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AOL Platforms: Data Mastery Drives Programmatic Video Growth

StateVideoAs brands become better stewards of their first-party data, they’re bringing their programmatic video buys in-house to better control their media expenditures, according to AOL Platforms’ report, the "US State of the Video Industry," released Monday.

Although only 13% of the 350 media and marketing professionals (both AOL customers and non-customers) surveyed said they have in-house programmatic video-buying programs, 88% said they intend to develop one over the next 12 months.

“That was a big, surprising number for us and my hunch is a lot of this is being driven by the data piece and that more often than not, the brand owns their own data and there is this movement toward owning that multitouch attribution themselves,” said Toby Gabriner, head of and ONE by AOL.

AOL Platforms also found 60% of brands’ online video spend is programmatic, compared to 40% of agencies’ video spend. The difference is because publishers adept at harnessing their audience data know the value of that data and work directly with brands.


Extreme Reach Hopes To Ease TV Ad Repurposing

JohnRolandOne of the complications of digital video and TV convergence is the arduous process of marrying the right creative with the right medium.

Extreme Reach on Monday rolled out a platform promising advertisers up to a 50% reduction in that tedious workflow by enabling them to traffic creative, secure rights and measure the effects of their video and television campaigns from one spot.

The traditional process, when an advertiser wants to digitize a television ad, involves finding the agency that produced the commercial, which can be a pain, said John Roland, CEO of Extreme Reach. “And you may have 30 versions of the same commercial.”

It gets worse. Before uploading a commercial to a digital property, one must confirm talent rights have been paid, then enter an even lengthier transcoding process. Extreme Reach claims it bypasses all of these steps via direct partnerships with post houses, the boutique production houses agencies rely on to tighten up 30-second spots and add voiceovers and music to commercials.


LG, Smartclip And Starcom Debate Future Of Programmatic TV

FutureTVMarketers are under enormous pressure to target users from tablets to connected TVs, but the supply side needs to feel incented in order for programmatic TV to take hold.

This was a theme emerging from the DMEXCO show Thursday where a mashup of marketers, agencies and tech companies mixed for two days in Cologne, Germany.

“What we’re seeing from the numbers is people are watching more TV,” said Jim Clayton, EVP of the new business division at LG, during a discussion on addressable TV with Jean-Pierre Fumagalli, CEO of Smartclip; Michael Shehan, CEO of SpotXchange; and Iain Jacob, president of dynamic markets at Starcom MediaVest.

With reports of rampant cord-cutting among the Millennial crowd, it’s easy to make the assumption that TV is losing clout, but Clayton argued there has been a “reaggregation” of viewers on new OTT devices, whether they be Roku or Apple TV.

“We as marketers and advertisers have to follow the consumer,” Fumagalli said. “The tablet is the television screen. ... Samsung and LG are leading the way, but there’s also Apple, the platforms like Google who want to get into this and then big broadcasters with big brands and audiences.”


How Google Groomed YouTube For The Brand Advertising Game

YouTubeEach day, 7 million fans tune in to YouTube to see bubbly video blogger Bethany Mota make breakfast or braid her hair.

The breakout video star draws tweens eager for a taste of Mota’s fashion and beauty must-haves, averaging 100 million minutes of video watched per month. She’s equally attractive to brand advertisers, clinching campaigns and clothing lines with Forever 21 and Aeropostale.

But YouTube, the video platform Google acquired for $1.65 billion in 2006, has become much more than a Millennial magnet. Consider Disney Collector, a channel attracting a fan base of two million parents and their little tykes who tune in for toy demos.

“This [channel] is getting 2.6 billion page views and what’s interesting is, this is very brand safe content in a clean, well-lit environment,” said Brian Pitz, an equity analyst at Jefferies during an investor call late last week. “Brands are advertising against this content.”

