Online Video Advertising Continues to Grow

A new study by Woodside Capital Partners says the ad tech industry is at an inflection point, driven by four key trends: mobile, social, video, and data analytics. We agree, and as one of the most experienced players, we’ve tended to avoid the fund-raising and M&A frenzy in favor of product development and expansion through the addition of new customers on both the advertiser and the publisher sides.

However, we’re able to do this because we chose the right place to use the considerable talents of our dev team: high impact video ad formats. We’re here with industry-leading product as the industry trends converge toward us. We have no need  for M&A.

We already knew  online video advertising was just beginning to grow, because younger users will continue to shift the way they consume video content away from the desktop. While the rule of thumb used to be “no one will watch an online video that’s more than two minutes long,” users have actually trained themselves to watch feature-length films on their iPhones.

Of course that’s still not the first preference for watching video, but the cross-platform user base is growing as consumers  have graduated from owning a disconnected PC and TV to also owning smartphones, tablets, and internet-enabled television sets.   eMarketer says that TV consumption shrunk 3% in 2013 for the first time ever. from 4 hours and 38 minutes to 4 hours and 21 minutes. We think that is going to continue.

And where did all that saved time go? Well, consumers viewed a total of 233 billion online video ads in 2013, up 106% y/y (comScore).

Also according to eMarketer, spending on U.S. online video advertising will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 21.6% from 2013 to 2017, increasing from $4.1 billion to $9.2 billion while TV advertising spend is expected to increase at a 3% CAGR from 2013 to 2017, increasing from $66 billion to $75 billion. And  MAGNA GLOBAL thinks global online video ad spending will increase from $8 billion in 2013 to $28 billion by 2018, a CAGR of 27%. These annual growth rates signify structural change in the media industry, responding to consumer choices.

Like most people in the industry, we expect stronger growth in online video consumption next year and believe that spending will be driven by the continued shift from TV to digital video, increased smartphone and tablet use, and further development of online video content. CBS has announced that some of its new shows will not ever appear on CBS TV, but will be developed to be seen online. HBO is also sending more and more content online.

In this industry, it’s the consumer, not the technologists, who call the shots. And the consumer has been calling the shift away from the TV and the PC for the past couple of years.


Effectiveness: It Starts with Viewability

The problem of viewability is an important one, but it’s only a first step in delivering ad campaigns that brands find effective. Effectiveness is what brands are measuring now. As a company that’s been on the bleeding edge of this issue for two years, we were glad to see more publishers understand that their inventory had to be at least viewable to command premium pricing, and more advertisers become educated on how to make their campaigns yield better results through more than just viewability.

Once the MRC allowed advertising to be bought on the basis of viewability, the field of potential viewability auditors expanded immediately, and things got — if anything — more confusing. While we have created and tested our own formats, we have also used several viewability audit vendors. Some do not measure video, while others do not excel at mobile. Both are important for our publishers and advertisers, who want to measure effectiveness — a metric beyond just visibility. It will be a while before all this settles out.

We recently partnered with MOAT, the software analytics company, to test our mobile and video formats for both viewability and effectiveness. Effectiveness is what an ad that delivers real results possesses. Effectiveness is what advertisers want. In display this used to be called click-through-rates (CTRs), but now it has other names.

MOAT calls this “capturing attention,” because that’s what brands want to do when they advertise.  Viewability is only one part of that equation, in fact, it’s the baseline, the de minimus requirement for an ad..  Effectiveness is what brands really want from their ads. And for that, brands have to capture attention.

So big brands are measuring not only viewability, but who sees their ads, how, and in what context. Was the ad delivered in the right geography? And if it was viewable, was it viewed by a bot, or by a human? This has become another increasing concern. For advertisers, inventory isn’t space on a page, it is a set of eyeballs, a combination of good quality creative positioning combined with the right audience, and the right context.

Viewability measurement began in the display space, well before the MRC said it was a currency. But it was still necessary to test more than sheer visibility. Kellogg began running numbers on its campaigns last year. If a campaign  was at least 50% in view, what was its effectiveness? They found that if you could get up to 75% in view, you could have a 68% more effective campaign.

Video’s potential  can drive volume way in excess of display. Large CPG firms like Kellogg are very well aware of the KPI’s for their campaigns; and programmatic allows for the real-time optimization of campaigns. Now a marketer can monitor a campaign,  go in and change what’s not working.

Applying viewability for video gives you better metrics than before for the success of video ads, but it just doesn’t give you everything. You want to know more than just completion rates; you want to know whether the audio and video were still on at completion. Some domains have high completion rates, but the video isn’t visible on completion even if it’s playing. It’s called the “audible-visible” metric.



ZEDO Advertising Technology Updates – July 2014

ZEDO’s first showcase app “ZEDO PLAY” is now live on the Google Play Store (the iOS version will be out shortly too).

ZEDOPLAY’s initial release brings to you all our in-app offerings with standard ad units, rich media MRAID units (from prominent 3rd parties like Celtra, Crisp etc.), fullscreen & popup interstitials, custom placements and in-stream video ads with many new formats in the pipeline. ZEDOPLAY uses our new API-based SDKs. The initial feedback and benchmarks not only suggests that the new SDK performs and looks fantastic, but also leaves the competition behind by a fair margin.

