Tout, which syndicates premium video to over 4,000 sites, has inked a partnership with Grapeshot, a real-time marketing intelligence and optimization platform. Tout’s CEO Michael Downing told me in a briefing that the goal is to provide ad buyers increased transparency about the pages in which Tout content partners’ video is placed and also enable buyers to target more specific audience segments and context.
Syndicated video is a concept I’ve been writing about for years, and I continue to believe that distributing content to where audiences already live is an excellent way to increase viewership and revenue (the momentum behind pushing video into social platforms is a perfect example of this too). One of the challenges of monetizing syndicated video however, is that while buyers may want to be adjacent to premium video itself, they may be hesitant because they don’t have sufficient insights about the quality of the surrounding page’s context. With all the attention on brand safety, this concern is justifiable.
Michael explained that Tout has been using its own core technology to analyze page context, but the Grapeshot partnership will allow this analysis to be greatly expanded, looking also at domains, URLs, subjects, keywords, etc, to create a deep combined database that buyers can tap to gain full transparency of where Tout’s syndicated video is running. Michael sees this transparency extending well beyond what walled environments currently offer. Grapeshot also allows advertisers to blacklist certain sites, pages, keywords, etc, to ensure safety.
In addition, Grapeshot also brings new capabilities in audience targeting and connections to automated buyers an area that Tout had not yet invested in.
Overall, Michael sees the partnership as helping unlock huge amounts of premium video inventory for monetization. Michael notes that the vast majority of online video ad dollars are collected by a relatively small number of sites. He sees Tout’s syndication model, now complemented with Grapeshot’s contextual data, as helping broaden the number of content providers that can tap into video spending.