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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 Movieclips.com. "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.

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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 Advertising.com, 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.

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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."

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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.”

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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.

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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: AOL-Adap.tv, 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.
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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.

GRProblems

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.

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Telstra Subsidiary Ooyala Agrees To Acquire Video SSP Videoplaza

VideoplazaThe turf war for programmatic video technologies wages on.

Video distribution and analytics platform Ooyala, acquired by Australian telco Telstra in August, revealed Monday it would purchase London-based video supply-side platform Videoplaza for an undisclosed sum. Read the release.

This is a critical move for Ooyala, which focuses on helping publishers run and operate their video business by managing content, metatags, encoding, content recommendation and analytics, while Videoplaza is a publisher ad server and programmatic marketplace.

Ooyala is typically used by broadcasters like ESPN and Univision to stream, analyze and monetize video content. Traditionally, however, Ooyala partnered - rather than owned - exchange-based capabilities.

"The most interesting intersection point is the kind of data we both respectively bring into this relationship," said Belsasar Lepe, Ooyala's cofounder and director of solutions. "Ooyala has always had a very good view into content, engagement and performance and Videoplaza brings the advertising component. When we look at the real benefit here, it's creating a complete, 360-degree view of the end user based on ad and content insights."

Through Videoplaza, Ooyala inherits the sell-side ad-serving platform "Karbon" (see AdExchanger coverage) as well as trading platform Konnect, which was released in early October. Videoplaza also rolled out Aunia, a private video marketplace offering for premium broadcasters to deliver and monetize IP-based content with additional controls over pricing and inventory quality.

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FreeWheel Tests Premium Programmatic Reserve With TubeMogul

jamesrookeFreeWheel, a video ad server owned by Comcast and used by broadcasters like ABC and Discovery Communications, has teamed up with digital demand-side platform (DSP) TubeMogul to make premium digital video inventory accessible on a programmatic reserved basis.

FreeWheel is arranging several data escrows with TubeMogul and providing access to agencies and marketers like Allstate, IPG Mediabrands and retailer Target’s agency Haworth Marketing + Media.

After a brand compiles audience profiles and personas in their data-management platform, TubeMogul ingests the information and applies it on an impression-by-impression basis.

FreeWheel uses this first-party data to determine the best time and place to serve the ad. Depending on inventory availability, “they will reserve those premium impressions up front and then target those impressions as the campaign runs,” said Keith Eadie, TubeMogul’s CMO. “Programmatic reserve will be one component of a programmatic TV offering [that] makes sense both from an advertiser planning/budget perspective and the publisher perspective.”

This effort is the latest installation in FreeWheel’s FourFronts program, a year-old initiative designed to let advertisers use workflow tools from Mediaocean and Strata to access FreeWheel’s premium digital video supply. (more…)


AOL Snags Viacom’s Connected Content Chief To Lead Video Charge

DermotMAOL on Tuesday appointed Dermot McCormack president of AOL Video and AOL Studios, its original content production arm.

McCormack, formerly Viacom’s head of connected content, will replace Ran Harnevo, a key player in the development of premium online video content network AOL On, who is pursuing “other opportunities.”

McCormack’s appointment comes at a pivotal period in time for AOL, which revealed during last week’s Programmatic Upfront its plan to push further into programmatic video and TV targeting.

AOL’s development of a programmatic marketing stack “ONE” appears to be in lockstep with its efforts in video and original content. During its star-studded newfront in April, AOL claimed all AOL On Original and reserve inventory would be available for sale programmatically through Adap.tv.

“That’s the vision over time,” McCormack told AdExchanger when asked if AOL had executed on that promise. He called the process of enabling programmatic insertions in all video inventory a “several-prong approach” that requires an aggregation of premium content, distributing it to different devices like connected TVs and iPads “and peppering it with new original formats that will help grow audience.”

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