Demand-side video ad platform TubeMogul reported record Q4 2015 and full year 2015 financial results yesterday, once again beating its own forecasts, as investments in programmatic TV (PTV) and cross-screen planning paid off.
For 2015, total ad spending through TubeMogul was $414.2 million, up 63% vs. 2014 (above the most recent forecast of $406-$408 million), revenue was $180.7 million, up 58% vs. 2014 (above the forecast of $173-$175 million), gross profit was $122.5 million, up 53% vs. 2014 (above the forecast of $117-$119 million) and adjusted EBITDA was $3.4 million, up 31% vs. 2014 (above the forecast of a loss of $1-$3 million).
I'm pleased to present the 286th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
The past couple of weeks have brought into stark relief the tectonic changes happening in the video and TV industries. Linear ratings are way down, audiences are fragmenting to on-demand sources, pay-TV subscriber losses are up and advertisers are shifting their spending.
In this week’s podcast, Colin and zero in specifically on the huge shifts occurring in TV and video advertising. Advertisers’ priorities and buying processes are fundamentally moving toward more flexible, data-driven approaches. I explain why programmatic video/TV and mobile video ads are surging, looking at recent results from TubeMogul and SpotXchange as key evidence (see here and here for more). We also get into why advertising-supported VOD could have a bright future.
Listen in to learn more!
Demand-side video ad platform TubeMogul reported a very strong Q2 yesterday, with $105 million of total advertising spend on its platform, up 72% vs. Q2 ’14 and revenue of $45.4 million, up 58% vs. Q2 ’14. TubeMogul once again upped its full-year guidance, for total ad spending (to $395-$401 million) and revenue (to $164-$170 million).
While desktop pre-roll video ads still account for the dominant share of TubeMogul’s business, the company reported an upside surprise of between 5-10% of spending coming from programmatic TV (“PTV”), a useful indicator of how TV advertisers are beginning embrace programmatic. Mobile accounted for between 10-15% of spending in Q2 and the company’s new display offering accounted for under 5%.
At the Video Ad Summit, Frank Amorese, Media Director, Heineken USA and Dan Kern, SVP/Managing Director, MediaVest shared their insights on how online video and programmatic are changing their marketing mix. Keith Eadie, CMO of TubeMogul moderated.
Heineken is shifting marketing spending to digital channels, especially for its brands that target 21-29 year-olds since they’re watching less TV. Dan and Frank discuss how they’re using data to drive their spending in video based on both reach and business outcomes.
They measure cost of video on the basis of CPM, viewability, quality of targeting and other factors. Frank also discusses how they’re measuring both sales lift and attribution. Frank and Dan also describe how they’re implementing programmatic, including vendor selection, plus lots more.
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.
Last week's Video Ad Summit program included two sessions on programmatic video advertising, one of the biggest trends in the business today. The morning session focused on the buy/agency side and included executives from Harmelin Media, TubeMogul and Xaxis. The afternoon session focused on the sell/publisher side and included executives from Google, LiveRail, VEVO, Videology and Weather. Both were moderated by Ashley Swartz, CEO and founder of Furious Minds. Videos of both sessions are below.
I'm pleased to present the 195th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. Colin patched in from Amsterdam, where he's attending the big IBC show. Colin sat in on an interesting session with Keith Hindle, CEO of FremantleMedia's Digital & Branded Entertainment Division. For those not familiar with Fremantle, it is one of the biggest producers of TV shows in the world, with credits like American Idol and The X Factor.
Colin shares some of Hindle's key observations about how the TV landscape is shifting, the powerful role of 2nd screen apps in attracting advertisers, the paradigm of "paid/owned/earned" media and how to balance TV distribution vs. online (Fremantle is the 12th-ranked YouTube content partner). Lots of great insights.
We then shift our focus to the plethora of data this week quantifying the surge in mobile and tablet viewing. I have covered new reports from FreeWheel, Ooyala, VEVO and TubeMogul this week, all supporting this trend. VEVO in particular is capitalizing, with 50% of its views now on mobile, tablet and connected TVs (note, the success of VEVO TV has been a huge contributor on the latter).
Still, as we agree, it's important to remember that TVs and desktops are where the vast majority of video viewing currently occurs, per Nielsen and FreeWheel data respectively. This is changing each quarter, but it's an evolutionary, not revolutionary shift.
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(Note there is a 3 second drop-out in the audio mid-way. Apologies, we're not sure what happened. During it, I am referencing VEVO TV.)
