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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.


Will Deal ID Catch On In TV? Ad Platform Clypd Hopes So

JasonBurkeOne of the purposes of Deal ID is to allow buyers and sellers to negotiate deals that combine the personal touch of the direct sale with programmatic efficiency.

But the Deal ID also has challenges around sell-side scalability and limitations in audience discovery for advertisers. Nevertheless, some industry experts say the Deal ID might help dollars flow between programmatic video and TV and enable marketers to execute cross-screen buys.

“Unlike in digital, where programmatic changed the strategy in which inventory was sold, we see programmatic TV as enhancing the way assets have been sold for years,” said Jason Burke, VP of product for Clypd, a TV supply-side platform cofounded by former Where execs, the location-based advertising company PayPal acquired in 2011.

On Tuesday, Clypd rolled out an offering dubbed Deal ID For TV, intended to allow TV sales teams to factor in nuances in pricing, budget, deal prioritization and access to premium audiences for their upfront and scatter inventory (inventory set aside for “last-minute” sales close to air time, thus driving up pricing). This gives control to broadcasters used to direct sales and sponsorships while introducing automation.


IDG Invests In Premium Video, Programmatic Tech

DinaRomanIDG, the parent company of global business media properties ranging from PCWorld to CIO, is ramping up on talent and technology for its and IDG TechNetwork divisions. is IDG’s video inventory portal; IDG TechNetwork is a vertical ad network and media exchange that supports IDG’s media properties.

By appointing Dina Roman,’s former head of North American sales as’s EVP and GM, IDG hopes to grow its premium video content business.

IDG is no stranger to video, operating production studios on both coasts, a 13-bureau IDG News Service with 24/7 programming and 15 owned-and-operated properties, all churning out video. Bringing on Roman will further formalize IDG’s video assets in the auction and premium programming environments.

“We initially built out video as part of our ad network and we had a video exchange as well and are transacting large scales of video streams there – a multiple seven figure business,” according to Pete Longo, CEO of the IDG TechNetwork. “But in order to play in the future, you’ve got to play in upfronts, and have a video and programming plan.”


Twitter Beta Tests Promoted Video Ad Format To Attract Brand Dollars

PromoteVideoTwitter has made good on its promise to roll out a tool designed to share, upload and measure video effectiveness.

The company on Tuesday revealed in a blog post that it has begun beta testing a Promoted Video product following the launch of Twitter Video Cards earlier this year.

Promoted Video piggybacks on Twitter Amplify, which allows broadcasters like ESPN and Turner Sports to stir up social chatter with in-tweet video clips and multiscreen sponsorships.

"Promoted Video builds upon the Twitter Amplify program and brings a new set of video tools to high-quality content producers," wrote David Regan, senior product manager of video and TV, in the blog. "By using Promoted Video, it's easy for brands to upload and distribute video on Twitter, and to measure the reach and effectiveness of this content."

In what Twitter has dubbed a "native" video offering for brands, "select" content publishers and a certain subset of verified users, ads will be priced on a cost-per-view basis. The tool will include analytics for marketers around percentage of video completed and organic vs. paid video metrics. Twitter has opted to go the click-to-play route as opposed to auto play or pre-roll in order to enhance user engagement.


TubeMogul Teams Up With AudienceXpress To Expand Addressable Audience For TV Buyers

WaltHorstmanAudienceXpress, a TV audience-buying platform and division of early addressable TV tech company Visible World, has named its first buy-side programmatic video partner: the newly public TubeMogul.

As a result of the deal, media buyers using TubeMogul for digital video campaigns can now access select linear spots from AudienceXpress’s cable MSO and multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) inventory supply.

AudienceXpress is one among only a handful of companies with coveted access to linear TV inventory and has forged relationships with more than 100 ad-insertable cable networks.

Because of viewer fragmentation, television planners, who expect guaranteed delivery and GRP-comparable measurements, demand comprehensive tools to access and apply data against their target audience.

“There are a number of DSPs (demand-side platforms) in the space, both digital video and display, who want to move into television who are starting to integrate with our platform,” said Walt Horstman, president of AudienceXpress. “People want to execute multichannel campaigns using a common data set – whether it’s NCS (Nielsen Catalina Solutions) or a Neustar – and measure reach, frequency and audience composition across all media.”


Australian Telco Telstra Acquires Majority Stake In Video Platform Ooyala

seanAustralian telco Telstra has acquired video-monetization, streaming-video and content-management company Ooyala, the companies revealed Monday.

Telstra had already invested $61 million for a 23% stake in Ooyala, which works with supply-side inventory partners and publishers to help monetize video content, and now owns 98% for an additional $270 million investment. Read the release.

The acquisition, which is expected to close in 60 days, reflects a growing need for technology that can handle the conflation of online video and TV inventory.

"As the world's collective definition of TV and video blurs across multiple devices and a more personalized viewing experience, the technologies and measurement tools for content delivery and monetization will evolve," Ooyala CEO Jay Fulcher wrote in a post announcing the acquisition.

Fulcher will continue in his current role and will serve on the board of directors along with Ooyala EVP and co-founder Sean Knapp. Ooyala will have its own board and it will operate under separate governance from Telstra.