YouTube, according to Jefferies report “The Future Of Online Video Advertising: A Focused Deep Dive on YouTube” accounts for roughly 7-11% of Google’s market cap or $40-$63 per share. Gross revenue was an estimated $5.9 billion this year, and at a 35% compound growth rate, that could rise to close to $10 billion by 2017.

The Golden Content Ticket

This year, AOL, Yahoo and Amazon collectively doubled down on original content.

Google’s content partners, most commonly known as multi-channel networks (MCNs), are largely responsible for the seismic shift in YouTube from its earlier days as a repository of user uploaded cat videos.


Mixpo Buys Social Ad Platform ShopIgniter

mixpo-shopigniterMobile is social, social is mobile.

Working from this premise, video ad server Mixpo began a strategy review several months ago with the intention to build out its social capability. That process concluded Tuesday when the company closed on the acquisition of ShopIgniter, a social rich media specialist with 15 to 20 employees that is a member of Facebook's Preferred Marketing Developer partner program. Read Mixpo's blog post.

The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, brings together two companies based in the Pacific Northwest. (Mixpo is Seattle-based, ShopIgniter is in Portland, Ore.) The combined company's headcount is about 100.

"If you don't have a best-in-class social solution, you can't claim to have a best-in-class mobile solution. Facebook and Twitter are increasingly dominant in mobile" so Mixpo had to go there, said Jeff Lanctot, CEO at Mixpo.

Lanctot, who was previously chief global media officer at Razorfish, took the reins at Mixpo about one year ago, and also sits on the advisory board at ShopIgniter. However, he said he has stepped back from ShopIgniter since joining Mixpo, citing competitive concerns. He said his overture to ShopIgniter CEO Matt Compton in early summer came just as the latter company had begun to explore a sale.


Iconic Print Publisher Meredith Sees Connected TV Future

LauraRowleyMeredith Corp., the publisher of popular women’s interest titles like Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies’ Home Journal, is getting into the television game.

Over Labor Day weekend, Better Homes and Gardens debuted free, ad-supported programming compatible with connected devices from Samsung, LG, Sharp, Philips, Toshiba and Roku. Meredith worked with Net2TV’s Portico TV Service to develop two 30-minute programs with paid 30 and 60-second commercial breaks.

“We reach 60% of Millennial women through our platforms, which is more than MTV and Netflix,” remarked Laura Rowley, Meredith’s VP of video production and product, who joined Meredith last April from her role as head of original content and partnerships at The Huffington Post. The publisher reaches 100 million monthly visitors across digital and print.

“Right now, [connected TV] is a pretty nascent market, but I think this is where mobile was a year ago and we’ll see rapid growth throughout this year,” Rowley added. “It was important to us to get this show out the door and to be prepared for that uptick.”


TubeMogul Q2: "Chasing RFPs Is a Very Expensive Proposition"

TubeQ2Video demand-side platform (DSP) TubeMogul, which first began trading on the NASDAQ in July, reported $28.7 million in revenue for the second quarter.

This was a 127% increase over last year, when that figure totaled $12.6 million. Total advertiser spend in Q2 was $61.1 million. Read the earnings release.

As a point of reference, video ads platform Tremor reported Q2 revenue of $43.7 million while YuMe's was $40.4 million. TubeMogul slightly beat analyst estimates, which were in the $25 million range.

TubeMogul's self-serve Platform Direct business generated $11.6 million in revenue for the quarter while Platform Services revenue was $17.1 million. This, too, beat some analysts' estimates, which projected those revenue numbers to be $9 million and $16 million, respectively. Total spend for the quarter running through TubeMogul's self-serve platform was $44 million, accounting for 72% of total spend.

Platform Direct, according to company CFO Paul Joachim, is the "growth driver" of the business, basically doubling the number of brand advertisers using the platform to 283 last quarter. Although a majority of clients are first exposed to TubeMogul through Platform Services, the company sees this as a long-term driver for its platform business when migrating them over. About 25% of its Platform Direct clients were first exposed to the company through Platform Services.

