London-based video ad tech provider Videoplaza has launched Konnect, a supply side programmatic platform intended for broadcasters and other premium content providers. Currently, over 50% of European broadcasters use Videoplaza's Karbon video ad serving platform, so the move into programmatic is a natural extension for the company.
In fact, Videoplaza's CEO and founder Sorosh Tavakoli told me that broadcaster customers have been asking for the company to enter the programmatic space. Sorosh said they're motivated to work with software providers that are already integrated with existing workflows and which offer enterprise level customer service plus full transparency and control. Sorosh believes all of these are Videoplaza differentiators vs. competitors.
The Konnect platform enables private marketplaces so content providers can transact only with particular buyers and public marketplaces that open up inventory to a broader group of programmatic buyers that Videoplaza has integrated. Ad decisioning across both programmatic and direct, real-time reporting and RTB are all included.
With its expansion into programmatic, Videoplaza will be bumping into existing supply side players like LiveRail, SpotXchange, Adap.tv and others. With big European broadcast group RTL recently taking a 65% equity stake in SpotXchange, it looks particularly poised to grow in Europe.
Despite rapid growth for programmatic video in Europe, it's actually still quite early days, with Sorosh noting that just 3% of programmatic budgets are spent on broadcasters' online properties. This is partly because broadcasters' premium inventory is most in demand, so the direct channel is still optimal. But, as more buyers seek programmatic options - at least for automation/efficiency gains and to improve targeting by leveraging data - broadcasters will naturally beef up their programmatic capabilities.
All of this adds up to lots more programmatic activity for broadcasters in the years to come, both in Europe and around the world.