Video ad tech provider SpotX has announced server-side ad insertion interoperability with Amazon Web Services’ Elemental MediaTailor service. This means that content providers which are joint customers of SpotX and AWS Elemental MediaTailor are able to use SpotX’s ad decisioning capabilities to dynamically serve targeted ads, using server-side ad insertion.
With server-side ad insertion (“SSAI”), which is also known as ad stitching, relevant ads are integrated with the content at the server level, providing a better viewer experience as compared with when ads are inserted by the player on the user's device. The latter model often results in buffering as the player transitions between content and ads and vice versa. Buffering is major challenge for content providers because it is the leading cause of abandonment, which in turn diminishes monetization.
Late last week SpotX announced that it has integrated its recently-launched header bidding solution for video ads with Amazon Publisher Services’ Transparent Ad Marketplace (TAM). To learn more about the integration and the benefits to publishers, SpotX and Amazon, I spoke with Tal Almany, SpotX’s Senior Director, Advanced Integrations who recently joined the company from OpenX.
For those not familiar with header bidding, this is an approach that video providers use to offer their ad inventory simultaneously to multiple demand sources to optimize bidding and monetization. Amazon’s TAM is a header bidding solution that is cloud-based and server side, which means less code is running on the publisher’s site, creating efficiencies. TAM is relatively new to the market, but because it’s from Amazon, it has gained a lot of attention.
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.
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.
Samba TV and SpotX have announced a partnership to improve video ad targeting to viewers on the web and in apps and connected TVs. Under the deal, Samba TV’s TV viewership data will become available in SpotX’s ad server, so that custom TV audience segments can be built using combined TV and digital data.
SpotX will become Samba TV’s primary connected TV ad server enabling advertisers to buy connected TV ads either programmatically or direct.
In another indicator of how TV and video advertising are becoming more data-enabled and precise, Videology announced a partnership this morning to incorporate Autobytel’s anonymized first-party buyer-intent data into its platform. Autobytel collects data from approximately 8 million consumers per month at its various properties.
The data will enable marketers to more accurately target consumers who are actually in the market for a car, using their own preferences for brands, price points and features. Given the longer consideration time associated with buying a car, marketers’ ability to implement specific “lower funnel” marketing messages aimed at in-market buyers is much more efficient.
Seeking to simplify and cost reduce the process of launching new OTT services, Brightcove and Accedo have partnered to introduce Brightcove OTT Flow, powered by Accedo, a turnkey OTT solution for media companies.
The solution was developed in response to the companies’ recognition that the OTT launch process typically involves numerous technology providers and custom development which in turn lead to steep development and maintenance costs plus long timelines. In the fast-moving OTT world, these obstacles hinder innovation and competitiveness.
Adobe and comScore have announced a major new partnership this morning for improved cross-screen measurement, a thorny issue for all content providers and advertisers in an increasingly fragmented viewing landscape.
As part of the deal, comScore is integrating into its Cross Media, Audience and Advertising product suites, Adobe’s Certified Metrics, which is standardized digital census data powered by Adobe Analytics. Adobe Certified Metrics will supplement comScore’s existing cross-platform audience data and recently acquired census TV data via Rentrak. The key benefit is improved insight into viewing on connected and mobile devices.
More evidence this morning of how online video and TV are continuing to converge: SpotX and clypd have announced a new joint solution for content providers to manage all video and linear TV ad inventory whether it’s sold directly or programmatically. The goal is to optimize the value of all inventory and audiences with dynamic, targeted ads across all screens. The joint solution is currently available.
Teads, which specializes in “outstream” video ads, has partnered with Moat for real-time analytics on viewability for outstream video campaigns powered by Teads. Outstream video ads such as Teads’ “inRead” format can run against text-based content, thereby creating brand-new inventory for premium publishers.
Because inRead ads only play when in view on the screen for a defined amount of time, their viewability is already strong. Teads has advocated for stricter viewability. The Moat partnership gives Teads a custom dashboard to display video ads that have been completed. Teads said that early implementation has shown viewability and attention are nearly double Moat’s viewability benchmarks.
A new partnership announced by video ad buying platform AudienceScience and programmatic video supply-side provider SpotXchange aims to accelerate video advertising on the mobile web and in mobile apps. The companies have completed an OpenRTB integration enabling advertisers using AudienceScience’s Helios system to access mobile video inventory that publishers manage using SpotXchange.
TubeMogul and Videoplaza, an Ooyala company, have announced a partnership to build a premium programmatic ad marketplace, which will enable brands, agencies and trading desks that use TubeMogul's buying platform to access inventory from international broadcasters and publishers that use Videoplaza's sell-side programmatic solutions Karbon and Konnect.
Synacor, which provides TV Everywhere and portal solutions to small-and-medium sized pay-TV operators, has partnered with thePlatform to integrate the latter's mpx video management system. Himesh Bhise, Synacor's CEO, told me that the deal furthers the company's goal to be a white label provider of end-to-end managed video solutions, supporting customers who are increasingly exploring a range of new services and business models.
