TubeMogul, Videology and The Trade Desk were leaders of the pack for various reasons.
TubeMogul scored strong ratings from customers both for its data sourcing and management capabilities. Because its main focus is the brand advertiser, its private marketplaces with some of the large TV networks allowed buyers to plan digital video campaigns alongside linear TV schedules.
Videology also optimizes reach and frequency across video and TV buys, though it focuses on serving both advertisers and publishers.
“There are several companies, such as Videology, who are trying to create a space that is not just DSP or SSP but more in the middle,” Nail said “Those who have the rationale that there’s an inherent conflict of interest if you try to serve both sides are met in the middle by those who believe you can work with both without taking a position in inventory. That’s setting up a real choice that the marketplace will have to shake out over the next couple of years.”
The Trade Desk’s inventory volume impressed Nail, and it received the highest customer satisfaction ratings “with good, solid segmenting, tracking and measurement of campaigns across the board,” he added.
Google was a “Strong Performer” despite being a “nonparticipating vendor,” meaning it participated in demos and discussions but didn’t share information around data integrations and measurement.
It was strong with in-flight optimization and could foreseeably benefit from Google’s bevy of first-party user data when unifying identities cross-screen. Additionally, its acquisition of video ad platform mDialog brings specialization in mobile and over-the-top video. “We’re certainly going to see things come together in the next year,” Nail said. “Google has had its eyes on TV for some time.”
So what happened to Adap.tv and BrightRoll, the two video marketplaces/DSPs respectively acquired by AOL and Yahoo?
For one, both underwent brand changes – Adap.tv and AOL’s other video acquisitions are now part of One by AOL: Video. Nail noted AOL’s 30-some pubs like The Huffington Post and TechCrunch, as well as new parent Verizon’s deterministic data sets, portend more unique first-party implications for AOL’s video stack.
However, despite those advantages, AOL’s video offering scored lowest for customer satisfaction, suggesting the need for greater integration, which some have implied is not a new problem for AOL.
BrightRoll, too, has “a lot of catching up to do” with respect to integration, said Nail. While Yahoo’s DSP scored strong with customers on inventory availability, it earned lesser marks for its capability to support a converged video/TV plan.
“A technology transition takes a longer time than a brand transition,” Nail said, noting that some users expressed the need to smooth out functionality.