Bonnier Evaluates Telaria’s Newest Offering: Analytics, Decisioning And An Ad Server

Telaria – the company formerly known as Tremor Video – has expanded its video supply-side platform (SSP) to a full stack with a decisioning engine, analytics and advanced-TV ad server, the company said Tuesday.

The suite, called Video Management Platform (VMP), was made generally available Tuesday and has a handful of beta clients numbering in the low teens, said company CEO Mark Zagorski.

Getting publishers to buy into the ad server is the most ambitious component, especially in a world with established heavyweights such as Google, Comcast’s FreeWheel and Innovid.

Zagorski knows he needs to be patient: “We’re not expecting to rule the world on day one. People don’t swap out ad servers overnight.”

But publishers will consider a new ad server if the value is there.

“The video ad server portion is really seamless when it comes to integrating with the SSP,” said Sean Holzman, chief digital revenue officer of Swedish media group Bonnier, which publishes Field & Stream and Popular Science, among other titles.

Bonnier was one of the launch partners of Telaria’s SSP. Holzman said its close connection with the new ad server enables a true unified auction, and it is easier to use than other offerings: “It gives us a holistic look at our inventory, the fill rate, our CPMs in real time. I’m not going through multiple systems.”

Bonnier is roughly 30 days into a 90-day beta test, so the jury’s still out, but the SSP is running smoothly so far. Holzman said he had high expectations and VMP is up to the challenge.

Right now, Bonnier uses multiple ad servers concurrently, and it will probably always run with at least two, Holzman said.

“We have a main ad server, where we traffic a lot of campaigns on the direct side,” he said.

Bonnier has long standardized on Google DFP, but in the short term it’s trafficking more campaigns into Telaria. Holzman predicts it will reduce the number of ad servers it uses.

“Anything we can do to cut out the clutter we will because we want to speed up the ecosystem,” he said. “We don’t want to use more tools than are necessary. We want to cut those back as much as we can.”

Zagorski said the benefit of Telaria’s technology versus its competitors is that it was built for video rather than retrofitted.

“A lot of it has to do with basic functionality for things like ad podding or volume modulation or ad quality that needs to be delivered for a 65-inch HD screen in the living room,” Zagorski said.

Holzman added that trafficking video is much more difficult than display due to the complexity of video files and ad calls.

Telaria built VMP from the ground up by harnessing underused assets in the SSP, like decisioning tools.

The project was funded in part by selling off the demand-side business, giving Telaria about $50 million to work with. “We’re not burning through a ton of cash,” Zagorski said. “It was about focus and allocating money to the right thing.”

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