GoDaddy Becomes The First Brand To Foray Into Programmatic Live Streaming


On Saturday, small businesses will get a chance to pitch ideas to a GoDaddy executive and other experts at the SheKnows Media conference.

To drive viewers to the live-streamed event, GoDaddy will become the first brand to deploy a programmatic video live-stream ad unit from Traction Labs.

The session is part of a sponsorship deal between GoDaddy and the SheKnows Media conference. MEC, GoDaddy’s media agency, already planned to stream the session and put spend behind it on Facebook Live. But the possibility of driving viewers to the live stream “is something that can be really impactful for us,” said Adam Broitman, a MEC managing partner.

Live-stream advertising currently has a narrow set of applications. Traction Labs previously worked with the Bernie Sanders campaign to distribute live videos of his rallies to programmatically targeted audiences, who could click to watch at the campaign site. It’s a use case that needs an event – a concert, a show, a conference – and a sponsor.

But when those things came together, putting a test budget behind the idea “was obvious and exciting,” Broitman said. The price and potential value of the sponsorship itself is driving the cost, and so the spend doesn’t have to be a lead generator or hit the kinds of metrics MEC would normally apply to digital channels.

The campaign will run in IAB standard ad units, and the bottom third will feature a bar with GoDaddy, said Traction Labs CEO Ken Zi Wang. This is helpful for branding since viewers dropping into a live stream in medias res likely won’t hear or see the word “GoDaddy.”

GoDaddy and MEC provided lookalike data for Traction Labs to optimize against. The sponsored event exclusively features female entrepreneurs and is promoting GoDaddy’s SMB enterprise product, so there’s a targetable demo. The campaign, however, will drive toward wherever it’s seeing results.

The exact sites where the campaign will run is unknown, as it will be optimizing programmatically for the hour-and-a-half or so window Traction Labs has to boost live viewership. SheKnows Media will be included, and depending on the price and audience, publishers like BuzzFeed, Pandora and TMZ are on the potential list.

It doesn’t matter if the viewer is in the GoDaddy funnel or “if it’s not a fully branded ad experience,” Broitman said. “It’s a programmatic ad unit, but we’re looking at it as a vehicle for maximum reach behind a premier sponsorship.”

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