case studies with 3 different advertisers who have recently had success.
While digital consumers used to search the internet for content, several years ago Facebook began pushing content to us. And as our attention spans got shorter and shorter, we no longer wanted to read past the first paragraph of an article. But our eyes are still drawn to sound and motion, so we want to consume all of our content and news in video form.
The news cycle is no exception. In digital publishing, the most successful companies are those that have the foresight to stay ahead of the technological curve. Even as publishers face huge monetization challenges, they have discovered something new: native video.
Leading up to VideoNuze’s SHIFT // 2016 Programmatic Video & TV Advertising Summit on November 30th in NYC, VideoNuze will be publishing a series of interviews with industry executives that help explain the industry and provide attendees with background information for the SHIFT discussion sessions. Today, I’m pleased to share an interview with Derek Mattsson, who is president of Placemedia. Read on to learn more about programmatic TV’s opportunities and challenges, the impact of this year’s upfront, the role of TV networks’ data initiatives and much more.
New research commissioned by ad tech provider HIRO Media and conducted by Nielsen Media Lab reveals that relevant content to a target audience drove a 30% increase in viewers’ recall and purchase intent derived from online video ads. This kind of halo effect is common in TV where the program influences the brand. The most pronounced increase found in the research was a 65% effectiveness increase for sports content and male-oriented auto ads.
Header bidding has been in the news a lot recently as a new technique for content publishers to optimize their ad inventory sold through programmatic exchanges. Header bidding has now come to video advertising as well, but as usual, there are unique new challenges. To better understand the issues and how to address them, I recently did a Q&A with Ron Dick, who is CEO and founder of Cedato, a video technology provider.
VideoNuze: Why has header bidding been so much in the news recently?
Ron Dick: Last year, header bidding - the new “programmatic kid on the block” arrived. It sounded like a great alternative to the problematic waterfall model that advertisers and publishers had been using. In theory it seemed really promising, offering each impression to multiple demand sources simultaneously and increasing reach by opening the process to as many potential buyers as possible.
Earlier this week AdAge reported that Facebook confirmed it is running tests of mid-roll ads in live streams by certain publishing partners. The ads can appear 5 minutes into the live stream and can run for a max of 15 seconds. The ads are drawn from promoted video campaigns already running on Facebook, but advertisers are able to opt out if they’d like.
The test is clearly just a toe in the water for Facebook in inserting ads in live streams, which to date have run ad-free. But, to the extent that the initiative develops further, and possibly evolves to allow pre-roll ads, it would signal an important step forward in Facebook monetizing its live streams and becoming an even bigger player in online video advertising.