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Vidible Enters Fight Against Fraud

TimMahlmanOne hang-up premium publishers have with digital video – besides producing enough of content – is monetizing it, especially videos distributed off-network. One problem: blocking fraudulent traffic.

In that spirit, IDG, which owns GamePro, TechHive and PC World, also uses an anti-fraud solution called Flashlight, built by video content syndication platform Vidible in partnership with ad-verification specialist Integral Ad Science. Vidible released the solution Monday.

IDG, which worked with Vidible prior to Flashlight’s release, had tried to monetize video more efficiently.

Vidible enabled IDG to automate manual Media RSS feeds and streamline the content syndication process to various publishers, said Tim Mahlman, co-founder and president of Vidible. This lets IDG attach ads to content and perform reach extension.

Yet fraud is a publisher-wide problem, and it is especially rampant in video where CPMs are high.

“Fraud discredits all of us, driving down pricing and slow(ing) adoption,” said IDGTechNetwork CEO Pete Longo. “We built out our platform (and employ) a business intelligence team who spends a great deal of time analyzing where and how our ads appear, and looking at statistics to elicit patterns that may indicate fraud.”


GroupM’s Bologna On The Economics Of Addressable TV

MichaelBolognaAlthough addressable TV advertising commands an estimated $200 million-$300 million in spend compared to linear TV’s $70 billion annual ad market, according to some TV industry execs, it promises a targeted buy down to the household level either through a set-top box or other IP-enabled device.

However, the inherent challenges of addressable TV – which include both technological hurdles and unpredictable CPMs – make some advertisers hesitant to invest in it.

“In order for a household to become addressable, aka have the ability to insert a message to the individual set-top box, a number of things need to happen,” said Michael Bologna president of Modi Media, the advanced TV advertising unit of WPP media agency conglomerate GroupM. He estimates about a third of US households – or 42 million – enable the capability for dynamic ad insertion at the household level.

Enabling addressability means participating pay TV providers must install software in the set-top boxes. And while these installations make those 42 million households technically addressable, Bologna points out a big caveat: “That’s just the ability.”

Consequently, only 8% of advertisers have bought TV in an automated, programmatic fashion as opposed to the 84% who have utilized programmatic channels for display, according to eMarketer.

Bologna spoke with AdExchanger about the dynamics of the advanced TV buy.


Streaming Video Services Pile On, With Amazon Reportedly The Latest

BattleStreamAmazon’s rumored development of an ad-supported video-streaming service was resurrected Friday when the New York Post reported the ecommerce company’s launch of a “Netflix killer” is, indeed, nigh.

Although Amazon says it often experiments with new offers and experiences for customers, it has not announced plans for an ad-supported video-streaming service.

According to The Post’s sources, the service would be sold apart from Amazon Prime membership, which gives members access to “thousands” of free movies and TV shows on Fire TV, tablets and phones in addition to iOS devices and set-top boxes. Many have speculated that Amazon will roll out an ad-supported streaming option for video die hards who don't necessarily want the whole bag of perks associated with a Prime membership.

Amazon already offers free first episodes of select Prime Instant Video TV shows accompanied with ads via the applicably named “First Episode Free” feature (Geico has sponsored pre-roll in this instance), and there are display ads, which run on shorter game and movie trailers.

As Amazon inches closer to ad-supported streaming, some video players are going the other way. Three weeks ago YouTube CEO Susan Wocjicki revealed at the Code/Mobile conference (video) that YouTube is considering an ad-free, subscription offering.


YouTube MCNs Present Opportunities For Telcos And TV Companies

WantWatchWhat do telcos and YouTube talent have in common? Not a lot right now, but that will change once video and TV ad budgets converge.

Consider the YouTube multichannel network (MCN), Google content partners that are responsible for both production and audience monetization and which get 55% of banner and pre-roll ad revenue. The digital audiences MCNs attract is, in turn, attracting telcos and broadcast media companies who wish to grow their addressable audience.

With YouTube generating 300 hours of content uploads every 60 seconds, "there's clearly a lot of video inventory out there just on YouTube," said Rich Raddon, a cofounder of video ads platform ZEFR and "As dollars shift from broadcast to online video, you want it to happen in a way that you can charge for the value of reaching that audience."

AT&Ts Digital Video Dreams

Otter Media, a joint venture of media holding company Chernin Group and AT&T, bought in late September a 60% stake in Fullscreen, an online media company and YouTube MCN (WPP remains a strategic shareholder). Fullscreen is valued at roughly $250 million.

