Video Must Be Sold The Way Buyers Want To Buy It

The demand for digital video is immense, and continuing to gain momentum. Where TV was once the sole source for video content, consumers now have a plethora of options to consume video. And where consumers go, advertisers have followed.




According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, the surge in spending on digital video has tripled in the past three years. Additionally, marketers and agencies have expressed their intention to expand spend on digital video in the years to come.

Despite such robust demand, the supply of video impressions continues to struggle to meet it. Publishers face challenges both in creating premium video content, and in transacting these impressions.

The way digital video impressions are transacted today is not conducive to the demand side. This inventory is not all that easy to buy. For the buy side, this remains a key factor driving continued TV investments and other digital spend.

The sell side has a real opportunity to ignite the digital video market by addressing a few critical factors in the transaction of these impressions. First, and most important, is reporting. Data is ubiquitous these days – simply having it is not enough. The value lies in how data is used.

Measuring ROI in particular has been a major concern from the buy side. Self-reported metrics, as we have seen, can be skewed and biased. But they unify the product and simplify buying for the demand side.  As an industry, we must develop a unified approach to make reporting easier, with collectively agreed-upon metrics, which in turn will make digital video impressions easier and more attractive to buy.

Secondly, the sell side must do a better job of defining premium inventory. This is as simple as confronting metrics head-on, which is a key defining factor of premium placements. Digital video impressions are bountiful. Premium digital video impressions are not.

Viewability, for example, has remained a key metric concern, and publishers have yet to offer a concrete solution to address this issue.

Lastly, publishers must capitalize on the diverse source of content channels now available to consumers.  Buyers want to place ads where their audience is. The sell side must therefore offer inventory that reaches these audiences. It's important to Invest in new platforms that expand the reach of video content. This creates more opportunity for sellable impressions, and more opportunities for buyers to purchase premium placements.

As it now stands, most publishers work with a finite number of digital video channels, which is a key factor in the limited amount of premium inventory available.  If, for example, a publisher decided to run its video content on its Website, alongside various connected TV and OTT offerings, that one piece of content could generate four different pieces of inventory and a pathway for the buy side to reach four unique sets of viewers. That's a win-win for both sides.

Video's success in the digital realm, though, is becoming more and more dependent on how the corresponding ad impressions are transacted. To maintain the momentum of this market, the sell side must invest in selling these impressions the way the buy side wants to buy it, and help supply adequately meet demand.

1 comment about "Video Must Be Sold The Way Buyers Want To Buy It".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 24, 2017 at 1:22 p.m.

    Rachel, the demand for digital video content is not nearly as great as the IAB's percent increase stats imply. In fact, the amount of digital video viewing to long form videos---like 10 minutes or longer----that carry ads, is tiny compared to what an advertiser can buy in "linear TV". Indeed, there are serious questions whether smartphones---where much of the action seems to be developing---  will ever be an effective medium for long form videos of the kind that TV advertisers might feel comfortable appearing in and even more questions about the attention spans of smartphone users to conventional  commercial lengths---like 30-second messages.. We are being told---and it makes sense---that the "optimum" length for a smartphone TV commercial is around 5 seconds, though that might be stretched to 10 seconds and, even, 15 providing the screen wasn't cluttered with other ads and providing the ad could even be seen. If that is true, this means that smartphones can never be the primary medium for most branding campaigns, but merely a selective targeting supplement as you need time to convey even a simple story telling or demonstation-type ad message.

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