YuMe Plunges Into Programmatic Advertising With ‘Video Reach’

Video-ReachVideo ad tech firm YuMe on Monday launched its first programmatic solution, Video Reach, designed to provide agency trading desks and brand advertisers with more insight into their TV ad buys.

Aimed at television advertisers, Video Reach collects first-party data across screens (PCs, mobile devices and connected TVs) with its Audience Aware SDK and audience surveys to help advertisers improve their ad-buying decisions, said YuMe’s SVP of marketing, Ed Haslam.

“What we’re making available through Video Reach are first-party data capabilities to allow people to do demographic targeting,” he said. “The data that’s collected is automatically analyzed through our machine learning algorithms, enabling advertisers to accurately target their desired audiences.”

While Video Reach and YuMe’s viewer database Connected Audience Network both draw from the same video inventory, Video Reach will be sold by a separate sales team, specifically trained to sell to trading desks.

YuMe is a latecomer in terms of programmatic ad-buying tools. Last year, Haslam told AdExchanger that only a small amount of its ad sales came from programmatic channels and that a buyer, “doesn’t know what you are when you do both [direct response and programmatic sales].”

Haslam said customer demands prompted YuMe to ramp up its programmatic offerings.

“What made us decide to engage in programmatic was that we increasingly heard customers say they would like to get some of the programmatic trading desk capabilities that they’re putting in place with their agencies,” Haslam said. “There’s also this notion that while TV is still prevalent, it is increasingly difficult [to maintain profits] and advertisers need to become more efficient.”

The Redwood City, Calif.-based company is hoping its programmatic offering will provide a fresh source of revenue for the firm. CFO Tim Laehy said during the company’s latest earnings call that he expects YuMe’s programmatic launch “will contribute material amounts to revenue in 2014.”

YuMe faces competition from many other video ad tech firms such as Adap.tv (acquired by AOL), TubeMogul, BrightRoll and Tremor Video as well as television behemoth Comcast, which recently swallowed its competitor, Time Warner Cable, and acquired the video ad-serving platform FreeWheel.

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