Scripps’ Video Site Newsy Gets ‘Down To The Second’ With Yield Management

NewsyScripps-owned video news site Newsy is boosting its programmatic operation.

One tactic is rewiring its yield management provisions to help prioritize programmatic direct vs. open auction deals. It is using a new real-time reporting tool in Tremor Video’s supply-side platform to do so.

Although Newsy is six to seven years old, it’s relatively new to programmatic and ran its first pre-roll ad last fall. Much of this innovation happened following its 2013 acquisition by E.W. Scripps, which gave the site resources to ramp up its video production efforts and supply.

Newsy develops 800 video news stories a month across nine content verticals and distributes those videos across its site, mobile apps and several syndicated channels including AOL, MSN and connected TV platforms like Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

“We also do a lot of video production work for nine Time Inc. brands, so you’ll see [our videos] with stories on Time, Money, Fortune and People, which Newsy produced,” explained Greg Morey, VP of revenue development for Newsy. “As we signed on other sites to carry our content and players, we were looking to achieve the best possible rates and completions.”

Although Newsy is new to programmatic, its scale is substantial – between 1 million and 3 million video views per day on its site and apps.

“We have a lot of inventory to bring to market, so programmatic is a great way for us to get market value for our supply,” said Morey, noting the publisher’s content partnership with the University of Missouri journalism school. 

Because Newsy easily achieved 70-90% completion rates on videos, demand grew. Although its first stab at programmatic was in the open marketplace, it realized it could develop first-look guarantees as it built its brand.

“As a whole, [programmatic] is about a 38% target for our entire revenue stream,” Morey said. “We’re doing a lot more direct deals than we did out of the gate, which is a great way to take those who are willing to pay a little more and give them first-look access to our content and align their audience data and identify with the right content.”

Because Newsy’s videos feature daily news across business, tech, sports and entertainment, it attracts a strong millennial audience, Morey claimed. It’s why insurance company GEICO did programmatic direct buys for Newsy’s inventory.

Newsy’s supply-side platform, Tremor, plugs into Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers ad server. The video publisher also works with other ad tech providers, including SpotXchange, which occupies a slot in its waterfall and helps facilitate programmatic direct deals for mobile video inventory, over-the-top TV and other channels.

It went live with Tremor’s real-time reporting dashboard at the end of the first quarter, which Morey monitors for live updates on ad requests, fill rates and impact on revenue. It enables him to see bids down to the second.

“I’m able to dial into individual channels and see what’s driving a particular spike,” he said. “When we know supply is booming on one channel, we’re able to get ahead of it [and alert demand partners] down to the second, rather than days. It helps guide our discussions with advertising partners on specific parts of our inventory.”

Although Morey declined to share specifics on which streaming platform performs best for the publisher, he noted over-the-top and connected TV have “taken off” for Newsy.

With parent Scripps’ ongoing deployment of an unnamed data management platform, Morey said Newsy is concurrently exploring ways to harvest more of its own audience data.

For instance, while completion rates are valuable, advertisers want to begin comparing cross-platform completion rates and cross-reference them with audience data.

“There’s this great frontier for data in the space of connected television where we not only know the completion rate on Roku [vs. digital] but there are all these new parents on the platform and they’re into this kind of programming,” Morey said. “This allows you to create a really interactive unit on that platform that’s also directed to you based on your interests.”


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