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.
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).