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.
Seeking to build on its market momentum, Extreme Reach is raising its industry profile through an extensive brand refresh and updated positioning as an enterprise solution for TV and video ad workflows. Extreme Reach has long operated relatively quietly, but industry veteran Melinda McLaughlin, who joined the company late last year, is on a mission to educate the industry about the company’s extensive cross-screen capabilities. Melinda brought me up to speed on the brand refresh and positioning last week.
Topics: Extreme Reach
Facebook’s push into video appears to be paying off as a new survey of 300 advertisers and agencies released by Trusted Media Brands this morning shows that social platforms and video platforms are virtually tied as the most important partners for video ad campaigns. Overall, YouTube and other video platforms are viewed as most important by 59% of respondents, with Facebook and other social platforms viewed as most important by 56%.
However, among advertisers, 65% favored social, with 55% favoring video platforms. The numbers were reversed for agencies, where 62% favored video platforms and 51% favored social platforms. It’s also worth noting that distinctions can be murky as YouTube itself could be considered a social platform given the level of sharing, commenting and following that occurs there.
Topics: Trusted Media Brands
Videology released its U.S. Video Market At-A-Glance report for Q2 ’16, revealing, among other things, that ad spending by clients on data-infused linear TV campaigns grew by 74% from Q1 ’16 to Q2 ’16. That compared with a 50% increase Videology experienced from Q4 ’15 to Q1 ’16. Videology noted that traditional TV ad buying continues going strong, but that the quarterly acceleration is evidence of the market becoming more sophisticated about pursuing specific audiences.
I'm pleased to present the 333rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
Facebook’s blowout Q2 earnings this week attest to how thoroughly the company is capitalizing on mobile. But with its intention to become video-first, Facebook is now embarking on a whole new set of challenges and opportunities, most particularly around monetization, where the company’s massive scale and unique targeting offsets its avoidance of pre-rolls, the workhorse video ad unit.
In today’s podcast, Colin and I further assess Facebook’s video content initiatives (especially Facebook Live) and how they will be monetized. We also contrast Facebook’s live-streaming media partnerships with those of Twitter, which is very focused on live sports and becoming the place for digital water-cooler conversations around them.
Listen now to learn more!
Click here to listen to the podcast (22 minutes, 6 seconds)
Facebook announced off-the-charts Q2 ’16 earnings yesterday, including $2 billion in net income, double what it was just 6 months ago. Monthly active users increased to 1.71 billion, with 1.1 billion using Facebook daily. From a standing start in mobile just 4 years ago, Facebook generated $5.2 billion or 84% of its quarterly ad revenue from mobile.
There is no question that Facebook has thoroughly conquered mobile. But, far from sitting on its laurels, Facebook is evolving in many ways and over the past year video has become an ever-bigger part of Facebook’s story. Earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, highlighted the role that video is playing in delivering more engaging experiences. Then on yesterday’s earnings call Zuckerberg went a step further, stating the company’s goals plainly, “We see a world that is video first with video at the heart of all of our apps and service.”
Taboola, a large content recommendation platform, has acquired ConvertMedia, an outstream video ad provider with $50 million in annual run rate revenue and roots in display advertising. Taboola’s thumbnail recommendations at the end of text articles are found widely on major online publishers’ sites. The company provides 14-15 billion of these recommendations on a daily basis to over 1 billion unique users per month.
At last month’s Video Ad Summit, Brenley Higgins (Director, US Media, American Express) and Greg Manago (Co-president, Mindshare Content + Entertainment) shared their insights about how audience fragmentation and convergence are changing their media and creative strategies. In the interview I did with them, they shared a number of examples of campaigns that exemplify how they’re leveraging social media generally and Facebook specifically to target audiences and engage them.
Brenley and Greg also explained some of the best practices they’ve learned including how to get viewers’ attention in a limited time window, how to build media plans that blend TV, online video and social, how to optimize talent’s involvement in new and creative ways and the important role that data is playing in influencing creative development.
Overall, it’s a fascinating 30-minute peek behind the curtain of how advertisers and agencies are adapting their strategies to succeed in the multiscreen world.
Watch the video now (33 minutes, 13 seconds).
Major platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat offer video content providers opportunities to reach big audiences, but they also create a variety of new risks around loss of business control and monetization. At last month’s Video Ad Summit, Mike Shields from the WSJ moderated a session “Achieving Video Success in the Platform Economy,” which addressed this central tension.
The panel included Stacy Fuller (Head of Content, North America, Havas Media), Paul Kelly (Chief Partnerships Officer, AwesomenessTV), Michael Kuntz (SVP, Digital Revenue, USA TODAY Network) and Jeff Urban (President and Co-founder, Whistle Sports).
Digging into the topic, the group discussed the range of approaches YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat are using with partners and how content providers determine where to allocate their finite resources. One big discussion point was that Facebook does not accept pre-roll ads, so the challenge of making money with Facebook is even steeper. That led to another key topic of what role branded content should play when distributing on the platforms.
