How did Horizon Media spend its multimillion-dollar R&D budget this year? A large share of the media shop’s millions went into building Cadence -- an all-in-one video planning and
optimization platform, Online Media Daily
With video taking over online ad spending, the investment was a no-brainer, according to Eric Blankfein, chief of the
Where Group, a unit that Horizon launched in late 2011 to determine "where" to find the most effective channels for reaching consumers.
By Blankfein’s estimate, Horizon’s
clients pump about 20% of their budgets into digital, and video now accounts for nearly 70% of that share. As further rationale for the video venture, which is expected to officially roll out this
week, Blankfein said Horizon has already begun to recoup its investment by leveraging Cadence in discussions with publishers.
“That has been felt immediately in negotiations
with media partners,” Blankfein said, referring to the agency’s ability to glean greater insights from video data. With estimated billings of over $4 billion, Horizon's taking hold of its
video business will ensure attention from media companies.
Before Cadence, Horizon’s media planners had to cobble together data from separate sources, which made it difficult to
confirm true duplication, according to John Marson, vice president and director of resource development for Horizon’s Where Group. Now, Horizon’s brand planning and investment teams can
exploit a single user interface -- with frequently updated consumer behavior data -- to plan media buys more efficiently.
With Cadence, “we’re going to find waste, and any
time you find waste you can create value,” Marson said. The end result will be “a more efficient reach for the buck, and [the ability to] make better investments for clients.”
Helping Cadence come together over the past six months, Horizon relied on a small software firm named Stone House Systems, along with Nielsen, which is providing much of the solution’s
raw data. (Specifically, the platform incorporates Nielsen’s National Respondent Level data and Cross Channel TV Internet Fusion.)
Illustrating Cadence’s value to clients,
Blankfein said it recently helped one retail brand realign its video strategy. With the platform, the agency found that an online buy made more sense than certain TV dayparts.
degree Cadence will encourage clients to shift their budgets from TV to digital remains to be seen.
By 2017, eMarketer expects digital video spending to reach just about one-eighth of
what is spent on TV ads