• Panache Lands MTV Networks; Ad Insertion Space Evolves

    The video ad insertion and management landscape continues to evolve as Panache is announcing this morning that its platform will be deployed across MTV Networks' sites. I caught up with Steve Robinson, Panache's president yesterday to learn more.

    As Steve explains it, as major media companies have grown their broadband video usage, operationalizing the business has become increasingly complex. This is no surprise and I've heard it from others as well: multiple organizations including technology development, ad operations, ad sales and programming have had to learn to work together to deploy and monetize broadband video offerings.

    This is important stuff, not just because of the potential for missed revenue, but because users can quickly notice when the organization's gears are grinding. How often have you seen the same untargeted ad play repeatedly? Or not seen any ads at all? Or have had a 30 second pre-roll ad in front of short 45 second news clips you're sequentially watching? As the broadband stakes have gotten higher, large media companies have increasingly focused on how to streamline their processes in order to scale and monetize more effectively.

    That's where Panache comes in. In the MTV example, Panache first integrates with MTV's standardized video player. Once integrated, ad operations is able to use the Panache tools to create ad programs and logic, including campaigns, flights, formats, etc. This becomes the playbook for ad sales as it interfaces with customers, and can be readily modified to suit custom requests. A key benefit is that MTV's development organization doesn't need to get involved each time some part of the ad offering is changed. Improving the back-end processes helps ramp up sales, which for major media companies like MTV Networks is handled mostly by internal teams.

    But the need for streamlining broadband video ad operations goes beyond the major media companies though, and there are other offerings with similar capabilities on the market too. For example in the past year Tremor Media has launched Acudeo, and Adap.tv has launched OneSource. Both are technology platforms for video providers that can pull ads from multiple sources (direct sales, ad networks, etc.) with an eye to maximizing fill rates and CPMs.

    One key difference is business model: Panache and Adap.tv don't have ad sales organizations, whereas Tremor, as an ad network, does. For Panache or Adap.tv that means relying on some mix of licensing/platform usage fees and/or receiving a revenue share from customers, whereas for Tremor it means obtaining a chunk of the inventory to sell itself. There are no doubt feature-for-feature differences as well, but not having worked in ad ops myself, some of this is beyond my scope and would require specific due diligence.

    For sure as the broadband video ad business becomes more integral to large and mid-sized content providers we'll continue to see more innovation and business process improvements in this area. Just as TV ad insertion has been refined to a science over the years, so too will broadband video.

    What do you think? Post a comment now.