This deal preceded German entertainment and media giant RTL Group’s purchase of YouTube network StyleHaul for $151 million. And last spring, Disney acquired Maker Studios for $500 million – a sum that could increase to $950 million if Maker hits certain performance targets.


Videology’s Ferber: Hammering TV With Digital RTB Tactics (Alone) Will Not Unlock Dollars

ScottFerberVideology has been described as everything from a demand-side platform to publisher ad server to – claws out – your run-of-the-mill ad network.

But Scott Ferber, Videology’s chairman and CEO, and a co-founder of, said there’s only one piece of truth to the "network" part: that Videology creates “private video networks” for media companies like Yahoo Japan and delivers audience guarantees and data targeting for advertisers. Additionally, a number of agencies like Mediahub/Mullen have “standardized” on its self-serve platform.

In recent months, Videology, whose core business is video advertising, applied Nielsen Cross-Platform Homes Panel and TV audience data to beef up a TV Amplifer tool it launched in 2012. Last year, more than 25% of Videology’s campaign RFPs included requests for cross-screen planning and buying, which spurred the initial development of Amplifier and subsequent data add-ons.

In late October, Videology formally launched a TV practice, appointing five key executives to spearhead the new development, at the basis of which is the growing confluence of digital and TV ad dollars.

Ferber spoke with AdExchanger about these developments.

AdExchanger: Why the development of a TV practice?

SCOTT FERBER: We’ve been offering tools to help clients efficiently plan, buy and sell advertising across screens. These tools facilitate the best use of television dollars across all screens, and informed cross-screen planning leads to improved reach, awareness and recall and that pushes product off shelves. The key to this is our direct integration with Nielsen and other data providers that allow us to measure campaign performance across devices using a common set of metrics.


YuMe Q3: Programmatic Build-Out a 'Methodical' Process

PlotProgYou might not say programmatic's a pipe dream for YuMe, but it's certainly not a material revenue contributor (yet). YuMe, which dabbles in both video and data science, helps brand advertisers extend television buys to digital. It first jumped into programmatic video with a release of Video Reach last March.

While YuMe's CEO Jayant Kadambi claimed YuMe remains primarily a direct-sold business, he said the company is building out its automated sales channels "methodically." He called automated supply and demand channels a "complement" to YuMe's direct sales efforts, although the programmatic business is still "immaterial" to the company's revenue.

Revenue in the third quarter was $43 million, a 19% increase YoY. YuMe tallied 474 advertisers in the quarter, a 41% increase YoY from 336. However, it's worth noting average revenue per advertising customer was down 16%, which YuMe's CFO Tony Carvalho attributed to the onboarding of new customers and subsequent smaller-scale campaigns to start.

Analysts on the Q3 call inquired about YuMe's executive appointment strategy, hiring Collective's head of platforms and corporate development Hardeep Bindra as COO and promoting Carvalho from interim to full-time CFO. YuMe's former CFO Tim Laehy stepped down in May, when he became Livefyre's CFO.

And longtime head of marketing Ed Haslam also moved on this summer as SVP of marketing at PlaceIQ. Kadambi said Bindra will be responsible for scaling YuMe's new programmatic operations, and will "continue to drive operating leverage in this business model going forward."


Nielsen Ties Out-Of-Home Viewing To TV Ratings

Matt OGrady NielsenFollowing its $1.3 billion acquisition of radio ratings firm Arbitron (now Nielsen Audio) in September 2013, Nielsen has rolled a piece of that company into a test to attribute out-of-home viewing to TV ratings uplift.

The MVP of the particular test that ran between April and June of this year was the Portable People Meter (PPM), a panel-based device developed first in 2007 by Arbitron for radio measurement.

“We were excited to own that in-house because of the implications for out-of-home viewing we can add,” said Matt O’Grady, EVP and managing director at Nielsen Local Media. “It’s a device that our panel respondents carry with them throughout the day so you can capture media exposure wherever they are.”

Measuring TV viewing patterns out-of-home has been a black hole for networks. Although broadcasters know their audience is fragmented, determining the precise time in which there is marked viewer attrition is critical in nuancing their sponsorships by daypart.

But another obvious beneficiary is the advertiser.

“Out-of-home [viewers] are very valuable audiences for advertisers because they are probably closer to the point of purchase than in-home,” O’Grady said. “Capturing viewers whether they’re in or out of home, [irrespective of] device or medium, is Nielsen’s objective.”


NBCUniversal’s Evolving Media Empire Hinges On A Marriage Of Data and Premium Content

KrishanBhatiaKrishan Bhatia oversees a portfolio that reaches north of 130 million monthly unique visitors across desktop, mobile and over-the-top devices as EVP of digital strategy and operations for NBCUniversal's digital portfolio.

