The native advertising partnership -- expected to be announced on Monday -- builds on Mirriad’s recent distribution deal with Vevo.
“The Vevo deal was the appetizer, and this is the main course,” Ted Mico, chief operating officer at Mirriad, said Friday. “The Vevo deal served as a ‘proof of concept,’ but we needed the content [which UMG delivers] and the brand money [courtesy of Havas], as well.”
Mirriad gives content owners -- in this case UMG -- and creators editorial control over brand integrations, as well as the incremental revenue stream to UMG and its artists.
Through its Havas Media network, Havas is bringing a number of top clients into the native in-video ad mix, including Dish Network, LG, Coca-Cola and luxury brand holding company LVMH. Once video content owners and creators are on board, Mirriad helps brands dynamically place ads in music videos.
For example, ads for Grand Marnier -- a cognac in LVMH’s stable of spirits brands -- can currently been seen in the video for Far East’s Movement’s single “Rocketeer.” (The single was release by Interscope Records, which is a unit of UMG.)
Unlike banner and pre-roll ads -- which interfere with content, or run alongside it -- the Grand Marnier ads are native to the music video’s urban setting. Plastered on a billboard and a stone wall just behind the action, viewers might not even know that the ads were digitally added using Mirriad’s ad insertion technology.
Facilitating scale, the process is highly automated, but as Mico noted, a human is always involved to make sure a specific ad is appropriate for a particular piece of content.
“There has to be a human in the loop to check for context and make sure [the combination of the ad and content]
look right,” Mico said. The deal also marks the first time Mirriad’s native in-video ads can be planned and executed with the same reach and frequency metrics as traditional ad campaigns,
Havas’ venture Siliwood, a research center launched in collaboration with Orange Silicon Valley, will also incorporate Mirriad technology and UMG content in ongoing research it is conducting in media, content, technology and data science.
While the UMG and Havas deal is limited to digital for now, Mirriad’s technology can integrate video advertising into products, signage, video and other forms of branded assets.