Commentary

Solving Publishers' Premium-Video Supply Problem

All major publishers today have large sales teams that sell owned and operated (O&O) digital properties to advertisers, and often the most lucrative offering in their arsenal is digital video. Unfortunately, top publishers don’t typically have as much digital video supply as their advertisers demand, so they end up turning away deals or restricting their potential in some way.

In “audience extension,” publishers use a third-party platform to retarget users they’ve seen (or cookied) on their O&O sites to find these users as they visit other sites on the web. Audience extension has been thoroughly explored  in the digital display world. Digital video, however, is decidedly different, and the opportunity for publishers to leverage a third-party platform for video is even more compelling and valuable than it is in display.

Beyond retargeting, the key benefits for giving a publisher’s sales teams access to additional video inventory are: 1) GRP/audience based buying; 2) contextual/bundle based buying; and 3) greater access to mobile and connected TV inventory. Essentially, not only can a publisher’s sales team extend their audiences, the relationship may also enable them to sell an expanded suite of products.

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Below are some hypothetical examples of these key benefits:

Retargeting – Major digital news publisher

A major digital news publisher does not have enough digital video inventory across its sites to satisfy a request from a financial advertiser looking to show video ads to an audience of financially savvy decision makers. Instead of simply accepting a smaller deal size or selling alternatives like Web display or mobile display, the publisher could partner with a video platform to retarget its site visitors wherever they are watching video content elsewhere on the web, thus easily meeting the advertiser request and resulting in a bigger deal. Today’s video platforms provide the ability to execute this scenario quickly and at scale, on brand-safe sites and with zero data leakage.

Audiences & GRPs/TRPs – Media company

A major media company may have a CPG advertiser that only wants to pay for video impressions to males 25-54, as verified by comScore’s Verified Campaign Essentials (buying on an audience guaranteed basis is becoming a more common request from advertisers now that they have the ability to plan cross-platform). If the media company takes the deal and runs the video campaign exclusively on its  O&O properties, they will likely show a large number of impressions to visitors outside the advertiser’s target demographic, and as a result, may have a difficult time accepting a substantial budget.  By partnering with a video platform, the media company could drastically extend its video reach for the male 25-54 target. Also, the media company would thus be better positioned to offer their advertisers the ability to purchase video inventory based on GRPs (gross rating points) or TRP (target rating points).

Contextual/Bundles – Entertainment content company

An entertainment content company has lots of digital video inventory on its O&O properties, but one of its large automotive advertisers might  want to deliver a campaign on a mix of business news sites in addition to music and entertainment sites. Working with a video platform would enable the entertainment company to sell bundles of “like” brand-name music and entertainment properties to its automotive advertiser, in addition to offering the advertiser a “business news bundle” of brand-name sites or any other contextual-based bundle desired.

Mobile and Connected TV – Sports-related programming company

A sports-related programming company is at the forefront of multiscreen advertising, so one of its movie studio advertisers might suggest running a massive 3-day movie promotion to sports enthusiasts who are viewing video content on PCs, smartphones, tablets and connected TVs. The sports programming company may not have the mobile video or connected TV inventory needed to fulfill the largest possible deal, but could bolster its supply by partnering with a video platform. 

Introducing “Product Extension”

Since retargeting or “audience extension” is only one of the benefits that a publisher can gain through a partnership with a video platform, “product extension” may be a better term to describe the opportunity.  Two important caveats to all aspects of video product extension are: 1) the publisher’s sales force needs to be educated on this enhanced offering and feel comfortable about selling it; and 2) the publisher needs to work with a qualified video platform that provides them with scale across premium, brand-safe and transparent inventory.
Forward-thinking publishers who use video product extension will expand and solidify their relationships with advertisers, open up new revenue streams, and have an advantage over competitors in a market that is becoming increasingly digital.

3 comments about "Solving Publishers' Premium-Video Supply Problem".
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  1. Larry Grossman from Media Encounters, June 6, 2013 at 6:13 p.m.

    Brightroll could have more premium video content if it did not choose to preclude sites with less than 3 million views in a month. Retargeting does not guarantee same contextual experience.
    This article make the case for Brightroll selling what they have vs what the advertiser wants, IMHO-

  2. Luke mcdonough from AIR.TV, June 6, 2013 at 6:38 p.m.

    Matt is right: Video is typically the most valuable inventory that premium publishers have for sale, and more often than not, publishers do not have enough of video inventory to satisfy advertiser demand.

    However, among the solutions offered, Matt leaves out the best solution of all: Syndication.

    For every example offered above, syndication is a superior solution...Syndication allows the publisher to sell at much higher scale, against the same video content that they run on their own sites, under their own brand, in the same player experience, running contextually on other sites in the same category.

    Furthermore, they are able to forecast, sell and report on that inventory with the same level of transparency they have on their own sites, (something that is not possible through any video ad network or exchange).

    I am biased of course, since I represent RealGravity, a video syndication platform...but we built our platform to solve the problem Matt highlights here, and our customers tell us, not surprisingly, that they prefer to "extend" their audience and ad campaigns around their own content running on other sites, rather than extending around someone else's content running on another site... so I feel OK about shilling in this comment, as a service to all premium publishers who face the "not enough video inventory to satisfy advertiser demand" problem....We have a solution for you! And this shill seems especially fair here, given that the post reads like a marketing brochure for Brightroll... : )

  3. Paul Calento from TriVu Media, June 7, 2013 at 8:55 a.m.

    Having a platform for scale is only as good as the business process put in place (by the publisher) to leverage it (like finding the best content). Otherwise, it leads to two problems. 1.) Selling low-priced inventory that under-values premium content advertisers are already buying (i.e. leading to lost future sales); 2.) Selling commodity inventory at the premium publisher's rates, which inevitably leads to performance problems. Video content selection needs to be connected to outcomes. Otherwise, it's just inventory ... and a "license to fail."

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