Tremor Media Balancing Targeting Needs With Scale Says CEO Glickman

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Jason Glickman is CEO of Tremor Media, an online video advertising network.

CEO Jason Glickman of Tremor MediaAdexchanger.com: On your website, you identify your #1 ranking in premium video views according to Comscore. What do you mean by "premium"? And, is there such a thing as non-premium video ad inventory? If so, does Tremor Media fill non-premium inventory and is it a significant part of the business?

JG: Our network is comprised of 100% premium content which we define as professionally produced, non-UGC, above-the fold placements with brand safety guaranteed. We view all user-generated content as non-premium video ad inventory and we do not serve ads against this content. All of our publisher partner sites are carefully vetted and are required to meet our quality standards before we agree to include them in our network and serve ads against their content. As an additional quality control mechanism, we have partnered with ContentWatch to ensure that these standards are continually met.

Do you think digital media - and video, in particular - needs to embrace reach, frequency and GRPs in order to receive a larger slice of the overall media pie? What strategies is Tremor Media putting in place to get more "pie"?

Yes, we believe that developing common metrics, common denominators, and a common language will be an important driver of the shift in media dollars from TV to online video. But advertisers also need to understand the unique differences and benefits of online video and its role in the media mix. For example, online video is the only place to reach certain segments with video, as TV is being tuned out by portions of many advertisers’ target audiences. Advertisers can gain greater efficiency for their investments, as they can obtain more GRPs at the same investment level by including online video in the mix. In addition, online video offers interactivity and brand engagement.

In order to make the shift from TV to online, brand advertisers want quality video content online and the kind of scale they’re used to getting in broadcast. We deliver on both counts better than anyone in the market as reported by 3rd party measurement firms like comScore . Our ability to aggregate and target audiences in premium ‘well-lit’ environments is changing advertisers’ perceptions that scale in online video can only found in user-generated content. As our comScore numbers illustrate, scalable, professionally-produced content in online video is now possible. Not only are we able to deliver as efficiently as TV, but our flexibility in pricing models including engagement and performance based pricing makes us an attractive alternative to advertisers.

To obtain a larger portion of this pie, Tremor Media began offering comprehensive reporting of campaign impact and effectiveness metrics from comScore in February and was the first video advertising network to offer GRP reporting. Agencies with brand advertising clients that have been reluctant to dip their toes into digital video because of the fragmented reporting online now have one less barrier to overcome

But beyond delivering TV-like quality, scale, efficiency, and audience measurement, more and more, advertisers are going to expect proven measures of impact and effectiveness from their video media buys. That is why we are focusing on creating highly customized technology driven business solutions that deliver accountable brand impact. Furthermore, through the Tremor Media Insight Lab, we’ve developed a robust set of research tools and initiatives that will provide advertisers with deeper measures and insights around brand impact. In addition to research focused on branding and online behavior metrics, we are investing in large scales studies focused on media synergy and ROI so that advertisers can understand how online video and TV can be compared and combined, not just in terms reach and delivery, but also in terms of results and cost per impact.

How close are we to accurate cross-channel attribution? How does Tremor Media help with attribution?

To better address this industry need, Tremor Media has created the Tremor Media Insight Lab. The Insight Lab is focused on a number of research initiatives and technological innovations. We are currently making investments in and identifying advertisers for large scale research initiatives focused on measuring ROI for online video, and media synergies between TV and online video.

What's your position on standardization in the video advertising industry such as standards that VivaKi, the IAB and others are trying to build or create?

Tremor Media is in full support of efforts to develop standards in the video advertising industry. We are fully compliant with current IAB standards, and we are actively participating in those efforts. As a board member with the IAB, Tremor Media is involved in the discussions around standards including VPAID, VAST, and online video measurement and reporting. In addition, Tremor Media is participant in VivaKi’s Pool initiative focused on identifying the optimal online video ad formats. We believe it’s critical to collaborate and support these industry-led initiatives, but we also continue to push our own technology and capabilities to deliver a range of unique and compelling ad formats for our publishers, advertisers and their consumers. In addition, we are partnering with blue chip advertisers to build customized ad solutions that address their company’s specific business needs. Our Acudeo technology allows us to deliver these proprietary and custom formats and solutions at scale, because we have taken the time to fully integrate the technology across 1,000 plus sites in our network. .

