Upstart Lifestyle Site LifeZette Turns On Video For 2016 Elections

LifeZetteLifeZette, a lifestyle site created by conservative pundit Laura Ingraham, launched in April and is quickly scaling up its video production.

Moving fast will allow the fledgling site to grab some of the projected $1 billion in digital ad spend for the 2016 election. Ten percent of that spend will go to online video, according to an upcoming study by Borrell Associates EVP Kip Cassino.

LifeZette is focusing first on building programmatic connections.

“The direct will come, but I want to make sure from a programmatic standpoint we’re doing everything we can to make it as efficient as possible,” said Aric Berquist, the VP of strategic partnerships for LifeZette.

After testing a few different programmatic video platforms, it picked SpotXchange as its video ad server and SSP because the company’s tech supports both programmatic and direct deals, which aligns with LifeZette’s strategy.

Berquist can also set priority levels for direct and programmatic campaigns in order to get the highest yield while ensuring everything delivers properly. As LifeZette sells more direct deals, the platform can accommodate shifts automatically.

The tech enables another key part of LifeZette’s strategy: scale through syndication.

Video is a “pretty fragmented space,” Berquist said, making it a necessity to “have your content live in numerous places” to gain scale.

LifeZette can place and collect ad spend through rev share agreements, even when videos are placed outside of its site.

The company can also track syndication deals through SpotXchange’s reporting interface. The reporting abilities around syndication help with accounting, but also with evaluating performance.

“Transparency is a huge deal and important to the success of the partnership,” Berquist said. “I need to see how many videos played, the impressions taking place and viewability.”

With the ability to collect revenue in place, LifeZette is developing partnerships with other conservative sites to distribute video content.

Though none are finalized yet, Berquist expects a dozen partnerships by the end of the year, by which point LifeZette expects to have a larger video portfolio.

LifeZette has also struck syndication deals with AOL, NDN, Tout, Vidible and Beachfront Media.

LifeZette is still too small to be measured by comScore, but its own internal analytics suggest it will pass 1 million unique visitors this month. Just as LifeZette is laying the pipes for a greater audience than it now has, it’s looking ahead with its content.

Since its viewership is still on the small side, it’s creating video content that will attract viewers long after it’s made.

“The videos we’ve already done are evergreen,” Berquist said. “They can be just as relevant and play just as big of a role six months from now as they do now.”

That includes lifestyle videos about health and parenting as well as politics. LifeZette’s biggest coup to date is a series on the spouses of Republican presidential candidates, including video interviews of Mary Pat Christie and Kelley Paul, with more to come.

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