YouTube advertisers can now target audiences watching on TV screens

Google launched a new TV screens device type on Oct. 16 that allows advertisers to target YouTube audiences watching video on TVs through Chromecast, set-top boxes like Apple TV, video game consoles and smart TVs, the company announced in a blog post.

YouTube ads on TV drove an average lift of 47% in ad recall and 35% in purchase intent, according to Ipsos Lab Experiments data cited in the blog post.

Advertisers can access TV-focused analytics and special options through the new device-type update to determine a campaign’s success, according to Mashable. Advertisers can also set specific bidding for TV viewers.

As more consumers cut the cord and turn to over-the-top (OTT) and connected TV services, many marketers have struggled to drive engagement on these platforms, which typically blend in digital elements and don’t always support ads. By adding TV screens to its device categories for YouTube, Google is attempting to ease that process while also recognizing that the channel is a huge opportunity for its own business. The Alphabet company claims that people now collectively watch 180 million hours of YouTube content on TV screens every day.

The ability to specifically target YouTube audiences watching on TV also presents a much more affordable option than traditional TV ad buys, as noted by Mashable. TV ad prices have remained high despite ratings declines of 10% to 12%, according to Magna. Not only that, YouTube advertisers can also leverage valuable TV analytics to inform their video strategies across platforms, which has frequently been a struggle.

Marketers are broadly investing more in OTT, which promises better targeted ads, cross-screen planning and buying and addressability. Magna predicts that ad spend on OTT TV will increase 40% to $2 billion this year. The increase is being driven by higher consumer adoption of smart TVs and set-top boxes, and Magna reports that 80% of all U.S. households will be reachable through OTT in 2018.

YouTube’s viewership continues to grow, with the platform is projected to overtake Facebook as the website with the second-most traffic from U.S. users, according to a recent SimilarWeb study. The platform is also popular with younger audiences, groups that marketers continually strive to reach and who are helping to drive the cord-cutting trend.

read more here: www.marketingdive.com

Amazon has built its own advertising technology for OTT TV

Amazon’s mission to conquer advertising may have a new front — video ad tech.

And in this case, instead of challenging the Google/Facebook digital ad duopoly, Amazon would be looking to insert itself into a battle between Comcast and Google.

Specifically, Amazon has discussed building a proprietary video ad serving product for its own streaming business —and eventually licensing it, according to media executives familiar with the matter. Such a product would be similar to Comcast’s Freewheel or Google’s DoubleClick tools, the people said.

It’s unclear how far along Amazon is in the process of developing this ad serving product. The company is not directly taking meetings to pitch its own ad server, one person said. Instead, the potential product has come up during discussions Amazon is having with media companies about its emerging programmatic ad business via Fire TV devices.

Video ad serving software helps big media companies make sure that the right ads run at the right time and keeps competitor’s ads away from each other,so Coke ads don’t run right next to Pepsi, for instance.

Freewheel, which Comcast acquired in 2014, has been the category leader for a while. But more recently, Google has made an aggressive play with its own alternative.

The stakes are high. While getting big media companies to use their ad tech over a competitors doesn’t necessarily provide Comcast or Google’s a lock on ad budgets, it does enable these companies to get their hooks deeper into media partners.

Playing such a central role in delivering a media companies’ advertising infrastructure provides a Google or Comcast with loads of data on viewership and ad patterns. Plus, the more successful a company like Google is at helping a giant like CBS manage its video ads business, the more opportunities to deepen such a partnership. Or so the thinking goes.

In Amazon’s case, the company is now a solid number 3 when it comes to pure digital advertising. And with the growth in popularity of its Amazon Fire TV device, it’s rapidly growing its footprint in OTT advertising.

Amazon has historically built its own ad tech, first to serve its own ad business before eventually licensing it to partners. But when it comes to video ad serving, Amazon currently employs third parties when streaming events such as The Laver Cup or select Premier League Soccer events.

While media companies may view working Amazon warily (as they already do Comcast and Google), Amazon could have two clear advantages in this sector, if it were to go ahead and build and license an ad serving product.

read more here: www.businessinsider.com

Survey: 53% don’t watch any linear TV ads

When promoting sales or products, it’s more important than ever to have an omnichannel strategy that does not rely too heavily on traditional linear TV.

