Video advertising inventory on iOS is going unsold, thanks to privacy changes instituted by Apple last year. And as usual, publishers are getting “the short end of the stick,” says Binda Patel, director, head of client success for Connatix.
Patel says iOS makes up 64% of traffic, but accounts for only 48% of impressions, or revenue. In contrast, Android comprises 36% of ad requests and 52% of revenue.
The result is that “a ton of inventory is not getting bought anymore,” Patel notes.
This hurts firms like Connatix, a company that facilitates programmatic video advertising, serving both publishers and advertisers. “Our iOS inventory is not getting filled,” Patel says. “We’re losing money on that side of the business.”
Specifically, the problem concerns buys based on audience targeting, a category that has suffered in the wake of Apple’s allowing consumers to walk away from this form of engagement.
These consumers account for 66% of traffic, but only 4% is being monetized because advertisers are using audience segments that don’t work in iOS environments, Connatix estimates.
“Overall, there’s no way to match the audience if the audience decides to opt out,” Patel says.
Both publishers and advertisers are upset -- publishers to a somewhat greater extent.
The answer is to target by context, not audience segment, Patel contends. To that end, Connatix has developed a product, still nascent, called Deep Contextual, which examines publisher videos to determine key words that keep popping up.
“We’re analyzing the video in a very precise way,” Patel says “Our advertisers can do a deeper level of video targeting contextually.”
Case in point: A Forbes video might contain the word “finance.” The reader is targeted by this topic, or context.
Does it work? When looking at the non-audience buy based on Deep Contextual for one client, Connatix has seen that 76% of the traffic represented 72% of the ad impressions, Patel claims.
Founded in 2014, Connatix helps publishers and advertisers deliver video experiences, using an online video player and monetization formats.
On the publishing side, Connatix serves HuffPost/Buzzfeed, LADbible, Accuweather and others. On the advertiser side, it helps brands and agencies such as Mars, Citi, American Express, UM, Bliss Point Media & Goodway Group. The company, which now has 176 employees, obtained a significant investment from Court Square Capital Partners in 2021.
Summing up, Patel argues that Deep Contextual will help brands in a cookyless environment by “making sure that audience buying substituted or complemented in a good way.”