Not a day goes by where there isn't an article about the health of the broadband video industry - how viewer consumption is growing, how much ad revenue it's slated to generate (or not), and what content and infrastructure partnerships have been inked. With the lion's share of the industry ad supported, it's time to hear from the people who are in position to make or break projected revenue budgets: the media buyers.
This interview is with Ed Montes, EVP/Managing Director of Havas Digital US; it is the first of a series of interviews that The Diffusion Group's senior analyst, Mugs Buckley, is conducting with advertising's key media buyers.
WHAT TYPE OF ONLINE ADS DO YOU BUY?
We buy pre-rolls, mid-rolls, in-line video ads. The only thing we have not bought much of are ads around user-generated content.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR CLIENTS?
Sears, K-Mart, Fidelity Investments, Amtrak, Tyson, Choice Hotels, Volvo, Air France, and Reckitt Benckiser, to name a few.
ARE ALL OF YOUR CLIENTS BUYING VIDEO ADS?
Many of our clients are placing ads in online video.
IS IT A "MUST HAVE" ON THE MEDIA PLAN?
We're definitely see it grow in importance and yes, it is a "must have" on some media plans. What I can say with more certainty is that online video advertising is becoming, and for some clients is, as important as display advertising. What remains a more consistent "must have" are search buys.
WHAT ARE THE SIZES OF SOME OF YOUR BUYS? WHAT ARE THE CPM TRENDS?
A buyer considers two things: scale (will it reach enough people) and the size/cost of a buy. It depends on the overall size of the campaign. For instance, in a large campaign a buy is south of $50K, may not make the plan, unless we're going to do it for the intelligence of the buy or because the CPM is very discounted. On a smaller campaign $50K might be the entire campaign so you will see much smaller video purchases. There is a huge swing for CPM range depending on the content. Everything hinges on the content. We see CPMs ranging from $15-$40 for non-UGV content in-stream units. UGV, the lower-end quality content CPMs tend to be in the single digits. In-banner video is generally on the lower end of the single digit range.
HOW LABOR INTENSIVE IS AN ONLINE VIDEO AD BUY?
Relatively speaking, it is a lot more labor intensive than a broadcast buy. In the online world, there are a lot of steps in the process to create, buy, optimize, build and analyze a video ad campaign.
WHAT DO YOU WANT YOUR SELLERS TO KNOW BEFORE THEY COME AND PITCH YOU?
I'd like sellers to be informed about our clients, their campaigns, and goals so we can build the best possible idea. I want someone to bring me a solution, not just sell me their unsold inventory.
IS THE "BUY" ALL ABOUT SCALE?
I think it's about audience fragmentation, the inverse of scale. People buy TV because they can aggregate a large audience; it is the best mass media vehicle. As TV ratings decline, a buyer has to buy an increased mix of television to achieve the same scale they did previously. Now the consideration shouldn't just be TV, it should be all video.
WHO DOES THE BUYING? BROADCAST BUYER? ONLINE BUYER?
Both online buyers and broadcast buyers do the buying but like anything, it depends on the buy. Pure online purchases (like Hulu, Veoh, YouTube), the online buyers are in the lead. On the network side (such as buying from ABC), it's a little bit different because there are instances where media is bought by network buyers with the assistance of online buyers.
WOULD YOU BUY FROM AN INDEPENDENT WEB STUDIO OR THEIR CONTENT?
I would consider such a buy but it goes back to the issue of scale. Would we buy directly from the programmer or buy from a network? In a world where I'm trying to aggregate reach, they may fall out of the category due to their limited audience size.
"We're bullish on online video, the performance we've seen from it is highly encouraging."