Adobe And Videology Tackle OTT Video Sales Hurdles

YieldIf you’re a large brand and you want 10 million guaranteed impressions, you’re not going to find it in episodic TV – yet.

Adobe and Videology, through new over-the-top video ad sales and the yield management system Adobe Primetime TV Media Management, hope to solve this problem. The solution was released Tuesday during Videonuze’s programmatic video summit.

Broadcasters don’t want planning systems that may undercut their direct sales efforts or that prioritize performance over brand buys.

They want to complement direct sales with multiscreen monetization while ensuring access to higher-quality inventory, said Campbell Foster, director of product marketing for Adobe Primetime, Adobe’s IP-TV ad delivery and monetization platform.

Yield management for OTT and streaming video will be increasingly necessary as broadcasters begin to realize the value of their different audiences, and as advertisers want to use more data to inform TV buys.

Thus, Adobe is integrating more data management capabilities into its TV-planning system, Adobe Primetime. These capabilities let broadcasters change pricing around OTT and episodic TV inventory, depending on which audience an advertiser wants.

For instance, a show that nominally has a $25 CPM might go for $35 if a marketer wants to target a specific audience segment. In this instance, a broadcaster might set a price floor around content or programming and price in an audience overlay on top of that.

Over-the-top video monetization is still in the early innings, and building sustainable audience scale has a lot to do with it. 

“Beyond tentpole sporting events, audiences haven’t been large enough to justify buys from large brands for episodic TV and film content,” noted Foster. “Outside of maybe Hulu and Yahoo, those audiences haven’t been [scaled enough] to measure.”

Episodic television and film content, as well as live events such as sports, are typically defined as premium TV formats. In Foster’s view, that’s the inventory Adobe’s system will help broadcasters monetize, not necessarily user-generated content or short-form or lower-quality video.

Buyers are sometimes reluctant to invest in OTT ads, naming scarcity, lack of audience scale/targetability and sky-high CPMs as barriers.

Sellers fear audience duplication, waste and insufficient data control. In other words, how does a broadcaster ensure audiences aren’t being unknowingly cookied or trafficked by a third party, which could contribute to data leakage?

As a result, OTT and episodic TV content is often undervalued and undermonetized.

Measurement, however, remains the biggest hurdle.

“If OTT views don’t count against a Nielsen rating, there’s little incentive for programmers to invest,” Foster later explained. “That’s just starting to change as OTT views are included in Nielsen’s new Total Audience Measurement system. CPMs are high because it’s premium inventory. Addressable at the individual level – that’s valuable.”

Adobe and Videology are in negotiations with “a handful” of large, global broadcasters and expect to disclose more customer wins for the new platform in early 2016, Foster said.

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