A couple of weeks ago, RhythmOne closed its acquisition of YuMe, one of the original leaders in video advertising. The deal was announced last September and was valued at approximately $185 million. The deal is the latest in a series of mergers and acquisitions consolidating the fragmented video ad tech landscape. To learn more about the deal and RhythmOne’s plans, I interviewed Dan Slivjanovski, Chief Operating Officer.
VideoNuze: Explain what RhythmOne does and why it acquired YuMe
Dan Slivjanovski: RhythmOne connects advertisers to audiences through a combination of differentiated supply, innovative technology and data-driven insights. Our end-to-end platform, called RhythmMax, offers direct, efficient and effective connections, driving ROI for advertisers and publishers. We were founded in 2004, focused primarily on internet video search. In 2007, we became a public company, and are traded on the AIM exchange, or the LSE, in London.
According to new research released today from YuMe and Nielsen, 60% of U.S. homes now have either a smart TV or a connected TV device, with 74% of these owners, or approximately 44% of U.S. homes, using them on a daily basis. Of the 2,410 research participants, 1,465 had a TV connected to the Internet, with 884, or 60% of them using a connected TV device like Roku, Fire TV, etc. and 581 (40%) using a smart TV.
The research also found that smart TV ownership has nearly doubled since 2013. No surprise, the research found that movies and TV shows are the preferred content for large screen TVs, while short-form video is most popular on computers and mobile devices.
There’s plenty of M&A and financing activity in the video adtech space, with the latest news coming this morning with RhythmOne acquiring YuMe for $185 million. The deal had been rumored for a while and unites YuMe’s demand-side capabilities with RhythmOne’s supply-side and programmatic platform. YuMe was one of the earliest video adtech players to go public, back in 2013, but has had a bumpy ride as the industry rapidly evolved.
Don’t blink or you might miss it.
Last week, it was reported that Mars and Duracell are each airing two six-second television ad spots during this Sunday’s Teen Choice Awards. Fox announced that the ads, which take the place of a single 15 or 30-second ad, will be part of new 29-second pods that will begin by telling viewers to stay-put for four six-second ads.
The reasoning behind this move should come as no surprise - today’s teens show a clear preference for short-form content and clearly seem to be influenced by short ad lengths.
But the news underscores a bigger issue - are demographics the key driver of shorter ad lengths?
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.
Online video advertising is still relatively new, so understanding its exact impact on critical brand metrics is not yet entirely clear. To better understand the correlations between frequency and impact, YuMe recently conducted a study using Kantar Milward Brown’s MarketNorms data and select video ad campaigns that ran in Q1 2017.
Not so surprisingly, at a high level, YuMe found that as viewers experienced more video ad exposures, all brand metrics improved. These metrics include aided awareness, online ad awareness, message association, brand favorability and purchase intent.
Pre-rolls remain the workhorse of video advertising, outperforming other formats across metrics including recall, engagement and relevance. That’s according to research from IPG Media Lab and YuMe which was released this morning and compared the performance of pre-roll, mid-roll, outstream and social video formats across mobile and desktop.
IPG found that just 17% of respondents agreed that pre-rolls interrupted content on desktop vs. 46% for outstream and 53% for mid-roll. The same pattern was true in mobile, with 17% of respondents agreeing that pre-rolls interrupted content compared with 60% for outstream and 72% for mid-roll.
YuMe has released results of a 500-person online survey about Super Bowl XLIX viewing intentions, finding surprisingly strong interest in watching the game via streaming. 37% of those surveyed said they plan to watch via a connected TV device, with 87% watching on TV, thereby implying lots of dual screen watching is in store.
41% of respondents said it was important to watch the game on multiple devices, with 75% agreeing there's less chance of missing out when using multiple devices.
Late last week, YuMe announced that it was implementing Nielsen's mobile Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) to support cross-screen video ad campaigns for clients Toyota and GSK. With Nielsen's mobile OCR, YuMe is able to measure audience segments by demographics, thereby improving its targeting capability across screens.
Reading through a WSJ article yesterday, "Advertisers' Dilemma In Online Video - Reach or Frequency?" it struck me once again how silly it is to keep reinforcing a debate of online video advertising versus TV advertising. Five years ago this debate may have had some merit. But in 2014, savvy advertisers know it's really online video advertising and TV advertising. The two are highly complementary and are actually blurring as many of the traditional distinctions between them continue breaking down.
YuMe, Frank N. Magid Associates and Razorfish have released results of a study on how consumers interact and view content/advertising on Connected TVs (CTV). Among the key findings are that consumers are receptive to CTV advertising and that choice and control in advertising are a priority for them.
For example, participants said that they have a low tolerance for interruption and would rather be shown ads that have relevant calls-to-action, rather than something completely unrelated to the content being viewed. Participants also said that their attention is drawn to on-screen animation but want ad interactions to be kept simple and easily accessible. Additionally, utilizing video advertising works best because CTV should be a lean-back experience.
Here's a good news / bad news story for TV executives closely watching millennials' video consumption habits as a harbinger of what the future may look like. The good news is that, in new research by YuMe and IPG Media Lab, TV shows are still the most popular type of video millennials are watching, cited by 37% of the group.