Bhatia, who reports directly to president of advertising sales Linda Yaccarino, is charged with growing NBCUniversal’s digital advertising business, including its maturing programmatic discipline.

Bhatia began at Comcast roughly nine and a half years ago, well before its acquisition of NBCUniversal, when it was still largely a cable company with some TV network investments.

“I joined at a time when there was big opportunity to build a business in digital,” he recalled. That first foray became Comcast Interactive Media, a development center for products like Fancast, the predecessor of XfinityTV. Comcast also acquired properties like Fandango, which Bhatia said was the start of Comcast’s digital media business.

In 2011, when NBCUniversal merged its consumer-facing and ad-supported assets into the same entity, Bhatia moved from managing Comcast’s digital advertising business to take the reigns of digital strategy for a portfolio of Sports, News, Entertainment and Hispanic content at NBCUniversal.

In late September, the media company rolled out NBCUx, a private exchange offering used by 20-30 clients like retailer Target to purchase display, mobile and video inventory. While this isn’t NBCUniversal’s first stab at programmatic, it's estimated about 20% of its digital business now happens in an automated, data-enhanced manner with these select clients.

AdExchanger spoke with Bhatia about media consumption and the future of programmatic in digital video and TV.


Eyeview Wants To Personalize Online Video Like Display And Search

oren harnevo eyeviewIt seems all online ads, except video ads, are targeted. That online video largely isn’t personalized seems odd, since the ad industry jumps on any tech that supports moving, noise-making online assets. For evidence, you need only count recent high-profile video-related acquisitions:, Facebook-LiveRail, and maybe, possibly Yahoo-BrightRoll.

The problem with these video platforms – at least the ones that serve the demand side – is that they buy too broadly, according to Oren Harnevo, CEO and co-founder of Eyeview.

Eyeview originated as a tool through which brands could personalize their TV ads for specific audiences. Remember that generic car ad you saw on Monday Night Football? Typically, a brand (or its media agency) would simply slap that same ad into an online video preroll.

But imagine the video content shifting to highlight the car’s trunk space and power for an audience of outdoor sports enthusiasts. Or maybe the ad focuses on safety features for an audience of parents.

“With Land Rover, we take their TV ad, create 15 versions with different colors of the car, then we add in a local map for the closest dealer. It feels like a brand ad,” Harnevo said. “You don’t know it’s targeted for you.”

This was and remains Eyeview’s value proposition. But there was an initial problem: After Eyeview generated hundreds of thousands of customized assets, a video demand-side platform (DSP) would make the buy without doing any real audience targeting, which Harnevo said undermined Eyeview’s performance.

Consequently, Eyeview built an in-house DSP in 2012. “We still have the potential to work with other DSPs, but we need to affect the decision of the buy, because otherwise they’ll just buy GRPs and demos,” Harnevo said.

Eyeview’s clients include Expedia, Macy’s, and Lowe’s. And it’s quickly increasing its staff: Eyeview has 90 employees, up from 40 last year and 20 the year before, Harnevo said, and it anticipates a staff of 150 in 2015.

Harnevo spoke with AdExchanger.

GRP 2.0: How To Defibrillate An Old Metric With Fresh Data

RevivingThe gross rating point (GRP) has time – and money, in the form of TV budgets – on its side, but a slew of new entrants in TV-to-digital measurement could disrupt what was once a Nielsen-run show.

ComScore, once thought of as the de facto leader in digital measurement, is encroaching on Nielsen turf with its Total Video planning tools and expansion into over-the-top tracking (AdExchanger story). Additionally, competitors – including Rentrak, which just invested in Kantar Media’s TV business, and TiVo Research and Analytics (TRA), which matches purchase data against television viewing patterns – are moving in (see a breakdown below).

Feeling the heat, Nielsen has hit the gas pedal on efforts to update its aging metric by adding new data sets and forming digitally attuned partnerships with a variety of companies, including TV ad-targeting platform Simulmedia and Twitter.


Rewind 50 years to when Nielsen’s household panel was the only meaningful benchmark for measuring television-viewing habits.

Even then, one big argument against measuring based on percentage of audience was that the technique could easily over- or underestimate the frequency of exposure. Additionally, relying on a panel that uses age and gender demographics limits the opportunity for addressability in television.

“We make the TV world antiquated when we talk about women who are 24 to 54,” said Howard Shimmel, chief research officer for Turner Broadcasting, during a recent presentation at Simulmedia's “PeopleFront” event in New York.