As devices continue to proliferate, reaching viewers across multiple screens is becoming an imperative for advertisers. At the recent Video Ad Summit, one of our sessions focused on how advertisers are beginning to do this and what challenges remain. Participants included Larry Adams (Mindshare), Josh Chasin (comScore), Rob Holmes (Comcast), Chuck Parker (Brightcove), Katie Seitz (Tremor), with moderator Jeff Lanctot (Mixpo).
The traditional narrative around online/over-the-top video is that it will incent cord-cutting and cord-nevering. But now, in a twist, instead of a looming battle between OTT and pay-TV, it could well be that we're on the brink of a new era of cooperation between the two, which could have profound implications for everyone in the video ecosystem.
Stepping back for a moment, pay-TV operators have always been in the business of improving the delivery of available video and packaging it into bundles. Initially operators distributed broadcast channels and then in the 70's and 80's, with the advent of satellite delivery, operators began bundling "cable" channels as well (e.g. ESPN, MTV, CNN, USA, etc.).
I'm pleased to present the 191st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
This was a big week for online video advertising, with 3 key milestones: AOL's acquisition of Adap.tv for $405 million (the biggest of CEO Tim Armstrong's tenure), YuMe's IPO, and Tremor Video reporting solid 2nd quarter results, in its first quarter as a public company.
As I explained earlier this week, the success of AOL-Adap.tv is riding on 3 key market trends, the shift from linear TV style viewing to anywhere/anytime/any device viewing, the democratization of video production and distribution which has led to a plethora of online originals, and the influence of technology in the ad buying/selling process. AOL is seeking to capitalize on all this through Adap.tv's programmatic platform.
Meanwhile Tremor Video, whose stock has had a bumpy start since the company went public in early July, posted a strong 2nd quarter, with revenue growing by 41% year-over-year. As CEO Bill Day explained on the earnings call, key to this was a focus on premium performance-based in-stream video advertising, which grew from 20% of revenue in Q2 '12 to 34% in Q2 '13. Mobile was also a big contributor to the quarter, rising from 4% of revenue to 13% of revenue. Bill noted the company is highly focused on providing transparency and analytics around traditional brand metrics such as brand lift, engagement, completion rates, etc. to engage buyers.
More broadly, as Colin observes, online video is giving brands and content providers more flexibility to insert product placements and other deep product integration. I agree, though for the foreseeable future, I see the vast majority of online video ad revenue coming from more traditional pre-, mid- and post-roll advertising.
Click here to listen to the podcast (18 minutes, 57 seconds)
(Note: YuMe and Tremor Video's VideoHub are VideoNuze sponsors)
Tremor Video's VideoHub technology has received Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation for its video viewability metric and 4 of its other metrics. The accreditations are another milestone for online video advertising in moving from a "Wild West" to delivering assured campaign data to advertisers, agencies and content providers. MRC is an independent industry organization focused on validated audience measurement services.
The 5 VideoHub metrics that MRC has accredited are as follows:
With billions of video streams now being viewed each month, across an ever-growing array of devices, consumers' expectations are higher than ever that video is a part of the storytelling mix. For print publications like magazines and newspapers, that's creating a massive new opportunity to re-imagine their businesses, better connect with their audiences and pursue a new vein of ad spending.
To get a better sense of why video is so strategic for magazines, last week I spoke with Lauren Wiener, who 6 weeks ago became president of global sales and marketing at Tremor Video, after spending 9 years at Meredith Corp, most recently as SVP of Digital. Meredith has been among the most active magazine publishers with video through its Meredith Video Studios business. The unit creates original video that is syndicated to YouTube and other online outlets along with VOD, and provides videos to Meredith's numerous magazines' online properties.
Tremor Video announced earlier today that in June it served 98.3% of its in-stream video ads in players that were 400 pixels or bigger. Tremor has found that the bigger-sized players drive double the engagement rate and also boost completion rates for ads. Based on its own analytics, Tremor found that for ads appearing in 400-500 pixel players, 62% of viewers watched to completion and for ads appearing in a 500-700 pixel player, completion jumped to 75%.
Tremor believes that as player sizes get bigger the viewing experience becomes more TV-like, therefore inducing users to relax and be more prone to sit through ads. Looking ahead, this bodes well for ads on connected TVs, where the content and ads are seen in full screen. Tremor said that it is advising publishing partners to increase the size of their players in order to deliver improved ad performance.
Related, Hulu must also be finding similar results; back in March it increased the size of its video player by 55% to a beefy 900x500.
There were 4 separate research studies released yesterday from important video technology providers, all pointing to continued change and growth in video viewership and monetization. Below I've shared key highlights from each, along with links to obtain the original research.