This is according to a survey of 2,000 US consumers and 1,000 UK consumers, conducted by OpenX, the independent ad-tech provider.

More than half (53 per cent) of all consumers no longer watch commercials on live television. One out of four say they spend no time watching live TV at all, including 40 per cent of millennials. More than 70 per cent of millennials say they skip all TV ads.

OpenX advises that habits are shifting significantly this holiday season and brand budgets need to adapt to reach consumers where and when they are now consuming content.

As media consumption habits change, and consumers shift away from TV, mobile usage continues to increase. Some 55 per cent of consumers are on their smartphones for at least three hours a day, and more than a third of millennials and one out of four parents spend 6+ hours on their smartphones daily. Users are not just consuming content on mobile devices but they are also increasingly engaging with brands and conducting larger shares of their overall shopping via their connected mobile devices.

Almost 30 per cent of consumers surveyed say online ads help with finding gift ideas, and most say they have learned about new products through online ads. Whether it’s reaching the 40 per cent of mums playing mobile games daily, the 47 per cent of dads that are shopping on their phone in bed at least once a week, or reaching a millennial on a connected TV, it’s important to not limit the majority of advertising to one channel or screen.

Providing something of value to the consumer is often the key to success, and 77 per cent of consumers, and 84 per cent of millennials would be more likely to watch an online video ad if they could receive a discount off a holiday purchase.

read more here: advanced-television.com

FreeWheel: “TV advertising has never been stronger”

FreeWheel, a Comcast Company, has released its Q2 2018 Video Monetization Report (VMR), which tracks marketplace trends on premium video consumption and advertising across STB VoD, OTT, Desktop, Smartphone and Tablets.

The report found that in Q2 2018, the majority of premium, digital video ad views (57 per cent) in the US were delivered to the TV screen versus other digital devices, highlighting the increase of OTT and STB VoD advertising and reinforcing the importance of the “new living room” for advertisers. All devices, however, showed year-over-year increases in ad views, with smartphones showing the most growth (76 per cent).

The Q2 VMR highlights the increasing digital capabilities of TV and video — from the perspective of both consumer consumption and advertising capabilities — that are driving new opportunities and increased ROI for marketers. While TV has always provided high-impact reach, the proliferation of new distribution channels combines scale, with data-driven targeting and measurable attribution.

According to FreeWheel’s General Manager, David Clark, this marketing trifecta is what makes premium video uniquely positioned to grow its share of ad dollars, even in the face of competition from other data-rich, digital players.

“TV — which now includes premium video content distributed via an array of digital platforms — has never been stronger as an advertising channel. The ability to build targeted awareness with TV at the top of the funnel, then measure the impact of that exposure across devices, is now a reality,” Clark added. “The final piece of the puzzle is allowing marketers to use technology to plan and buy TV with added efficiency and automation. We’ve made some great strides in this area, and continue to work with our partners to build the next-generation, TV ad platform that meets the unique demands of the TV ecosystem.”

The growing role of automation and data-enablement in the premium video ad market is illustrated by the finding that 14 per cent of total ad views in Q2 were placed programmatically, an increase of 58 per cent year-over-year. The vast majority of these programmatic transactions were conducted via private marketplaces between buyers and sellers.

Technological advances are changing the premium video experience for consumers as well. Ad views within live programming now constitute 33 per cent of the market, despite the technological challenges posed by real-time viewing environments. Furthermore, publishers are focusing more on viewer experience by utilising technology to limit creative repetition, with only 11 per cent of creative repeated once or more within full episode player content.

Additional Q2 2018 VMR Highlights:

– Premium digital video viewing* continues double-digit YOY growth. Video views in Q2 grew by 31 per cent year-over-year, and ad views reflected an increase of 35 per cent.

– Digital viewing is not just for series bingeing. Live viewing is increasingly important for premium digital video, representing 33 per cent of all ad views, with sports content comprising 66 per cent of this total, and news comprising an additional 10 per cent.

– Consumers are going digital, but Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (MVPDs) aren’t going anywhere. Despite a downward trend in traditional subscribers, consumers watched 111 per cent more content YOY on MVPD platforms, by accessing TV Everywhere capabilities or “skinny bundle” services. 39 per cent of all premium video content is now viewed via these syndication channels (versus directly from the publishers’ platforms).

read more here: advanced-television.com

Snapchat Gives Publishers A New Way To Make Stories – AND MONEY

Snapchat is trying something new: It’s giving publishers a way to create videos without too much heavy lifting.

