Making an online video service successful is anything but easy. In this webinar, Jason DeMarco, Director of Programmatic and Audience Solutions at A+E Networks, and Laura Buchman, VP of North America Sales for Tremor Video, discuss the Five Key Components of Effective Video Monetization with Colin Dixon, Founder of nScreenMedia, in the moderator’s chair.
Here are some of the key points raised by the panelists. There were many more insights which can be gained from the listening to the full webinar. However, you can click on the section highlights below and jump directly to that section in the webinar.
Mobile delivery, which has emerged as the driver of growth in online delivery, was a focus of the discussion. Ms. Buchman focused on how the mobile experience provides an opportunity for better engagement:
The way we look at QoE is how engaged are the consumers, and are they interacting with the content. Mobile affords more opportunity to engage with the content.”
Mr. DeMarco agreed that mobile provided a great opportunity, but had some words of caution about its impact on QoE:
Now we have so many different ad experiences…and so much more content is being consumed on mobile devices that’s relying on mobile and Wi-Fi data, that it’s actually interrupting the user experience and that goes back to quality of experience.”
Multiscreen access was viewed as critical for both the content provider and the advertiser. Almost all of the A+E library of content is available to viewers with a pay TV subscription through TV Everywhere authenticated apps. Mr. DeMarco says the company makes sure this content is available on all the devices his viewers are likely to be using. This has meant creating apps for the popular mobile operating systems, browser apps for desktop and channel apps for devices like Roku and Apple TV.
Ms. Buchman said the critical thing was to provide advertisers a single platform through which they can manage their multiscreen campaigns. “It gives our partners the flexibility to …spread their campaigns across all of those multiple devices.”
Both the panelist said that leveraging first party data, information about how a viewer is interacting with the content and the service, as critical. Mr. DeMarco observed that A+E was “Trying to establish a smarter way to do advertising on our sites.” He continued:
When we understand our audience better we are able to program better and we’re able to surface them better programming keeping them on our sites longer; and, in turn, we’re able to offer to the advertiser better targeting experiences and better ad campaigns.”
Key to better targeting is support from the device platforms upon which the video apps run. Ms. Buchman is hopeful that this is improving with platforms such as Apple TV.
We are starting to see additional signals coming through those devices which hopefully will provide signals to the data providers to where they will be able to leverage that to understand the audience better.”
According to Ms. Buchman, the key to maintaining quality is transparency about the ad inventory:
“The more transparent the publisher, the supplier can be about the type of inventory they’re sending the more likely it’s going to be measured as high quality.”
This transparency allows premium providers like A+E to tightly control what ads appear with its programming.
“We don’t allow our inventory to go out in RTB (real-time bid) auctions, everything is private market place, private exchanges.”
Data underpins everything that the panelists discussed in the webinar. It is the fuel that drives QoE, ease of access, knowledge of the audience, and how to measure the quality of inventory.
I characterized TV as being a data-poor environment, and online as being data rich. Mr. DeMarco reminded me of one of the greatest challenges in online data today, the lack of standards.
“The TV has a consistent and agreed upon currency, which is Nielsen. What OTT is missing right now is that single currency.”
Ms. Buchman also saw challenges in getting the data because of the lack of cookies in the mobile world, but she said there are other signals that the industry can look for. These can be as simple as device based groups, like Apple TV or game console users.
Why it matters
Getting premium revenue from advertising in an online video service is very challenging today.
There are very steps providers can take to improve monetization.
These include (in order of importance) quality of experience, ease of access, knowledge of the audience, maintaining a quality inventory, and underpinning everything is rich data.