The bad news however, is that among women 18-24, hours of TV viewing/week was down 10% year-over-year and among men 18-24 it was down 7%. Of note, user-generated content was a close second to TV shows in popularity, cited by 33% of millennials, and ahead of movies (28%), music videos (19%) and news (13%). For low-budget UGC to be vying so closely with expensive TV programming for millennials' attention says a lot about their changing tastes.
I'm pleased to present the 191st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.
This was a big week for online video advertising, with 3 key milestones: AOL's acquisition of Adap.tv for $405 million (the biggest of CEO Tim Armstrong's tenure), YuMe's IPO, and Tremor Video reporting solid 2nd quarter results, in its first quarter as a public company.
As I explained earlier this week, the success of AOL-Adap.tv is riding on 3 key market trends, the shift from linear TV style viewing to anywhere/anytime/any device viewing, the democratization of video production and distribution which has led to a plethora of online originals, and the influence of technology in the ad buying/selling process. AOL is seeking to capitalize on all this through Adap.tv's programmatic platform.
Meanwhile Tremor Video, whose stock has had a bumpy start since the company went public in early July, posted a strong 2nd quarter, with revenue growing by 41% year-over-year. As CEO Bill Day explained on the earnings call, key to this was a focus on premium performance-based in-stream video advertising, which grew from 20% of revenue in Q2 '12 to 34% in Q2 '13. Mobile was also a big contributor to the quarter, rising from 4% of revenue to 13% of revenue. Bill noted the company is highly focused on providing transparency and analytics around traditional brand metrics such as brand lift, engagement, completion rates, etc. to engage buyers.
More broadly, as Colin observes, online video is giving brands and content providers more flexibility to insert product placements and other deep product integration. I agree, though for the foreseeable future, I see the vast majority of online video ad revenue coming from more traditional pre-, mid- and post-roll advertising.
Click here to listen to the podcast (18 minutes, 57 seconds)
(Note: YuMe and Tremor Video's VideoHub are VideoNuze sponsors)
TVs connected to the Internet - whether through set-top boxes, game consoles, Blu-ray players and/or as Smart TVs - are one of the hottest trends in the video landscape. Connected TVs allow viewers to have all of the traditional lean-back, long-form experiences they're accustomed to, but with online video/over-the-top's benefits of convenience and selection. Connected TVs crack open pay-TV operators' grip on TV delivery and give advertisers new opportunities to engage audiences.
Nonetheless, it is still early in connected TVs' evolution, and at the recent Video Ad Summit, we dedicated a session to debunking 5 key myths that have grown up around connected TVs and video advertising. Moderator Tom Morgan, CEO and co-founder of Net2TV, led a discussion of these myths with executives from LG, Media Storm and YuMe, which was based on thought-leadership from YuMe (full presentation available here).
The video is below and runs 30 minutes, 21 seconds.
Video ad tech provider YuMe has introduced a new ad unit for connected TVs dubbed "Click to Ngage." Simon Hayhurst, SVP of Product Management at YuMe, told me yesterday that the new ad unit is meant to give advertisers a way to extend their creativity beyond typical 30-second pre-rolls into more of an immersive "mini-site" type of format.
Consumers' ongoing adoption of multiple devices has made it harder than ever for advertisers to figure out how to make their spending on video advertising as effective as possible. To help clarify things, yesterday YuMe and IPG Media Lab released a new study yesterday (download here) which shows that while the role of screen size matters, other factors including ad clutter, creative content and context actually matter more in determining ad effectiveness.
In the study, 147 participants were exposed to ads on linear TV, connected TV, PC and mobile devices with ad load and frequency typical of what is found when viewing content on these devices. Four different types of content were shown, depending on participants' interests. Participants' ad recall, excitement and attention were each measured, through a mix of follow-up surveys and biometric tools.
Nearly 90% of connected TV viewers notice ads when they're watching video, and 66% of them are likely to interact with the ad according to a new study released this morning by video ad management/network YuMe and researcher Frank N. Magid Associates. The study, which included 736 connected TV users, is being called the most extensive research yet done on the burgeoning connected TV sector and underscores emerging advertising opportunities for brands to connect with viewers.
At the recent VideoNuze 2012 Online Video Advertising Summit, TDG senior analyst Colin Dixon sat down with Ed Haslam, SVP of Marketing at YuMe to discuss the market for video advertising on connected TVs (sometimes also called "Smart TVs"). Ed and Colin agreed that while there are already 20 million or more U.S. homes with these TVs, the ad opportunity is still relatively small, though it has enormous potential as these devices are adopted in hundreds of millions of homes globally over the next 5 years.
Ed has a strong perspective on this space as YuMe has a deal with Samsung and with LG to power advertising on their connected TVs. In the session, Ed discussed the experiences of 2 early advertisers, Toyota and State Farm. He also explained exactly where video ads are inserted today, how these units differ from typical pre-roll units seen online, and how the market is broadening to also include in-app advertising. Ed also describes 2 key challenges for the connected TV advertising space; consumer fragmentation and gaining developers' attention.