For Native Video, Publishers And Advertisers Need To Meet In The Middle

petercunhaOn TV And Video” is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in programmatic TV and video.

Today’s column is written by Peter Cunha, head of programmatic and business development at InvestingChannel.

Advertisers’ and publishers’ needs and requirements for native video are not aligned. In fact, they rarely meet.

For advertisers, viewability is a key issue. Many ask for ridiculous completion rates and other KPI metrics on video campaigns, such as requiring that video ads are 100% in view or half of 60-second video ads are watched.

On the flip side, publishers want native video ads on their sites to improve overall engagement, fit editorially, perform well and keep users on their sites. They are also looking at how this affects site performance and overall latency.

In an era where ad blocking is on the rise and the open web is under threat, publishers are scrambling and throwing every bit of tech and JavaScript at users to squeeze more yield out of every page view – only to see the problem getting worse. What this ends up doing is shifting audiences away from the long tail and toward the larger media incumbents and platform companies that invest in their own more robust ad products.

Advertisers and publishers can mutually coexist if they collaborate and work closer together. Advertisers must understand that a fair amount of readers will use the five-second skip button and that what works on TV doesn’t always work on digital. They must also be more flexible with standards and how they spend – and understand that pre-roll video is not the only valuable video format. If advertisers are flexible with pricing and rewarding native video executions that do work, we would all be better off.

At a minimum, advertisers need to deliver native video products that can work hand in hand with the content on a page. For example, if advertisers want users to stick around for a 30- to 60-second pre-roll ad, the content of the ad should be engaging. In today’s programmatic world, an advertiser doesn’t always know where its content will be playing, and it can be tricky as different audiences learn to accommodate different kinds of video ad content they are seeing.

There must be a dialogue between the advertiser and publisher – and not just big halo publishers, but the smaller guys, too. On the publisher side, publishers need to understand that they get out of video what they put into it. There needs to be more effort on how video is packaged and integrated within the overall product and editorial strategy to make it something that users want to engage with. A little consideration of the user experience can increase performance tremendously.

Technology is one way that these two camps can bridge this gap. It helps when advertisers and publishers can set a level of agreed-upon expectations from day one; candor and transparency can go a long way in reaping returns later on.

In the end, both advertisers and publishers have to think about all of these factors when determining how a video player interacts with everything else on the page and the overall value proposition to the user. We have to look at native video carefully, strike the right balance between monetization and creative guidelines and, in the end, meet in the middle.

Follow InvestingChannel (@InvestChannel) and AdExchanger (@adexchanger) on Twitter.

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