nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

CandW discuss the state of online video ads with VideoAmp CEO

VideoNuze nScreenMedia podcast

In this discussion with Ross McCray, Co-founder, and CEO of VideoAmp, we look at some of the problems faced by the video ad industry. We also look ahead to what may happen in 2018.

Ross McCray VideoAmp

Ross McCray, VideoAmp

Chapter 1: About VideoAmp (1:20)

The VideoAmp TV Operating System is software that helps the convergence of linear and digital video advertising. It is a toolkit for connecting various software components and includes some programmatic capabilities.

Chapter 2: The two fundamental issues for online video ads (4:30)

SVOD services are allowing consumers to avoid seeing ads during their premium viewing. In the past, viewers would have been watching these shows on television ad-supported. Mr. McCray admits there’s not very much the industry can do about this problem. However, he still thinks there is plenty of inventory that advertisers can still buy.

The other problem for television is that Google and Facebook and now making big plays for television ad revenue. Mr. McCray says that Google and Facebook are well positioned to start to take television ad revenue. However, there is plenty that the industry can do to defend their position. These include advanced TV, programmatic TV, and data-enabled television.

Chapter 3 How TV can improve ad performance (8:25)

Smart TVs and set-top boxes are returning large amounts of (anonymized) TV usage data. Companies like Experian and Axxiom specialize in connecting this offline data with online personally identifiable information (PII onboarding.) When you have that bridge, it allows you to connect the dots between any data sets. For example, it is now possible to connect people that sign up for newsletters or come into the store to home TV viewing data.

Chapter 4: How are the TV networks doing with data enablement? (11:20)

Mr. McCray says TV networks are quite far along, or in the third inning as he characterizes it. The sales side is being packaged for advanced audiences. It his, however, a very hands-on process. To be able to index to the households, create a forecast, to set ad prices, and to return the data is a manual process.

Chapter 5: How to reach millennials with ads (13:00)

Mr. McCray says we do not have a very solid understanding of millennial behavior from a measurement perspective. Most of the panel data, he contends, is from millennials that don’t watch television. He does not think millennials hate advertising; he says they hate bad experiences.

Chapter 6: Friction on the buy side (16:00)

Mr. McCray says that there are a lot of competing camps within ad buying agencies. For example, there may be a team focused on advanced tv and another on regular television. There may be another team dealing with digital programmatic and while yet another cope with non-programmatic buying. These competing teams make it hard to drive a consistent strategy within the organization.

Chapter 7: Getting the ad load balance right (20:00)

Mr. McCray discussed the testing that Fox has been doing with 6-second ads. He says these have been very successful. In some cases, he thinks a 6-second ad can be more valuable than a 30-second ad, even an “order-of-magnitude” more valuable.

Chapter 8: Key trends in 2018 (23:30)  

He believes we will see a lot more ad transparency and reliability in the coming year. Advertisers will have a much better idea of what exactly they are buying. They will be able to determine where their money is going and if it is really helping the campaign. He is also hopeful that buy-side platforms will stop charging hidden margins, so everyone can see exactly where the money goes.

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