If you’re watching a clip of last night’s presidential debate online today, it might very well have come from online video syndicator NDN.
The online video news syndication platform has quietly been making a name for itself as a hub and distribution platform for online news videos, and has seen a rise in the news videos running through its system this fall, including pre- and post-debate videos. “October will be biggest month of advertising by a large multiple and our revenue is tied to the number of views. We are at an all-time views high right now,” said the company’s Chief Revenue Officer Kevin Gentzel. He added that NDN turned a profit this year and is now is operating in the black. Total impressions in September were nearly 405 million across pre-roll, overlay, display and other units. October impressions are estimated to reach nearly 446 million, he said.
NDN isn’t a very well known property, but its business model is worth a closer look given its rise in views. NDN was 8th in comScore’s most recent monthly ranking of online video content properties, having garnered 37.5 million unique viewers in August watching 396 million videos . NDN has been in and out of comScore’s top 10 content properties for the last few months, which is no easy feat.
Entertainment news videos are among the most popular consistently, but political videos have fared well lately, Gentzel said. According to measurement service Quantcast, the day of and after the first presidential debate earlier this month was the top two audience days in NDN's history, he added.
NDN syndicates on average about 1200 news videos each weekday from sources including AP, Reuters, CBS News, Entertainment Tonight, Fox Sports and ENews! to more than 4,000 online publishers including The Boston Globe, NY Daily News, and the Chicago Sun-Times. NDN is like a video wire service of sorts, but it also handles the business and technology aspects of the operation, syndicating its video player and selling the ads in it. The service is free to use on both ends; NDN shares the ad revenue with the publishers and the providers. Advertisers include Dell, Chase, Comcast, Delta, American Express, Fidelity, Wal-mart and others.
Ad revenue and views have grown in the last year in part because of the election, but also because news videos are among the most popular online. They’re brand-safe in many cases.