An interesting nugget of data in TubeMogul's quarterly research report released last week was that the click-through rate on mobile video pre-roll ads in the U.S. is a robust 4.9%, more than 8 times higher than the .6% CTR that TubeMogul tracked for pre-rolls on non-mobile devices. Of the 5 countries TubeMogul reported on, the U.S. disparity is by far the biggest, with Canada and Australia following with about a 3x higher CTR for mobile vs. non-mobile (see chart below).
TubeMogul announced today that it will be offering real-time buying for mobile video ads on smartphones and tablets across public and private exchanges that generated over 94 million daily streams in February. TubeMogul believes this is the greatest reach of mobile video streams assembled to date, enabling buyers to centrally tap into the exploding world of mobile video usage. Top sites are routinely citing mobile usage as now accounting for between 25-50% of their video streams.
At last month's VideoNuze 2012 Online Video Advertising Summit, our closing session was a big picture debate on the future of online video advertising, featuring AOL's Frank Besteiro, NBCU's Peter Naylor, TiVo's Tara Maitra, TubeMogul's Brett Wilson and YouTube's Suzie Reider, which I moderated.
One of the things the group addresses is whether buyers of online video advertising will prefer an impression-based model (akin to traditional TV advertising) or an engagement-based model (akin to search and other forms of online advertising). I believe it's a key question as it goes to the heart of how video advertising will work and the experience viewers will have online. Within this larger question is the omnipresent issue of measurement - when will there be an accepted currency for online video advertising, and what will it be?
Broadband-only producers got a boost yesterday as blip.tv, which provides technology, ad sales and distribution for thousands of online shows, announced a variety of new deals as well as product improvements. The deals offer blip's producers new distribution, new monetization and new access to TVs. In order:
Distribution: blip's new deal with YouTube means that producers using blip can deliver their episodes directly to their YouTube accounts, eliminating the two step process. With YouTube's massive traffic, getting in front of this audience is critical to any independent producer. Since my first conversation with blip's co-founder Mike Hudack several years ago, the company's mantra has been widespread syndication. Blip already distributed its producers' shows to iTunes, AOL Video, MSN Video, Facebook, Twitter, and others. Vimeo is another new distribution partner announced yesterday.
Monetization: A new integration with FreeWheel means that ads blip sells can follow the programs it distributes wherever they may be viewed. I've written about FreeWheel in the past, which offers essential monetization capability for the Syndicated Video Economy. With the blip deal, FreeWheel delivered ads can be inserted on YouTube. This follows news earlier this week that YouTube and FreeWheel had struck an agreement which allows content providers that use FreeWheel and distribute their video on YouTube can have FreeWheel insert their ads on YouTube (slowly but surely YouTube is opening itself up to 3rd parties).
Access to TVs - Last but not least is blip's integration with the Roku player which will help bring blip's shows directly to TVs (adding to deals blip already had with TiVo, Sony Bravia, Verizon FiOS, Boxee and Apple TV). While Roku's footprint is still modest, it is positioned for major growth given current deals with Netflix and Amazon, and others no doubt pending. At $100, Roku is an inexpensive and easy-to-operate convergence device that is a great option for consumers trying to gain broadband access on their TVs. Gaining parity access to TV audiences for its broadband producers is a key value proposition for blip.
In addition to the above, blip also redesigned its dashboard and work flow, making it easier for producers to manage their shows along with their distribution and monetization. An additional deal with TubeMogul announced yesterday allows second by second viewer tracking, providing more insight on engagement.
Taken together the new deals help blip further realize its vision of being a "next generation TV network" and provide much-needed services to broadband-only producers. This group has taken a hit this year, given the tough ad sales and funding environments, so they need every advantage they can get.
What do you think? Post a comment now.
In Q2 '09, 9 broadband and mobile video-oriented companies raised at least $64M, notching another stellar quarter. Here's what I tracked for the quarter (if I missed anything, please drop me a note). I've identified when new investors participated:
(Note that I've included beeTV, which offers a cross-platform TV recommendation system, so isn't a pure broadband or mobile video company. On the other hand, one might argue that Sugar's $16M round should also be included, since the company simultaneously announced the acquisition of video-oriented Shopflick.com and launch of Sugar Digital Entertainment. However, I haven't counted it since Sugar's more of a pure blog network.)
Excluding Sugar, the $64M comes on the heels of approximately $75M raised in Q1 '09 and over $80M raised in Q4 '08. That means over the last 3 quarters - arguably the heart of the current recession - at least 26 companies have raised a total of $219M. To be sure, everyone I've spoken to has told me these rounds have been hard work to raise, but these companies' successes demonstrate the appeal of the broadband video sector to investors and their anticipation for continued rapid growth.