With platforms constantly changing their approaches, learning how to work with them is incredibly confusing for video content providers. The session gives a lot of insights into how providers and agencies are navigating this new terrain.
Watch the video now (33 minutes, 3 seconds).
Looking to capitalize on the growing interest in virtual reality, outstream video ad specialist Teads has introduced inRead 360, a new outstream video ad format offering 360-degree viewing and engagement.
The 360-degree format is meant to give advertisers a more immersive format that also complements premium content. Teads said that users can interact with the inRead 360 ads, viewing the creative from different angles, by moving their mobile device or clicking and dragging when online. 360-degree video, which doesn’t require a special headset, is often characterized as a step toward full virtual reality.
Everyone knows that video viewing is exploding, but for content publishers and creators, figuring out how to monetize all that usage is an ever-present challenge. This question was the focus of our Video Ad Summit session, “Unlocking Video’s Value in the OTT Era,” which included Jarrod Dicker (Head of Ad Product and Technology, Washington Post), Nathan Guetta (VP, Product and Technology, Conde Nast Entertainment), Shaun Koiner (Chief Product Officer, Perform Media), Brian Rifkin (Co-founder and SVP, Video Sales, JW Player) and Mark Yackanich (CEO, Genesis Media), with Tom Herman (CEO, DashBid) moderating.
The panelists addressed a number of critical issues including how to deliver world-class user experiences that combine both content and advertising, why it’s critical to distribute content to as many places as possible, how to help advertisers capitalize on emerging opportunities like vertical video and other new formats, the role that data is playing in their monetization strategies and what important trends are going to play out over the next year, among other things.
It’s a dynamic discussion with lots of insights for anyone involved with content creation and monetization.
Watch the video now (34 minutes, 52 seconds).
As I wrote last week and previously, the TV industry is in a race to data enable its ad inventory to retain its value relative to online video alternatives and platforms like Facebook and Google that provide audience data at huge scale. Many technology providers are innovating to provide the software tools necessary for the TV industry to make this transition and the latest example is from clypd, which yesterday introduced Optimize Private Marketplace (PMP), which adds to existing features in clypd’s linear TV PMP offering.
Mobile video is growing fast, but monetizing it fully is a work in progress. At the recent Video Ad Summit, participants on the “Capitalizing on Mobile as the First Screen” session included Justin Fadgen (VP, Business Development, Beachfront Media), Kevin Hein (U.S. Industry Lead, Technology and Telecom Vertical, Facebook), Manny Puentes (Chief Technology Officer, Altitude Digital) and Blake Sabatinelli (GM, Newsy) with Anna Bager (SVP, Mobile and Video, IAB), moderating.
Particular challenges for mobile video that the panelists raised included ad/video load times, a limited window to gain the viewer’s attention, standardized measurement, consistent user experiences and the growing role of data. The panelists also discussed the opportunities and challenges around distributed video models on social platforms and how much effort is required to optimize each, among other topics.
The conversation balanced perspectives from the advertiser, publisher, platform and technology perspectives really well. Mobile video has gained a lot of usage, but it’s clear that it’s still early days in fully monetizing it.
Watch the video now (41 minutes, 23 seconds).
The TV industry is in a race to data enable its ad inventory to keep pace with online video and digital alternatives like Facebook and Google that offer finely-grained audience data at massive scale. Earlier this week TiVo Research and Cadent announced a new joint solution that is another good example of how the industry is creatively pursuing data enablement to build more targeting value across its inventory.
One of the highlights of the recent Video Ad Summit was the keynote interview I did with Marc Debevoise, who was just promoted to be President and COO of CBS Interactive. Marc oversees strategy and operations for all of the CBSi’s 25+ entertainment, sports, news, technology, gaming and media brands. Marc has also led the development of the CBS All Access SVOD service and CBSN 24/7 digital news service.
In the interview Marc shares the 3 biggest market trends that are guiding CBSi’s strategy and what’s ahead. We discuss in detail the strategic drivers behind the launch of CBS All Access and CBSN, including advertising strategies for both and how well they’ve been accepted by viewers. Marc shares lots of details about viewers’ profiles, how they engage with the two services, the devices that are most successful and how CBS is using them to broaden its appeal to younger viewers. Marc also explains how original programs (e.g. “Star Trek” and “The Good Wife” spinoff) are playing a big role in CBS All Access game plan.
We also talk about how CBS has become a leader in online sports, trailing only ESPN overall in the first part of 2016. Streaming the Super Bowl to connected TVs was a big milestone earlier this year and Marc discusses why CBS decided to do this and what impact it will have on streaming other sports. We wrap up by looking ahead to big challenges that CBSi is addressing.
There is a lot of skepticism floating around about the role of broadcast TV in the fast-evolving online video landscape, but Marc does a great job of explaining all the moves CBS is making to remain a leader.