BrightRoll announced a number of new and expanded partnerships this morning at its BrightRoll Video Summit, all intended to accelerate programmatic video advertising. They include:
comScore and Nielsen - Integration of comScore's Validated Campaign Essentials (VCE) and Nielsen's Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) so buyers can tap into this measurement data in planning, targeting, optimizing and reporting on their campaigns. Access to the data is being provided free to buyers.
Google - A programmatic integration with DoubleClick so that video ad buyers using BrightRoll will be able to gain real-time access to high-quality inventory in the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, which includes YouTube.
BlueKai - Last, BrightRoll announced that mobile audience targeting is available, with BlueKai as the first 3rd-party mobile data provider that has been integrated. Others are expected this year. The mobile capability means buyers using the BrightRoll platform will be able target audiences beyond desktops, on smartphones and tablets. BlueKai includes 20,000 data categories in a marketplace of 70 million unique iOS and Android users.
(Note: I'm attending the BrightRoll Video Summit this morning and will be continuously tweeting highlights at #BRVS.)
Encoding.com and Harmonic have announced a partnership to offer unlimited cloud-based transcoding to content and service providers to convert broadcast-quality content into numerous other media formats for multi-screen delivery.
Jeff Malkin, president of Encoding.com told me that there are 2 principal benefits of the partnership: 1) existing Harmonic ProMedia Carbon customers can use their presets/profiles to easily augment their own on-premise encoding infrastructure when workloads increase by utilizing Encoding.com cloud capacity, and 2) for new customers who want to tap use cloud transcoding instead of building their own infrastructure, they can use Encoding.com. In both situations transcoding costs and time to market are reduced.
Innovid announced today that it has been chosen as the preferred video ad partner for Atlas, the ad serving and measurement platform which Facebook acquired from Microsoft last year. As a result of the deal, Innovid will be integrated with Atlas so that clients can run addressable and interactive video ad campaigns across screens via one unified console. Analytics for the Innovid video ads will also be provided within Atlas and billing is integrated.
In yet another sign of how online video and TV advertising are continuing to blur, this morning ActiveVideo and BrightLine have announced a partnership to enable set-top boxes and connected TV devices to deliver interactive video ads from the cloud without any additional technical or creative work. Using ActiveVideo's new "CloudTV AdCast," advertisers and agencies can seamlessly deliver HTML5 ads to set-top boxes and connected TV devices, vastly expanding the reach of their ads and increasing their ROI.
The WSJ has reported that Netflix is holding early stage discussions with at least two U.S. cable operators, Comcast and Suddenlink, about having its app included in their set-top boxes. I've been seeing a lot of arguments for why Netflix partnerships would be good for cable operators, but it seems to me there would be a lot of risk involved for them if such deals materialized.
Helping Netflix become bigger and stronger would be disadvantageous for cable operators. First and foremost, this would be felt in the area of content rights. By securing past seasons of TV programs, Netflix has driven the binge-viewing phenomenon and become its biggest beneficiary. I expect binge-viewing will only gain in popularity going forward as more people experience it and more devices make it ever easier to do. Adoption of binge-viewing means those distributors with strong video libraries will do better.
I'm pleased to present the 199th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. In this week's edition we discuss the new "See It" tool announced in a partnership between Comcast/NBCU and Twitter.
Beginning in November, certain tweets about TV shows will carry the "See It" button. When users click on it, they will be given choices to watch the program now on their mobile device, tune their Comcast X1 set-top to that channel to watch on TV, set their DVR or receive a reminder (more about how See It works here).
Colin and I both like See It's potential to convert the "chatterfest" that now regularly occurs on Twitter around TV shows and live events (sports, award shows, etc.) into higher viewership. Tightly coupling social discovery and the opportunity to immediately watch is very compelling. If Twitter can show See It can actually driving viewership (note, still a big "if"), it would become a very important promotion tool for the TV industry.
We also discuss how See It works with authentication/TV Everywhere, the critical role that Comcast's new IP-based X1 set-tops play in enabling See It, how the rest of the pay-TV industry might adopt See It, and the potential to spread See It to other social sites. See It's widespread adoption will require a lot of TV ecosystem support, but if its value is quickly proven, we believe that could happen.
(Last - Colin and I will both be participating in BroadbandTV Con in Hollywood Nov. 4-6. Come meet us! VideoNuze readers get $75 off conference registration using the code "VideoNuze." Colin will also be hosting a pre-conference workshop.)
Click here to listen to the podcast (17 minutes, 19 seconds)
Interactive video advertising provider Innovid, and technology giant Cisco have unveiled a new partnership today at IBC meant to deliver interactive, contextual video ads to second screens.
As Innovid's CEO and co-founder Zvika Netter explained to me, the proof-of-concepts at IBC show how Innovid taps in, via API, to a Cisco-powered metadata stream associated with a pay-TV operator's services to TVs and second screen apps. The metadata allows Innovid to deliver interactive iRoll ads to the second screen apps that are synched with ads that are running on TV. A second proof-of-concept also shows this done by location. Second screen apps from pay-TV providers have become a key priority as part of their TV Everywhere initiatives.