America’s broadcasting and cable companies have a rich history of creating great content and delivering large audiences that advertisers covet. They also perfected a direct sales supply and demand business model that has, for the most part, survived the digital invasion. But things have changed…
Digital disruption has rippled across the media landscape for over two decades now, and while television has fared better than their print media counterparts, accelerated disruption from Facebook and others is now hitting video publishers harder than ever. Much of the disruption falls into three categories:
Facebook is pouring lots of resources into video and according to a new report published by ad tech provider Mixpo this morning, the strategy appears to be bearing fruit. In its “State of Digital Advertising for Publishers” report, based on a survey and interviews with 263 digital publishing and advertising executives, Mixpo found that 50.2% of respondents had run video campaigns on Facebook, compared to 31.1% on YouTube. Twitter followed with 17%, then Instagram with 13.2% and all other social platforms were in single digits.
The concept of native, sponsored, or 'advertorial' content is not new to digital audiences, but when it comes to native video content, many publishers struggle to get beyond one-off executions. A recent Mixpo survey found 53% of publishers already offer a native advertising solution and 74% of respondents believe it is extremely or somewhat important to have a native product offering.
The opportunity lies in the execution: 47% of those marketers indicated they were unsatisfied with their ability to distribute native content. "Marketers want to spend money in this channel," says Rob Rasko, CEO of the consultancy 614 Group. "If publishers give them what they’re looking for, they’ll grow their revenue."
Video ad tech provider Mixpo has acquired ShopIgniter, a Portland, OR firm specializing in social and mobile advertising. Mixpo CEO Jeff Lanctot said the company concluded in a recent internal strategic review that in order for it to truly offer a best-in-class multiscreen video ad platform, it needed to improve its capabilities in mobile and social, which are increasingly intertwined.
As devices continue to proliferate, reaching viewers across multiple screens is becoming an imperative for advertisers. At the recent Video Ad Summit, one of our sessions focused on how advertisers are beginning to do this and what challenges remain. Participants included Larry Adams (Mindshare), Josh Chasin (comScore), Rob Holmes (Comcast), Chuck Parker (Brightcove), Katie Seitz (Tremor), with moderator Jeff Lanctot (Mixpo).
Connected TV is still in its adolescence as an advertising channel, but a survey conducted this month by video ad solution provider Mixpo suggests that's all about to change. Mixpo surveyed 130 media buyers and planners and found very strong interest in including connected TV on media plans - and soon. Some are taking action now, trying to get out in front of a rapidly maturing channel.
"Connected TV" (sometimes referred to as "Smart TV") is essentially internet content brought to the "big screen in the living room." The Mixpo survey defined it as programming, including video advertisements, streamed through OTT devices connected to the internet (Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, Amazon Fire).
A survey of 150 media buyers by multiscreen advertising provider Mixpo has found that an estimated 22% of ad impression buys in video ads believed to be are fraudulent, with estimated 32% of them not viewable.
The company said that it’s important for advertisers and agencies to know whether their video ads are viewable and whether it was actual people who generated the view versus bots. Media buyers know that this level of fraud is happening and that it’s an important part of their business. About 89% of those surveyed said that said measuring viewability of ads is a critical requirement and 83% ranked measuring fraud as a critical requirement.
Ad tech provider Mixpo has hired ad industry veteran and long-time board member Jeff Lanctot as its new CEO. Lanctot takes over the role from co-founder Anupam Gupta who remains on the board. Lanctot was most recently Chief Media Officer at digital agency Razorfish, and previously served as GM and Chief Strategy Officer. Prior he was at aQuantive and Microsoft Advertising.
Multiscreen video ad solution provider Mixpo is introducing today VideoVerify, a new video ad verification tool to combat fraud and substantiate video ad quality. VideoVerify assesses, in real-time, the quality of non-premium, long-tail video ad inventory on video ad exchanges. Based on data that VideoVerify provides, media buyers can block suspicious sites, or conversely, increase exposure on well-performing sites.
VideoVerify works by comparing current ad behaviors against a database of benchmarks Mixpo has built from hundreds of billions of video ad impression records over the past few years. The database includes in-stream, in-banner and in-app ad formats. Mixpo noted that this big data analysis has only recently become possible, and is enabled using Amazon's Redshift cloud-based data warehouse service.
A new report from video ad solution provider Mixpo has found that 78% of ad agencies ran multiscreen campaigns on behalf of their clients in 2012 and 90% expect to do so in 2013. In addition, 81% of media companies ran multiscreen campaigns in 2012 and 96% plan to do so in 2013. The report is based on surveys and interviews with 300 industry executives at agencies, media companies, and ad tech providers.
Video ad tech providers FreeWheel and Mixpo have collaborated with Discovery Communications to deliver the first VPAID 2.0-enabled video ad campaign across desktop and mobile. The interactive in-stream ads are running on Discovery's Animal Planet online and mobile properties.
VPAID 2.0 is an IAB standard that defines a common interface between video players and ad units, enabling in-stream interactivity. It obviates the need for advertisers to create custom code in order for an interactive campaign to work across multiple video players. As a result, interactive campaigns can be deployed across desktop and mobile far quicker and more cost-effectively, while using common ad serving/decisioning. (Mixpo created a short video explaining all this).
A new survey of local TV stations by video marketing platform provider Mixpo has found that between 58%-70% of local TV stations' online tune-in campaign budgets (depending on market size) are allocated to online video ads. Fully 85% of local stations intend to use online video advertising for tune-in campaigns in 2013.