Watch the keynote interview (35 minutes, 30 seconds)
One of the most interesting panel discussions at the recent Video Ad Summit was “Reaching Audiences at Scale: Will TV Succeed in the Digital Age?” which included Adam Gerber (SVP, Client Development & Communications, ABC), Mike Germano (Chief Digital Officer, VICE Media), Melissa Kihara (Global VP of TV & Video Products, Xaxis), Bob Toohey (President, Verizon Digital Media Services) and Lorne Brown (Founder and CEO, Operative) moderating.
It’s no secret that video viewing is fragmenting and linear TV is declining as new video sources proliferate and behaviors change. Still, TV networks are running fast, distributing programs in new ways, investing heavily in data to better enable targeting by advertisers and leveraging social media to better engage viewers.
As Adam pointed out, research suggests that scale in long-form ad-supported online viewing is dominated by TV networks. But as he also pointed out, scale in data and audiences is dominated by platforms like Facebook and Google. This is one of the key sources of tension for advertisers - how to combine the best of both, to achieve scaled, targeted, efficient, effective, trusted advertising in premium video?
The panelists agreed that for lots of reasons the market is nowhere close to reaching this nirvana state. They explored all the reasons why, along with things that are being done to move the ball forward. For anyone trying to better understand how TV is evolving in the digital age and what role it will play, it’s a fascinating discussion.
Watch the video now (39 minutes, 48 seconds).
Facebook is pouring lots of resources into video and according to a new report published by ad tech provider Mixpo this morning, the strategy appears to be bearing fruit. In its “State of Digital Advertising for Publishers” report, based on a survey and interviews with 263 digital publishing and advertising executives, Mixpo found that 50.2% of respondents had run video campaigns on Facebook, compared to 31.1% on YouTube. Twitter followed with 17%, then Instagram with 13.2% and all other social platforms were in single digits.
At the recent Video Ad Summit, one of our most popular sessions, as always, was a fireside chat debriefing the NewFronts and Upfronts with senior ad agency executives. This year, Maureen Bosetti (Chief Investment Officer, Initiative) and Adam Shlachter (President, VM1, Zenith Media) participated, with Tim Hanlon (Managing Director, FTI Consulting) moderating.
The wide-ranging discussion began with Maureen highlighting the continued strong relevance of the upfronts for clients who need to plan ahead and efficiently allocate spending to reach mass audiences. But the upfronts are becoming less about linear TV specifically (which is of course shrinking, in turn driving up pricing for scarcer inventory) and more about longer-term investments in video holistically.
This is a much more complicated buying process which, especially given how audiences are fragmenting to new video outlets on multiple devices. Adam and Maureen discuss some of the key challenges including how to use clients’ data, how to navigate TV networks’ disparate audience targeting initiatives and how their agencies are organized to succeed, plus lots more.
Adam and Maureen also share their thoughts on the NewFronts, which they see as maturing in certain respects, though still not offering the level of scale and efficiency as traditional TV.
All in all the session provides numerous insights from the buy side on how the TV/video ad landscape is fast-evolving and what’s being done by agencies to help clients stay ahead of the curve.
Watch the video now (32 minutes, 5 seconds).
The convergence of TV and online video advertising is happening, but there are still many operational challenges to realizing its full potential. At the recent Video Ad Summit, we zeroed in what still needs to be done in a session titled “How to Move Ads at the Speed of Today,” which included Melinda McLaughlin (CMO, Extreme Reach), Peter Olsen (EVP, National Ad Sales, A+E Networks) and Mitch Weinstein (SVP, Director of Ad Operations, IPG Mediabrands), with Steve Grubbs of Prohaska Consulting serving as moderator.
The panelists dug into issues including the diverse ad operations workflows for TV vs. online video, the confusion caused by today’s metrics, the huge amount of time industry executives currently waste just trying to sync up on common standards and terminology, why reach is so important, yet so elusive across TV and digital, plus lots more.
It’s a fascinating, well-grounded discussion of the practicalities required to make converged campaigns and spending really take off.
Watch the video (33 minutes, 5 seconds).
The opening session of our recent Video Ad Summit, “Convergence Realized: Why TV and Video are Now Inseparable,” featured panelists David Bickford (Head of TV Sales & Multi-Platform Group Director, Bloomberg Media), Jon Heller (Co-founder and Co-CEO, FreeWheel), Nick Johnson (SVP, Digital Ad Sales Strategy, Turner Ad Sales) and Paul Williamson (Chief Investment Officer, Publicis Media Exchange U.S.).
Tim Castree (Managing Director, North America, Videology) moderated the session and also shared a 10-minute presentation at the beginning providing some of the key contextual drivers for why TV and video are converging for advertisers and publishers (Tim’s slides are posted here).
Topics of discussion included changing viewers’ behaviors leading to fragmentation, the resulting measurement challenges and what’s being done to overcome them, how advertisers are coping with “patchwork” metrics, how content providers should think about cross-screen distribution, how advertisers are planning campaigns across different and much more.
Watch the video (52 minutes, 43 seconds).