Non-premium display advertising is beginning to find value within the ad exchange model and through demand-side buying platforms. When will video ad inventory begin leveraging similar models? What's your view on exchanges?

There may be a place for a video ad exchange at some point in the future. However, in order for a video ad exchange to be relevant there needs to be a large number of participants and a set of widely adopted standard formats and methodologies, We are not there yet.. The exchange model for display advertising thrives on the commoditized and often blind banner inventory, which can be appropriate for direct response campaigns. Video is branding focused and currently requires a high touch, often customizable sales approach.

How does ACUDEO, your video ad publishing platform, differentiate itself from other opportunities in the marketplace?

The Acudeo video ad monetization platform serves as the backbone of our in-stream ad network giving us a true footprint based on a deep integration with our publisher partners. Acudeo allows publishers to utilize existing ad serving systems to dynamically deliver and schedule the most advanced in-stream video ad formats from multiple sources to maximize their revenue potential. Publishers can seamlessly control their entire video ad inventory with full flexibility utilizing Acudeo, and it provides a unified view to track, manage and optimize all direct and 3rd party video campaigns. In addition, Acudeo allows publishers to manage content to ad ratios to achieve optimal balance between maximum revenue and user experience, and all video ad delivery policies can be controlled through the publisher’s existing ad management system. Acudeo is fully compliant with IAB standards. It has been pre-integrated with most major player platforms and all major 3rd party ad servers, and there’s no serving or licensing fees with participation in Tremor Media in-stream ad network.

In developing the Acudeo platform, Tremor Media sought to build a true in-stream network by fully integrating the Acudeo component into the player within each site. The benefit of our Acudeo integrations for advertisers goes well beyond the aggregated scale that we deliver such as the advanced proprietary ad formats that Acudeo powers, robust targeting and reporting, and new features that are currently in development for Q4 and 2010.

How is your partnership with BlueKai performing? Have you had much traction? Is targeting difficult with video ads?

We believe that targeting is very important to the future of online video advertising. The main challenge is balancing an advertiser’s need to narrowly segment audiences while still achieving scale. As the largest premium video ad network, we are uniquely qualified to deliver on both, and we are working with the leading companies in the space, including BlueKai to provide robust and scalable targeting solutions to our advertisers.

What are the biggest challenges for a video ad network today?

A few of the biggest challenges are: pricing pressure, user-level targeting at scale, the potential for legislative impact on BT, and the need for continued investment in technology to keep up with the pace of innovation in digital media.

What is the current state of the online video publisher in 2009? Can you provide a general of sense of who's making it - and not - and why?

The majority of online video publishers are thriving as CPMs for video ads are the highest of any online format. More and more content is being added to publishers’ sites and they are promoting their video assets both internally and externally. One area that seems to be having a difficult time with monetization is the User Generated Content space. Blue chip advertisers prefer professional content and have largely stayed away from UGC sites due to fears that the content could be harmful to their brand.

Do commercials made for TV work as online video advertisements?

Yes, commercials made for TV can work for online video advertisements. However, Tremor Media believes that we can unlock even more value from online video with creative executions that take advantage of the unique aspects of the medium to deliver greater engagement and impact. To this end, we are developing the most innovative ad formats in the industry such as our recent launch of vChoice, a family of ad units to change the linear TV model for video ads that’s been in place for the last 50 years. vChoice is a suite of new interactive in-stream ad formats that enable non-linear and multi-video viewing experiences inside the video player within pre-roll inventory. vChoice allows for unlimited creative options for advertisers, a better experience for viewers, and it’s enabling us to build customized solutions to address our advertisers specific business needs. Since launching vChoice in June, we have been actively engaging with creative agencies to build awareness for the creative potential of interactive in-stream advertising which we are enabling through vChoice and delivering at scale across our network.

How do you ensure brand safety and appropriate brand management for your advertisers? And, for your publishers?

Each of the sites in our network is monitored before it is accepted into our network. After acceptance, we continue to monitor sites to ensure the safety of our network for our advertiser clients. Through our partnership with ContentWatch, the brand safety of our network is third party verified.

Also, each of our publishers may limit the advertisers that we run on their sites for either brand reasons or to avoid channel conflict. Our publishers are actively in control of the content that we serve to their sites.

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