During a recent panel moderated by VideoInk and featuring panelists from advertising and technology companies like Videology, Viewbix, and Inneractive, the group discussed the latest trends, opportunities, and challenges facing the growing digital video advertising business. A wide range of topics were covered, from the NewFronts to measurement and even the value and potential for interactive advertising in an ecosystem that allows for interactive advertising.
As a follow-up we reached out to two of the panelists, Jonathan Stefansky, CEO and co-founder of Viewbix, and Aleck Schleider, VP of data and analytics at Videology, about the current state of video advertising and where it’s all going. Here’s a selection of their responses below:
What are some of the major trends that caught your eye on the advertising and technology side during the most recent NewFronts cycle?
Jonathan Stefansky: I think the biggest take away was from the IAB’s video-ad spend study, which highlighted how more than two-thirds of marketers and digital agencies are expecting to increase their digital video-ad spend in the next 12 months and that, over the past two years, media buyers have increased video-ad spend by 90%. This underscores how budget dollars are continuing to shift to digital video where advertisers can effectively track ROI from their spend.
Aleck Schleider: From our perspective, since we’ve built our technology around the convergence of TV and video, what is most interesting is that the NewFronts and TV Upfronts are becoming one united front. Several “TV” companies hosted NewFront events, and many of the networks now negotiate both TV and digital during the upfront. As content providers are increasingly distributing their programming across multiple devices, the lines between the two “fronts” are going to continue to blur, which will be more reflective of the way advertisers are thinking about cross-screen advertising. The silos are breaking down — and that’s good news for advertisers as we know that cross-screen advertising produces stronger results.
AOL’s acquisition by Verizon is largely being attributed to what AOL’s ad-tech can do for Verizon. What are your thoughts on the deal and what it means for the multi-platform video advertising and technology business?
Stefansky: We should expect to see further consolidation in the ad-tech space as traditional technology and communication companies are looking to establish a strong presence in the growing ad tech space. With studies indicating major growth in video, it’s only natural for companies to continue in this vein and follow the money.
Schleider: It’s just another example of how technology companies are becoming media companies, and vice versa. In today’s environment, you need great content, great distribution across multi-channels, and great technology to monetize your assets. I think this acquisition supports that statement.
Programmatic TV seems to be the “new thing” in programmatic. What are your thoughts on it?
Stefansky: We’ll continue to see “programmatic” being applied across a wide array of distribution networks, for example Tubemogul and Site Tour announced a partnership to create a programmatic ad network for billboards.
Schleider: Clearly, automated planning and buying was first utilized in the digital space, but this year we have seen tremendous strides in the automation for data-enabled TV planning and buying. It’s no longer a question of can it happen — it is happening. This is the final step in true cross-screen planning and buying as we quickly move to a world where it’s all video — whether viewed on a traditional TV or a smartphone.
Mobile is increasingly becoming a focus for a lot of people (including actual people)! How
far away are we from it being a viable medium for ad dollars to go to?
Stefansky: We are already there! Just look at Facebook’s latest earnings release, which reported that 73% of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from mobile ad sales. Also Google’s latest search algorithm favored sites that are mobile friendly.
What are some issues preventing the growth of interactive ads? What are the opportunities?
Stefansky: We think this is a huge opportunity; the biggest challenge is getting advertisers and agencies to get out of the status quo of tracking video marketing performance by video/completed views. Performance should be measured on what actions viewers are taking, whether those are top or bottom of the funnel activities. As advertisers start demanding real ROI performance from their agencies, we’ll see a dramatic shift to interactive video.
Can interactive ads be scaled?
Stefansky: Absolutely, with standards like VPAID/VPAID 2.0 and MRAID in place, you can deliver interactive videos on desktop preroll, inline on social networks as well as mobile browser and mobile in-app, which provide a large volume as well as the opportunity to test creatives across various distribution networks and devices.