• Video Ad Tech Providers Keep Evolving With the Market’s Demands

    Yesterday I posted the recent Video Ad Summit keynote interview with Brian Lesser, CEO of GroupM North America, in which he articulated some of the key challenges facing advertisers today: consumers are harder than ever to reach, data is becoming more valuable, workflows and media buying need to be simplified and agencies need to be more streamlined, among other things.

    Video ad tech providers are well aware of these imperatives and this week, 2 new partnerships that were announced (one between YuMe and Mediaocean and the other between DataXu and Teads), along with a new strategic consulting initiative announced by SpotX, all pick up, in one way or another, on the points Brian made.

    The YuMe-Mediaocean partnership targets advertisers’ and agencies’ need to buy holistically across traditional TV, connected devices, mobile and desktop in order to optimize their spending. It’s no secret that all of us viewers are fragmenting our video consumption across multiple devices, which is in turn creating massive headaches for advertisers who need to efficiently and effectively allocate their finite budgets.

    Under the partnership, TV buyers using Mediaocean’s software will now also be able to access YuMe’s premium online video inventory as well, at a localized level. Buyers will be able to zero in on specific audiences and optimize for reach, frequency and recency. The YuMe-Mediaocean partnership isn’t the first to enable this time of cross-screen campaign planning, but it further addresses buyers’ need to simplify workflows and better reach only the viewers they care about.

    Meanwhile, the DataXu-Teads partnership also aims to simplify the buying process but for a more particular digital purpose. We all know there’s been a proliferation of video ad units as ad tech providers find new and innovative ways to break through to users who increasingly try to avoid ads. For its part, Teads pioneered the “outstream” model with its “InRead” format in which video ads play as they come into view within text stories. Teads has followed up with other innovative formats.

    Of course, no matter how effective a new format is, the challenge for buyers is that they create additional complexity in planning and executing a campaign, as well as measuring results as part of overall spending. As Brian noted, simplicity is critical, and so in this new partnership, DataXu, which is one of the biggest demand side platforms, becomes the first certified DSP partner able to offer clients the ability to purchase Teads Studio video units programmatically. For DataXu clients, being able to access Teads units through a familiar dashboard means they can be incorporated more easily into media plans that are increasingly executed programmatically.

    Last but not least, SpotX’s new Advanced Solutions Group, to be headed by Allen Klosowski, is meant to help advertisers and video content providers better develop business models and strategies that incorporate OTT and other new delivery platforms. With OTT devices now in over 70% of U.S. TV homes and more long-form consumption migrating to them, figuring out how to monetize is paramount.

    However, as SpotX noted in its announcement, OTT raises a host of thorny technical and operational challenges that must be addressed. SpotX clearly sees itself playing a value-added role in helping clients navigate these challenges.

    All of these new initiatives are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what myriad video ad tech providers (not to mention advertisers, agencies and content providers) are doing to position themselves for success in the rapidly evolving video industry. It’s an incredibly dynamic period with tons of innovation occurring.