• Exclusive: Tremor Media Launching Video Ad Buying Platform, Hires Risicato to Run It

    Tremor Media is launching a video ad buying platform, in a bid to streamline how Fortune 1000 brands can capitalize on the explosion of online video. The move is Tremor's latest expansion, following the recent acquisitions of ScanScout and mobile video ad network Transpera. To manage the video ad buying platform, Tremor has hired Anthony Risicato, formerly CEO of mobile marketing company Mobile Commons, with previous experience at Covario, Innovation Interactive (where he led development of its platform that has facilitated billions of dollars of search advertising buys) and DoubleClick. Anthony shared some of the background of Tremor's move with me last week.

    The video ad buying platform addresses the two key marketplace issues Tremor has observed, scale and deliverability. Tremor likens the situation in online video advertising to what was happening in the search advertising market about 10 years ago. There is a lot of interest from big brands and agencies to participate, but still too much friction in buying and delivering plus measuring and optimizing their results. Too often brands are required to go to different publishers and video ad networks to assemble their buy, which makes it harder to leverage their spending and also to optimize their ads based on actual performance.

    With the new video ad buying platform, Tremor will enable more sophisticated brands much greater control in customizing their buys, monitoring their results and updating their ads based on real-time analytics. The move exposes tools that Tremor has been using internally when placing buys through its own ad network, with specific enhancements for ad buyers themselves. Initially the scope of sites against which ads could be placed would include those in Tremor's network, along with any that are in the brand/publisher's own portfolio. Eventually Anthony envisions the ability to buy across any inventory available online. Not coincidentally, Tremor's new "ThankYouHulu" online ad campaign reinforces those same themes of broader audience access.

    While Anthony doesn't see anyone else in the market with similar competencies, he thinks convincing existing TV ad buyers to spend more in online video is his biggest challenge. That sentiment echoes what other Tremor executives have been saying for a long while: in order to truly get the attention of TV media buyers, it is essential for the online video medium to offer comparable scale and ease of buying/placing ads, with benefits in better targeting, analytics, engagement and cost-effectiveness.

    Tremor's video ad buying platform appears to address all of these, and is the latest building block in the online video advertising industry's evolution.

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