Programmatic is one of the most important trends in the online video advertising industry, with eMarketer forecasting that in 2016 nearly $4 billion of online video advertising will be transacted programmatically. At last month’s Video Ad Summit, one of our sessions focused on programmatic video advertising from the advertiser/buy side and another from the content provider/sell side.
The advertiser/buy side session included Larry Allen (SVP, Business Development, Xaxis), Jim Caruso (VP, Product Strategy, Varick Media Management), Neeraj Kochhar (Managing Director, Buy-Side Platforms, Tremor Video), Troels Smit (Head of Demand Sales, LiveRail), with Gain Dunaway (Senior Editor, AdMonsters) moderating.
The content provider/sell side session included Doug Fleming (Director of Programmatic, Hulu), Manny Puentes (Chief Technology Officer, Altitude Digital), Sorosh Tavakoli (SVP, AdTech, Ooyala), Tim Trevathan (SVP, Publisher Solutions, Defy Media), with Ashley Swartz (CEO and Founder, Furious Corp.) moderating.
The session videos are included below. Taken together they provide a wealth of insights about where programmatic video advertising is today, the key opportunities and challenges for advertisers and content providers, what’s ahead, plus lots more.
At Facebook's F8 developer conference yesterday, the company announced a series of initiatives that, taken together, demonstrate it is positioned to be a very big player in video and YouTube's biggest competitor long-term. Following are the most important announcements and my take on their implications. I also note the key missing pieces that are almost certainly on Facebook's video roadmap.
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.
At LiveRail's Publisher Forum yesterday, CEO and co-founder Mark Trefgarne shared product roadmap details, including support for mobile display advertising, taking the company beyond its video advertising roots. Mark said LiveRail will offer full display ad serving across all devices and a unified video/display SDK for Android and iOS. Mobile display units will include banners, interstitial and native.
With these new display units, LiveRail will expand its mobile ad serving and programmatic capabilities beyond video. All of this will be offered initially through the Facebook Audience Network which provides monetization to mobile apps outside of Facebook. In addition, LiveRail previewed what it's calling "Platform 5," a next-generation UI for ad operations, which streamlines workflows.
September is here and that means summer 2014 is in the rear-view mirror. For online video and the broader video ecosystem, it was another busy few months, as viewers around the world continue to shift their consumption patterns, with many companies scrambling to keep pace. Below I've distilled my list of the 10 biggest online video stories of the summer - read on and let me know if I've missed something!
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.
Recently released data from online video ad platforms Videology and LiveRail reveal in-depth dynamics of the fast-moving online video ad industry.
First, in an analysis of 2.4 billion video impressions Videology delivered in Q1 '14, it found that 91% of advertisers bought video ads based on a guaranteed CPM (cost per impression), similar to how traditional TV advertising is bought. This was an increase of 6% vs. Q4 '13.
The desktop still dominates for online video ad campaigns, as 78% were for desktop-only, followed by 10% for desktop plus mobile, 6% for desktop/mobile/connected TV, 5% for mobile only and 1% for other connected TV. Videology found that 35% of campaign used some type of 3rd-party verification, including Nielsen's OCR or comScore's vCE.
Programmatic video advertising came of age around the recent Super Bowl. Many video publishers, offering an unprecedented volume of pre-roll ads programmatically, sold out all available inventory for 24 hours before the game and 48 hours afterwards at record CPMs.
The Super Bowl of course has special appeal to advertisers because it's perhaps the only TV event where consumers actually make a point of watching and caring about the commercials! But the increasing desire of marketers to supplement buys in big live TV events with online video advertising shows no signs of abating. From the recent Golden Globes and Grammy Awards to the Winter Olympics and Oscars, advertisers are increasingly using the programmatic marketplace to gobble up pre-roll inventory on sites that reach prospective customers.
I'm pleased to present the 215th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. In today's podcast, we welcome as our guest Mark Trefgarne, CEO and co-founder of LiveRail, a leading provider of programmatic video advertising solutions for content providers.
In the podcast, Mark explains what LiveRail does, defines what "programmatic" means to the company, how humans will always be involved in the buy/sell, offers a timeline for how programmatic will take more share of video advertising and articulates the benefits of programmatic to content providers. Mark also delves into the impact of multi-platform, mobile and TV Everywhere delivery plus key challenges ahead and more.
Apologies in advance, Colin's and Mark's audio levels are a little low. Update - audio levels are fixed)
Listen in to learn more!
LiveRail, whose programmatic video ad platform powers monetization for numerous premium content providers, announced this morning that it has appointed former NBCU ad executive Peter Naylor to its board of directors. Peter had headed up digital media sales at NBCU, where he helped lead the company's programmatic initiatives. Peter is a well-known digital media executive, serving as chairman of the IAB board and treasurer of the OPA.
