Are Video And RTB Ready For Each Other? Well, Sort Of

The final panel at last week’s OMMA RTB was a “Grill the Vendors” session on the relationship between video and RTB. The title of the panel asked: Are video and RTB ready for each other?

The panelists all believe that video and RTB are ready for each other, but there needs to be a shift in perception before the connection happens the way everyone envisions.

Anthony Risicato, GM, VideoHub, believes that the lack of transparency in the RTB space has it aiming in the wrong direction. “If we go down the RTB path we are currently going down, which is mimicking what happened in display and search,” he said, “the only person who benefits is Google.”

He went on to say: “But if we want to build out a real, vibrant, RTB-based business that brings in the brand marketer, then we have to focus on bidding for brand awareness, favorability, engagement, and allowing the brand marketer the absolute transparency into what they are getting out of that bid.”

Essentially, Risicato was saying that transparecy is key. Advertisers need to know where their ads are being displayed, and he says that there is no reason that shouldn't be happening. 

Scott Ferber, CEO and co-founder, Videology, believes that RTB needs to “go back to the digital premise.” Ferber was vehement in saying that sales were the bottom line, and that following digital’s premise of creating the “best ultimate direct-response medium” was the way to go.

Eric Franchi, co-founder, Undertone, disagreed with Ferber. Franchi said, “I probably fully disagree that we need to make it like display” --  AKA, the mindset of spending X and making Y is all that matters. He said, “I think it’s more complicated and nuanced with video, and it needs to be more like TV. A disagreement on such a fundamental level highlights the troubles of RTB in the online video space."

The moderator next asked about the online GRP. Brett Wilson, co-founder and CEO of TubeMogul, said: “Until GRP pricing online takes into account wastage, then it never works for both advertisers and publisher.” The lack of a true standard of measurement -- and one that is easily comparable to television -- is an issue that needs to be solved before this connection can live up to its potential.

It seems like video and RTB should be ready for each other, but the technology, measurement standards, and the fundamental ideas at the surface of the relationship need to be worked out first.

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