You can download the app on your Android devices directly here -

Responsive Ads

Enable you to reposition and swap ads in real-time as per the user’s screen size. You will have to define the screen size break points and ad dimensions that need to be loaded.

Downloadable VAST Videos

We have added support to download the video files uploaded and transcoded from the “VAST compatible” create ad template.

IAB Mobile Rising Star – PULL

ZEDO now supports the IAB Mobile Rising Star – Pull format. It is a two component ad unit which appears as a standard banner but on user interaction slides vertically over the publisher’s content into a full screen ad. It offers audio-visual interaction and other rich media experiences. The sliding effect calls for longer attention span and greater engagement.

ZEDO PLAY App Shows Large Repertoire of Mobile Ad Offerings

zedoPlayScreenOne of the problems for both our publisher partners and the ZINC team that presents our mobile formats to agencies is the awkwardness of making a potential ad buyer or publisher visit the web to see demos of what we have available. And now that everyone’s using mobile devices, both in the industry and in “real life,”  we thought we should make our demos available in easy-to-see real life situations.

Thus, ZEDO’s first showcase app “ZEDO PLAY” is now live on the Google Play Store, with the  iOS version will be out shortly too. You can download the app on your Android phone directly here.   It will appeal to media buyers and publishers who want to see how our mobile ad units will look on the mobile devices of consumers.

ZEDO PLAY’s initial release brings to agencies and publishers a view of all our in-app offerings:  standard ad units, rich media MRAID units (from prominent 3rd parties like Celtra, Crisp etc.), fullscreen & popup interstitials, custom placements and very soon, in-stream video ads, with many more new formats also in the pipeline. ZEDO PLAY uses our new API based SDKs.

Initial feedback and benchmarks not only suggest that the new SDK performs very well and looks fantastic, but also leaves our competition behind by a fair margin. Kudos to the teams that have been involved in bringing this form to life.

We’ve been observing/studying many others in our business who have gone on to create feature-rich SDKs, but have never quite been able to demonstrate what their ad units were really capable of. With ZEDO PLAY, we intend to push forth and showcase the best of our capabilities, deep linking with our publishers and potential customers for a long time to come. And this is just the start.

ZEDO PLAY (and our SDK) have been designed with a core focus on performance while maintaining a simplistic yet definitive appeal. We’ve tinkered with the best of design principles from Google and Apple and incorporated them into the app, which you will get to experience as you play with it. The core fundamental here has been to GO CONSUMER FIRST i.e. “If you and I (as users) find it appealing, our customers will too.” Let’s continue to grow our business.

We’d  love to hear your feedback, both by email and also on the Play Store with ratings and comments.

Stay tuned for more updates from the team. For the moment though, jump right on to the store and check the app out.

Programmatic isn’t a Synonym for Low CPMs

Are small publishers having difficulty keeping their CPMs stable with programmatic? According to Brian Fitzgerald of Evolve Media they are:

The overall marketplace has been putting pressure on brands to move into indirect programmatic channels at lower CPMs. Smaller sites have really been feeling the pinch. There’s a shrinking pool of people viewing ad inventory on PCs. Audiences are moving to mobile and publishers have to deal with less real estate for ad space. It’s only going to get worse. Now we have more issues of non-human traffic and non-viewable inventory.

We believe this doesn’t have to be the case. Because Evolve Media is rolling up small publishers, offering  them economies of scale, it’s in their interest to think that CPMs will be lower with programmatic.  Actually, things are much more nuanced, and changing every day as ads become more mobile and video ads become more common. Yes, brands are moving into programmatic. Yes, customers are moving to mobile, and the screens are indeed smaller. But that doesn’t mean advances like mobile video ads and high impact formats don’t take up the slack left by the abandonment by consumers of their PCs.

For one thing, people outside the industry are still confusing programmatic with real time bidding (RTB). They’re not the same. RTB is an auction, while programmatic is simply an automated work flow process. So there’s no real reason why programmatic itself would lower CPMs, unless your only use of programmatic is assigning your remnant inventory to RTB exchanges.

Our publishers, on the other hand, receive opportunities to offer  ZEDO’s high impact formats, display and video ads that are polite, unobtrusive, and engaging — but at the same time 99% viewable with measureably  higher CTRs. Our ZINC division sells premium brands and agencies campaigns that run on a premium publisher network that is growing daily.

For another, what Evolve calls “economies of scale” is really the ability to present a brand to a single market segment at scale — in this case either men’s or women’s lifestyles, since that’s what all their aggregated sites present. So it’s  a matter of better targeting. And that can be done with combinations of large and small publishers.

More precise targeting always produces higher CPMs for a publisher, which is why niche magazines and sites are not suffering the way many general publishers are. Local publishers are also faring better under programmatic, because in many cases brands want to pinpoint customer locations on mobile.

A combination of good targeting and engaging high impact formats can help a publisher of any size command the CPMs it wants.






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