Home The Sell Sider Dailymotion Is Putting All Its Eggs Into Contextual

Dailymotion Is Putting All Its Eggs Into Contextual

Hamza Kourimate, VP and global head of sales marketing and data solutions at Dailymotion

The Sell Sider” is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.

Forget the post-cookie future. For Dailymotion, user-based targeting is already a thing of the past.

“We do very little to no user-based targeting,” said Hamza Kourimate, VP and global head of sales marketing and data solutions at Dailymotion. “Ninety-five percent of the time, we’re using contextual targeting.”

Kourimate spoke to AdExchanger on how the video platform is using its first-party data trove to build a contextual framework for video.

AdExchanger: Does Dailymotion consider itself more of a video platform or a publisher?

HAMZA KOURIMATE: Dailymotion is a video platform powered by an in-house video player. But we’re also a tech company that provides that video player to publishers.

Do you mostly sell ads programmatically or direct?

We do both. We built our own SSP. We used Freewheel, but we decided, for the sake of optimizing the supply path, it would be better to have our own SSP and to have more control over our inventory and our prices.

For direct sales, we have a team of more than 50 sellers worldwide. We also sell PMPs [private marketplaces] and programmatic guaranteed.

What’s Dailymotion’s approach to contextual targeting?

Every video uploaded to our servers – on-site or from our partners – is algorithmically analyzed for content frame by frame. We also transcribe the audio and run a textual analysis. And we analyze the video’s metadata, like the description and title. Each video gets associated with a series of topics that can be applied to the IAB’s content taxonomy or other content taxonomies, and we pass those categories in the bid request.


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Our research wing analyzes cohorts of people engaging with certain content and what other behaviors they exhibit. For example, our recent study on World Cup viewing habits found people who watch soccer content are more likely to watch political and home and garden content. Data like that helps us build more complex contextual targeting.

Is Dailymotion’s ad revenue growing?

We’ve seen growth the past two years. Our biggest growth area the past three years isn’t video but display placements on Dailymotion.com sold through header bidding.

We focus solely on instream video and don’t do any outstream. We are seeing opportunities from agencies driving budgets from outstream to in-stream, because in-stream attracts more user attention and provides better view-through rates (VTR) and viewability.

What are Dailymotion’s plans for weathering a possible recession?

H2 is going to be tough, especially after we had a great H1. But I was reading an IAB study on which industries are going to drive growth in H2, and it was mainly high tech, gaming and CPG. We focus a lot on contextual targeting for the high-tech vertical. We’re working on a gaming study so we can offer clients a strategy to target those audiences. And our second biggest client in the US is a CPG brand.

Are you interested in attention metrics?

When there is a video ad playing, your eye is attracted to the skip button. So interactivity is very important. When a person interacts with a game mechanic in your pre-roll, you get more of their attention. Interactivity boosts incremental performance in video completion rate (VCR), ad memorization and brand awareness. Right now, we’re running tests to understand how users behave when they see an ad on Dailymotion.com or our network of publishers.

What do you think of the current push for platforms to emulate TikTok’s vertical video format?

The best way to optimize attention metrics is by having a wide video player, [not vertical video]. We see a clear relationship between having a large, wide player and good performance.

We provide publisher guidelines on the best way to embed our player. And we see the same level of performance on sites that follow our guidelines as we see on Dailymotion.com. But for others who don’t comply with our guidelines, we see worse performance compared to wide player integrations.

What’s your approach to brand safety?

Because we don’t monetize UGC, we guarantee that ads will not run on videos that we have no understanding of or feedback on.

Our player is natively integrated with third-party partners like Moat, IAS and DoubleVerify. And we have a team that monitors content on Dailymotion.com and our network of publishers.

Is Dailymotion benefiting from a shift in ad spend away from linear TV toward streaming video?

We don’t have data on this for the US. But Dailymotion is part of Vivendi, a French media group that also owns broadcasting network Canal+. Over the past year, Canal+ has seen a 30% increase in investment on digital, meaning on connected TV (CTV) and streaming, and a slight decrease in linear TV. France is a pretty conservative media market, where TV, print and radio are still strong and CTV is less mature than it is in the US. And even in this conservative market, we’re observing that trend.

How interested is Dailymotion in CTV?

Our Dailymotion app is present on CTVs. We have inventory in the US and are exploring various partnerships to increase our reach on CTV content. But CTV is not our main concern today. We’re focusing on embedding our player into more publishers.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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