Because of the Rebel’s political slant, its audience demo tends to skew older. The problem was that some avid readers didn’t keep up with their software updates.
“When we first launched, we ran into a problem where the videos just wouldn’t render on some of these older browser versions,” said Hamish Marshall, a member of the board of directors for Rebel Media. That impacted measurement, so Rebel Media worked with Zype to ensure playback was seamless with different device and browser types.
More recently, it turned its attention to OTT and launched paid subscriptions for premium video content on Roku, Apple TV and other devices.
“We wanted to create longer, TV-style shows that were half an hour or 45 minutes to an hour, that were available to premium subscribers,” Marshall said. “We settled on Zype at the beginning of the year and already have well over 5,000 paying subscribers after launching our premium membership in March.”
Rebel Media embeds YouTube videos on its site, but it plans to experiment with Zype-hosted embeds to test out pre-roll.
It’s also using Zype to target relevant videos to 22 audience “tribes” to improve personalization on over-the-top.
Among a video publisher’s biggest dilemmas is driving new user acquisition and retention, but the more relevant and valuable the content, the better the chances of driving engagement.
“We see across the board companies that are willing to cross-promote their apps, converting audiences that view and engage with their content,” Laczynski said. “OTT is a higher-quality delivery mechanism where [you can] sell through premium CPMs, but you need an engaged audience there first.”
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