Commentary

The World Of Outstream Video: Q&A With Yoav Naveh

Yoav Naveh has a background steeped in building predictive systems for online advertising and internet security startups. Prior to launching ConvertMedia, he served as captain in the elite technological unit of the Israeli Intelligence Corp., for which he received multiple awards of achievement. Upon completing his service, Naveh went on to receive a degree in mathematics and computer science at Tel Aviv University.

As the co-founder and CEO of ConvertMedia, Naveh works in the world of outstream video: video ad units that aren’t tied to content. (Outstream ad can run between paragraphs of text, on the side of a page. They are presumed to be more valuable because they can guarantee 100% viewability.) ConvertMedia (just acquired by Taboola) is an outstream video supply-side platform (SSP) that, according to Naveh, “enables publishers to strike an ideal balance between revenue goals, the exposure they afford advertisers and how they engage consumers.”

I sat down with him and asked him the following questions:

Charlene Weisler: What exactly is an outstream SSP?

Yoav Naveh: SSPs have traditionally helped publishers connect to demand channels (advertisers via DSPs and ad networks) and sell real estate. An Outstream SSP makes that connection for outstream video supply. We believe that SSPs should evolve beyond demand management and offer user experience controls.

In outstream, a high impact and effective format, publishers need to have tools to manage the user experience in a way that is respectful to the user, and measures not only the potential revenue, but also the user experience tradeoff.

Weisler: What type of video — length, origin etc. — do you work with?

Naveh: Most ads are 15 to 30 seconds long. But we feel that outstream can be an opportunity for content marketers to play
longer stories. This allows marketers to have a few seconds of high impact format that then stays active on the page only if users engage. If the user does engage, the marketer can now play a significantly longer story/ad (two to five minutes).  This brings publishers the opportunity to deliver an experience similar to what Facebook created with in-feed with video.

Weisler: How are you able to move TV dollars to digital?

Naveh: Advertisers are looking to reach their audiences, who are online, and in particular on their mobile devices. But they need to be able to reach those audiences at scale and in a viewable and reliable way if they are going to make the move from broadcast TV to digital. Outstream video opens up quality, viewable inventory at scale and will be the key to moving budgets so advertisers can be where their audiences already engage with content.

Weisler: Tell me about some of the data you collect, and how you use it.

Naveh: We collect data on the effects of different video ad formats on the user experience and how it correlates with revenue to help publishers find the balance between revenue and user experience. We measure the load-time of the ads, the time users spend on a page, how they move and interact with the page, where they came to the site from (for example, whether it was from social media or organically) and if they immediately leave after the page visit. We also allow users to provide direct feedback on the ad with an opt-out option.

Weisler: What happens when Smart TVs gain critical mass? How will that impact your business?

Naveh: Smart TVs present an opportunity to create new video advertising experiences for users. We will need to develop smart and relevant ad experiences that enhance the user experience that such devices introduce, beyond the pre-roll.

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