"I think it highlights the difference in our software model vs. the model of other companies that are chasing the RFP business, which is a very expensive proposition," Brett Wilson, TubeMogul's CEO, told AdExchanger. "We're selling in software just one time and after that, clients consolidate their spend with us with little to no sales costs, so our model supports a lot more operating leverage."


Innovid CEO: “In-Banner Video Is Not Video”

ZvikaNetterInteractive video ad tech startup Innovid has changed significantly since its beginnings in 2007, when it had nothing to do with advertising.

Though it has since helped companies like Toyota, Chrysler and Sony Pictures serve up dynamic and interactive pre-, mid- and post-roll video ads, and has worked with both Roku and Sony Playstation to deliver over-the-top ads, it was founded by a group of guys with “no media/ad tech backgrounds whatsoever,” said Zvika Netter, Innovid’s cofounder and CEO.

Innovid’s initial incarnation was as a platform that dissected video content frame-by-frame and extracted metadata. “We spent three years building the platform and interacting with studios such as MTV and CBS to change the whole format of how news, sports, cooking shows (looked in digital),” Netter recalled. “It was a lot of cool, fun stuff, but absolutely no revenue.”

No revenue, however, isn’t a sustainable business model and in 2010, Innovid began its exclusive focus on advertising, working initially on pre-roll ads and now partnering with a number of video ad networks, premium publishers and tech platforms to serve interactive, cross-screen placements.

Netter spoke with AdExchanger for the next installment in a series of Q&As evaluating the video ads ecosystem. Past interviews have included: BrightRoll, Ooyala and SpotXchange. This series will also include Videology, Vindico and more.

AdExchanger: Describe the Innovid platform.

ZVIKA NETTER: Our Atom platform runs pre-roll (interactive iRoll) and other formats across web, mobile, connected devices and we’re extended that into the TV world. We’re not active on the traditional TV dollar side, but we have insight on the digital side, and we absolutely see digital video budgets increasing where we are active with things like addressable, personalized and dynamic video.


Amazon Acquires Twitch In $1 Billion Video Landgrab

amazonAfter committing $100 million to develop original video content this quarter, Amazon has invested a whole lot more in the medium, swooping in Monday with $970 million in cash to acquire the video gaming platform Google had been eyeing: Twitch Interactive. Read the release.

Variety first reported news of Google's interest in May, citing sources claiming it would acquire the streaming video game company for YouTube.

At the time, it reported that "YouTube is preparing for US regulators to challenge the Twitch deal. … YouTube is far and away the No. 1 platform for Internet video, serving more than 6 billion hours of video per month to 1 billion users worldwide." These antitrust concerns could have opened the door for Amazon to swoop in.

Twitch gives Amazon access to live video content and engagement. Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in a release: "Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month…and, amazingly, Twitch is only three years old." In July, Twitch counted more than 55 million uniques and more than one billion broadcasters (from individual gamers to publishers) contributing content.


NFL’s Mobile Chief Moves To Tremor To Lead SSP Roll-Out

ManishThe National Football League’s (NFL) GM of mobile, Manish Jha, has leapt to Tremor Video to spearhead sell-side relationships in his new role as president of publisher platforms.

“Tremor has been working with the NFL for some time now and we were really able to manage our direct sales business and network relationship in a way that (reduced) channel conflict,” Jha said of his decision to move to the video vendor. Tremor also has premium publisher relationships with Viacom and NBC Local.

“[Another] piece was the evolution… of video content consumption on all kinds of devices and Tremor’s focus on programmatic,” attracting agency trading desks and advertisers, he added.

Tremor, which began as a video ad network, has steadily morphed into a buyers’ and sellers’ marketplace. The company rolled out demand-side platform (DSP) VideoHub Connect last fall as an extension of its VideoHub analytics product and this spring launched all-screen campaign optimization that 56 advertisers have adopted. Tremor also revealed plans for a supply-side platform (SSP) to help premium publishers monetize content.