Online Video Ad Verification: Does it Answer Brand Advertisers Nagging Questions?
It seems the hype surrounding the rise of online video and web TV is much bigger than the actual advertising dollars behind it. Perhaps it's because brands can't, in good conscience, throw an ad budget at endless videos of cats chasing laser pointers. This lack of actual premium content brands want to advertise around, is also the reason that broadcast content commands CPM's from $21 - $30 and user generated content runs from $0 - $5 per thousand impressions, according to a "state of the industry" report put out by Digiday and Adap.tv.
There seems to be an enormous amount of video content added every day to YouTube though, one hour every minute according to the site, and it's not all cats chasing stuff and doing tricks; so what about that stuff? The type of content pure online video play Revision3 creates, and Discovery Communications, parent company of the Discovery Channel, thought was worth the reported $30mil that they paid for it.
In the past month alone the two biggest players in video ad technology, BrightRoll and Tremor Video have both announced verification tools to help brands ensure that their ads are placed where they are supposed to. There is a great piece on Digiday that goes over the numerous tactics that unscrupulous publishers use to artificially manipulate online video ad views, and what these verification technologies are supposed to protect against. It's a lot similar to what 'click-fraud' was to the pay-per-click industry. According to the Brightroll announcement, three new tools, inventory planner, video rank targeting and BrandWatch will be integrated into the company's exchange to help advertisers better understand their digital video campaigns. Also, VideoHub, which is the enterprise division of Tremor Video, announced tools to verify the viewability of their ads including player size and position to signal to advertisers if a video ad is viewable, unviewable or partially viewable.
But how well do these tools work? How comfortable will advertisers feel with just knowing that a particular ad is 'partially viewable'? According to an article about web video & verification in Digiday, author Mike Shields states, "And to hear most folks in the industry tell it, verification technologies, which have become a standard precaution for display advertisers, don't cut it when it comes to video". What he is talking about was also echoed by Adxpose CEO Kirby Winfield, "it's largely correct in asserting that traditional display ad verification does have a low success rate in typical video ad serving."Continued on the next page