One thing worth noting is that of the 26 companies, not a single one is a video producer itself, or even an aggregator of video. There has been a significant shift in investor sentiment away from content and towards the platforms and tools required to power video. While that's lamentable, it's also completely understandable. The bruising advertising environment, combined with ongoing business model uncertainty and the death of certain independent producers (e.g. 60Frames, Ripe Digital, etc.) has frozen new content investments. Aggregators aren't faring much better. Just today it was reported that Joost CEO Mike Volpi is stepping aside, as the company tries to relaunch itself as a technology provider. Veoh also restructured during the quarter, shedding half its staff and replacing CEO Steve Mitgang (in addition, just yesterday a VideoNuze reader emailed me saying he can't seem to find a working phone number for the company).
Couple all this with the rise of Hulu, the dominance of YouTube, the entry of cable operators and networks with TV Everywhere, and it's clear that on the content side at least, incumbents and earlier market entrants are ascendant, while more recent entrants and startups are having a tough time surviving the downturn. I anticipate this will continue to be the trend, at least until the economy rebounds.
What do you think? Post a comment now.
Categories: Deals & Financings
Here's another sign of the times: thePlatform is announcing this morning that it has launched three new initiatives aimed at reducing small-to-medium (SMB) sized content providers' total cost of running their broadband video operations. In the context of the woeful economy, it's a savvy move.
In effect thePlatform (note, a VideoNuze sponsor) is using its scale to create a buyer's cooperative to save money on three services (CDN, storage and others), thereby enabling its SMB customers to receive pricing comparable to what big customers can negotiate themselves. With thePlatform's customers driving 440 million video views in December '08, (3rd place after Google's site and Fox Interactive Media) according to comScore, the company is in a strong position to use its size on behalf of its SMB customers. I talked to Marty Roberts, thePlatform's VP Marketing, who explained the specifics of how the savings would work.
thePlatform's initiatives are based on an analysis it conducted of its SMB customers' key cost elements. No surprise, the cost of delivery was the biggest chunk, coming in at 78% of total. This was calculated using a set of assumptions including $.55/GB for delivery. For its new "mpsManage CDN" service, thePlatform has partnered with EdgeCast to resell its service for $.35/GB, resulting in a 36% savings on delivery costs. It will also be available on a utility basis, meaning no monthly commitments. Marty said that thePlatform will continue to work with its other 15 CDN partners, but I would guess that this new program is going to gain a lot of attention among its SMB customer base.
Delivery costs have always been a central issue for making the broadband P&L work. Having done many business cases for various content providers over the years, I'm well-acquainted with how quickly CDN costs can gobble up potential profitability even though the cost/GB delivered has plunged over the years. Yet there is a raft of CDNs out there to choose from, and the key is finding the right one for your needs at the moment and your budget. Still delivery costs persist as a major flashpoint: some of you may have read Mark Cuban's post just 2 weeks ago "The Great Internet Video Lie" in which he basically asserted that large CDNs and their pricing are the real gatekeepers to a truly open broadband distribution model (for the record, I think some of his points are valid, but long-term his logic is flawed).
The other programs thePlatform is rolling out are important, though not as impactful as the delivery option, simply because their percentage of underlying total costs is so much smaller in size. thePlatform is offering a new storage program which slashes the cost of storage from $8/GB on average, to $2/GB. Though a big cut, thePlatform calculates storage only accounts for 5% of total costs today.
Lastly, through its new Advantage program it's tapping into a select group of its ecosystem partners to find another 10% or more cost reduction on services like advertising, reporting and analytics and online community creation. Advantage program participants include Panache, BlackArrow, TubeMogul, Live Rail, ScanScout, Gloto and Visible Measures.
Add it all up and thePlatform believes it can offer a 32% reduction in "total cost of ownership" for SMB video content providers. These new services create a new revenue stream for the company, as the reduced prices include a margin for thePlatform as well. And as Marty pointed out the SMB space is quite vibrant and these programs will allow thePlatform to be more competitive in winning deals by giving them another negotiating lever.
thePlatform's moves are also smart from a positioning standpoint; in this troubled economy I think providers who overtly message that they are doing what they can to save customers money generate valuable notoriety. In good times everyone's focused on top-line growth and wants more features and flexibility. In bad times those goals are still valued, but saving money - which can often make the difference in merely surviving - is prized over everything else (Ben Franklin said it best: "a penny saved is a penny earned"). As a result, I suspect we'll see more companies unveiling messages of this kind in the months to come.
What do you think? Post a comment now.