Video Killed The Radio Star

“…They took the credit for your second symphony

Rewritten by machine on new technology

And now I understand the supernova scene…

What did you tell them?

Video killed the radio star...”

“Video Killed The Radio Star” – The Buggles

This summer has been a bit of a coming out ball for the video debutantes. Tremor’s IPO in June and Wednesday saw YuMe’s IPO and Adap.TV’s sale to AOL for $405 million in cash and stock. Which one of these debutantes will be crowned as belle of the ball? It’s too early to tell; however, the big winner in my opinion is programmatic video buying. 

Online video of all sorts is growing up quickly. Why?  The market is still very much open for the taking with no clear winners determined. Companies that can create a better environment to reach consumers as they flock to online video will win the day. Also, the market and marketers are waking up to this the reality that by the end of 2013 the 90% of American households paying for TV will be closer to 85% -- a loss of 4.7 million customers. Cord cutting is happening en masse! This sobering statistic is not lost on brands looking to continue their engagement with audiences.



Brands are looking to their agency and ad-tech marketplace partners, providers for video solutions that can deliver audience and the experience that best fits a brands need. And key to solutions that agencies are looking is best-in-class programmatic video buying at scale. For example, I am constantly looking at which companies can truly deliver scale performance in their respective place in the ad stack across all screens. It’s amazing how many companies out there claim to be fully programmatic yet can’t deliver and still rely on a room full of people manually optimizing campaigns. If nothing else, the video company M&A deals this summer will provide the companies the development resources needed to build the product and platform functionality to speed solutions to market. 

Tim Armstrong knows the world of programmatic from his days at Google, where he saw the scale grow and understands the product development needed. Armstrong’s big theme this year has been programmatic ad-buying. In fact, he announced plans for a programmatic upfront event at Advertising Week. AOL’s purchase of Adap.TV is a clear sign that Armstrong and the AOL team intend to make a big play for leading programmatic video ad-buying. Mastery of Video has long been part of Armstrong’s “long game” strategy – remember AOL bought 5Min Media, which takes video clips and distributes them to other sites. Adap.TV is clearly part two of Armstrong’s master plan. 

Video ad company Tremor went public in June to a lukewarm, at best, IPO. We’ve seen companies come out of the IPO gate with disappointing results then bounce back with some amazing developments as a result of smart investment of money from the IPO to drive product development. So far we haven’t seen that from Tremor but time will tell.  As I write this article YuMe entered the public market with their IPO this morning. YuMe’s solutions and platform are growing a lot faster then Tremor since they are more focused on connected devices, streaming and hardware partnerships – focus on the long game vs. focusing on here and now solutions. 

The video debutantes have had their coming out parties.  Now it’s time to show what their respective parenting and pedigrees can deliver. The market is there for their taking. eMarketer estimates that video spending in 2013 is expected to reach $4.1 billion, up 41% form the previous year. Let see what these debs can deliver over the next 12-24 months. I’m certainly #bullish on #programmatic #video.

2 comments about "Video Killed The Radio Star".
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  1. Walter Sabo from SABO media, August 8, 2013 at 10:39 a.m.

    Radio is doing more than fine. Most stations do a 50% profit margins

  2. Doug Chavez from WPP, August 8, 2013 at 2:40 p.m.

    Walter - it was really more about the Song lyrics vs. being a factual statement. All my articles start with some sort of song lyrics or movie quote. That said, terrestrial radio continues to surprise me with it's ability to deliver effective results. But Pandora, Spotify continue to eat audience in our ever connected world.

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