In another sign of how TV and online video are continuing to converge, LiveRail is announcing this morning support for TV-style advertising pods in online video streams, using real-time bidding. The new feature means that content providers can programmatically sell and insert multiple ads in a given ad break, increasing monetization opportunities for long-form content absent additional users or viewership.
While preserving a positive user experience is critical, the reality is that as content providers have continued to push long-form programs online, the hunt for additional revenues has only intensified. According to recent research from FreeWheel, long-form ad loads were up 12% in Q2 '13 year-over-year to nearly 12 ads per 20-minute or longer stream. However, the increase doesn't appear to be affecting the viewer experience yet, as completion rates for mid-roll ads (the most likely place to insert ad pods with multiple ads) stood at 97% for 15-second ads and 91% for 30-second ads.
I'm pleased to present the 197th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. At Advertising Week this week in NYC, the dominant theme I heard about was programmatic video advertising. Though it's an important and growing part of the larger video advertising space, it's still early days, so even the very definition of "programmatic" doesn't seem to have clear consensus.
In this week's podcast I explain the 3 main elements of programmatic as I understand them: automating certain buy/sell processes, using data to improve targeting and optimize yield/ROI, and using dynamic pricing models like real-time bidding. Depending on who you talk to, programmatic can refer to one or more of these elements.
One of the key topics of the week was how programmatic can be used by "premium" video content providers/publishers. In the podcast I also discuss this in-depth. I'm personally continuing to get my head around programmatic, so if I've misstated or mischaracterized anything, let me know and/or leave a comment!
Click here to listen to the podcast (19 minutes, 22 seconds)
Even as technology-based programmatic video advertising gains momentum, real-world, human relationships are still crucial. That was the message at an innovative event that LiveRail hosted Tuesday afternoon in NYC during Advertising Week. The company, which focuses exclusively on publisher side programmatic video ad management, held a "speed-dating" event to help forge new relationships between buyers and sellers.
I attended part of the event (observing only) and was impressed with the buzz and energy in the room. There were 80+ attendees, including 22 premium publishers, with each having a table-top around the perimeter of the room. Publishers included Conde Nast, ESPN, CBS Interactive, MLB.com, Scripps, Viacom, Univision, BET and others.
Video ad tech provider Videology is unveiling "Revenue Engine" today, a new product for video publishers to drive premium programmatic ad revenues. Scott Ferber, Videology's chairman and CEO, told me last week that although the vast majority of Videology's business is servicing the demand side (agencies and advertisers), it is expanding its supply side technology offerings to help video publishers gain equal footing in the booming online video ad market.
In our discussion Scott emphasized one particular feature of Revenue Engine - the ability for publishers to do scenario modeling of different variables in order to gain recommendations for optimal inventory pricing. The system works by including available inventory, prior performance data, buy-side criteria and other factors such as minimum pricing requirements.
At its Video Publisher Forum in NYC, LiveRail announced new features for its publisher-side video monetization tools. LiveRail has integrated Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) into its LiveRail Publisher Suite, so that publishers can obtain Nielsen metrics on current campaigns each night. There is also an "OCR Planner" which lets publishers gauge the value of their inventory in Nielsen audience terms. This helps publishers better target ad campaigns to their inventory.
Real-time video ad technology platform LiveRail is unveiling the "Video Brand Safety Alliance" this morning in partnership with AdSafe Media, Affine, comScore validated Campaign Essentials, DoubleVerify, Proximic and TRUSTe. As Mark Trefgarne, LiveRail's CEO and co-founder explained to me last week, the goal of the alliance is to offer advertisers, agencies, publishers and video ad networks a higher degree of insight and safety for their in-stream video ads.
LiveRail, a video ad management company, notched a high-profile customer win yesterday, announcing that PBS will use the company's platform to deliver sponsor messages on its recently launched PBS.org video portal and its 356 member stations' online video outlets. PBS is making an aggressive play in online video and has gained many positive reviews of its portal, which provides access to all of its full-length programs and more.
LiveRail's CEO Mark Trefgarne and EVP Nic Pantucci explained to me yesterday that they're building a suite of tools that equally addresses all 3 constituencies in the ecosystem - publishers, advertisers and ad networks. The company is focused on the following 3 differentiators to separate itself in a pretty crowded video ad management space:
Of course, the real way to validate these benefits and compare LiveRail to others is by getting hands-on and trying the platform out. I've offered similar advice in the past when assessing the variety of online video platforms.
LiveRail was started in 2007, has 15 employees and has raised $1.5 million to date, though it sounds like there may be financing news upcoming. The video ad management space includes others like FreeWheel, Adap.tv, Tremor Media (with its Acudeo product), Auditude and others.
What do you think? Post a comment now.