Keeping this in perspective though, online advertising still only represents 14%-24% of local stations' tune-in ad spending, with stalwarts radio and cable still leading. However, online advertising already has strong buy-in from stations, with between 86%-100% reporting that they'll use it in 2013. And online advertising is poised to get a greater share of stations' ad budgets, as between 36%-57% of stations said they intend to increase online ad budgets. Video advertising would be a clear beneficiary of such moves.
Each week it seems there's another research research report showing how viewers are increasingly splitting their time watching video on multiple devices. Audience fragmentation is creating new opportunities and headaches for advertisers trying to reach their target audiences efficiently and cost-effectively.
This was the topic of one of our panel discussions at the VideoNuze Online Video Advertising Summit a couple of weeks ago, which included Marc DeBevoise, SVP/GM, Entertainment at CBS Interactive, Suzanne McDonnell, SVP, Ad Solutions, Discovery and Anupam Gupta, President and CEO, Mixpo, with Nick Buzzell, President and Executive Producer, NBTV Studios, moderating.
Two of the recurring themes of the session were that simplicity is essential for advertisers to capitalize on advertising opportunities across three screens and that it is still early days, so multi-screen advertising approaches vary depending on specific circumstances. The excitement around new technologies and devices is compelling but understanding client objectives and their level of sophistication is crucial. This is one of the reasons that pre-rolls, mid-rolls and post-rolls have become omnipresent; they're comparable and complimentary to existing TV advertising, making them relatively easy to work with.
There were lots of other great insights and lessons shared in this 25 minute session.
Online video advertising platform provider Mixpo is announcing this morning that is supporting Microsoft Advertising's deployment of the VPAID standard on MSN, MSNBC and other properties in its network. VPAID is an IAB standard for video players and ad units that enables market efficiencies for in-stream interactivity. VPAID helps make ads more engaging to viewers, more effective for advertisers and more monetizable to publishers. Here is a sample ad for Nordstrom Rack using the Mixpo ad platform that offers interactive elements to shop, see social media updates and find the closest store.
(Note: Mixpo is a sponsor of the June 19th VideoNuze Online Video Advertising Summit and will have a team on hand doing demos and answering questions.)
The ad business in general may be in the doldrums due to the economic downturn, but one space that's bustling with innovation is online video ads for local, small-to-medium (SMB) sized businesses.
Local advertising has of course been around since the beginning of time. And even the idea of allowing local SMBs to create video ads is not a new concept; cable operators' local ad divisions have been doing this for years. What's relatively new in the local ad space are companies that allow a far higher degree of self-service video ad creation and campaign management by the client, online placements of their ads, and much improved analytics and ROI measurement capabilities vs. traditional cable TV.
For some local merchants, engaging in this process will be overwhelming and they'll stick with the tried and true local options like newspaper, radio and yellow page listings. But I believe that for many others, who recognize that their customers are increasingly going online to find local merchants and understand that a video packs far higher emotional punch than a text ad, this new alternative will be highly compelling.
There are multiple fairly well-funded players covering the local SMB video ad space, each with their own particular points of differentiation. They include Spot Runner, Spot Mixer, Jivox, Mixpo, PixelFish and others. Some like Spot Runner don't limit themselves to online distribution only, they're targeting TV as well. But the basics are relatively similar: a low-cost, often self-service ad creation process, a pretty well-defined way of targeting the intended audience through locally-oriented sites, and fairly flexible campaign/spending options. A persistent goal is to make it incredibly easy and cost-effective for local SMBs, who have most likely never done anything like this, to get up and running quickly.
To get a better feel for this all works and how SMBs are benefitting, I recently spoke with both Jim Gustke, VP of Worldwide Marketing at Jivox and Stephen Condon, VP of Marketing at PixelFish. Jivox, which raised $10.5 million last summer, reported that it doubled its customer base in Q4 '08. Jim said a real differentiator for the company is its publishing network of 800 premium sites and 65 million monthly unique visitors. This allows it to offer advertisers improved targeting and analytics vs. competitors who can only promise placements on affiliated sites. Jivox video ads auto-play in a 300x250 window on the publisher's site with audio off until initiated by the user. Better still for the advertiser, Jivox only charges for ads when 100% of the video has been viewed, thereby providing a pay-for-performance value proposition as well.
Jim said the most popular local categories include cosmetic surgeons, dentists, contractors, hospitality and legal. Demonstrating how active the category is, most of Jivox's new business has come through search. New advertisers pay as little as $250 to get started.
Meanwhile, Stephen explained that PixelFish employs a more customized and channel-centric approach, getting 80% of its business through partners like YellowBook, Google TV and others who are interfacing directly with the SMBs. That means PixelFish overlaps a bit with TurnHere and other video production networks. When one of its partners generates an order, PixelFish taps into its network of videographers to shoot specific footage which is then centrally edited and produced for the client. Through online editing tools recently acquired from EyeSpot, the advertiser can make changes to the ad himself and continue to make updates to it as offers change.
"Democratization" is a much-overused word, but here I think it really does apply. Even with local cable advertising, the cost of producing and running a TV ad has been prohibitive for many local merchants. These new companies are changing that, making video advertising accessible and affordable for the first time for broad swaths of local SMBs. Incumbents like local cable, newspapers and radio need to prepare themselves as the power of broadband and search-based marketing disrupt their status quo. I'm expecting this new crop of companies is going to drive a lot of change in this space.
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