Wednesday, December 2, 2009, 9:51 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
LiveRail, a video ad management company, notched a high-profile customer win yesterday, announcing that PBS will use the company's platform to deliver sponsor messages on its recently launched PBS.org video portal and its 356 member stations' online video outlets. PBS is making an aggressive play in online video and has gained many positive reviews of its portal, which provides access to all of its full-length programs and more.
LiveRail's CEO Mark Trefgarne and EVP Nic Pantucci explained to me yesterday that they're building a suite of tools that equally addresses all 3 constituencies in the ecosystem - publishers, advertisers and ad networks. The company is focused on the following 3 differentiators to separate itself in a pretty crowded video ad management space:
- Enhanced optimization that allows simultaneous querying of multiple ad sources to determine the highest effective CPM ad to serve (Mark and Nic said that using LiveRail one customer saw an jump in their ad fill rate from 40% to 90%)
- More flexibility in distributing and customizing ads to affiliates, based on a sub-account authorization system (this was particularly valuable for PBS with its hundreds of member stations and multitude of sponsor messages)
- Integration with the broadest set of 3rd party ad networks, using an extensive series of open APIs (this helps with time to market and reducing cost of integrations)
Of course, the real way to validate these benefits and compare LiveRail to others is by getting hands-on and trying the platform out. I've offered similar advice in the past when assessing the variety of online video platforms.
LiveRail was started in 2007, has 15 employees and has raised $1.5 million to date, though it sounds like there may be financing news upcoming. The video ad management space includes others like FreeWheel, Adap.tv, Tremor Media (with its Acudeo product), Auditude and others.
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