On Thursday, Snapchat announced that its dozens of media partners, including Hearst, NBCUniversal, Refinery 29 and Daily Mail, will have the ability to build stories from the videos created by the app’s 188 million daily users. Snapchat will split ad revenue with the media companies from commercials that run inside the videos.

CNN is among the media companies that will use the new feature. The network had pulled out of Snapchat’s premium publisher programs last year, cancelling a show called the “Update,” which had been on Snapchat just four months before being abandoned.

Snapchat has a whole section devoted to media partners called Discover, where publishers produce shows or daily channels with articles and videos. The shows and channels, however, require big investments from the media companies and dedicated staff.

The new video creation tool requires less of a lift. Here’s how it works:

Publishers will now have access to Snapchat’s content management system, which allows them to search through the public videos uploaded daily to the app by its users. The publishers can search for certain themes or locations to build a story using the footage. For instance, there could be stories about weddings, nightlife, restaurants, all drawing from the videos people post to Snapchat. News organizations could also develop stories around breaking events.

Snapchat calls these types of videos “Our Stories” (because, well, they’re crowdsourced). Snapchat has been making “Our Stories” internally for years around special events and topics.

Snapchat wants to give more publishers and creators reasons to use the service, and a revenue-generating program always helps. Snapchat has signed up seven new media partners through “Our Stories”—Brut (France), The Infatuation, Jukin, Love Stories TV, The Tab, Wave.TV and Whalar. That’s on top of CNN and dozens of other longtime partners from its Discover section.

Earlier this year, Snapchat built a feature for publishers called “Stories Everywhere,” which opened the platform up. The media companies were able to share videos from their Snapchat accounts to their websites—a departure for the app, which didn’t generally share well with the rest of the web. Publishers will also be able to post “Our Stories” to their websites.

Snapchat declined to comment on the new program beyond the announcement it issued on Thursday. Also, CNN did not return a request for comment on its return to Snapchat.

Snapchat has been faced with adversity for much of the year, which started on the wrong foot with a poorly received redesign. It even had to redesign the redesign after public criticism, including from famous users like Kylie Jenner.

At the same time, publishers found the redesign made it tougher to stand out. More media partners were competing for the same space in the revamped Discover section.

read more here: adage.com

Netflix faces subs losses if it includes ads between shows

Just as the SVOD leader confirmed that it has begun testing the idea of inserting promos for its shows and movies between episodes of current programme, Hub Entertainment Research warns that Netflix could face steep subscriber losses for such actions.

In its study, The Future of Monetisation, the analyst gauged consumer reaction to alternatives to the Netflix pay model status quo, including possible price increases and an ad-supported plan. It conducted its survey among 1,612 US consumers with broadband, who watch at least an hour of TV per week.

The overwhelming conclusion was that the subscription video-on-demand faced alienating its customers substantially, especially if ads were included without a reduction in monthly fees.

Hub found that if Netflix raised the fee for its current, ad-free service by $5 or more per month, about a quarter would consider dropping their subscription. A $2 increase would have just a marginal impact with only 8% saying they’d cancel, while at a $5 boost, 23% say they’d drop their subscription and this figure would rise to 28% at a increase of $10 or more.

Looking at scenarios of what would happened if Netflix began including ads during shows, about a quarter of current subscribers said they’d definitely or probably drop the service. Just 41% said they’d definitely or probably keep their subscription, with 37% undecided.

Hub also investigated what would happen if Netflix content included ads, but the subscription fee were $3 less per month. It found that subscribers would be more likely to keep the service, but that losses could still be significant. In this scenario, 16% said they’d cancel their Netflix subscription if ads were included while half of the sample said they’d keep their service under this scenario, but just 25% say they’d definitely keep it.

read more here: rapidtvnews.com

The Battle Against Bad Ads

Around a month ago, Google released its built-in ad filter for Chrome, which blocks ads that are widely considered the most disruptive, while allowing more innocuous ones to show. This could cause major changes in the digital ad market, especially for Google’s platforms, such as search and display ads, as well as YouTube ads.

Given the context of ad blocker usage today, the move is widely considered a strategic one that could benefit the digital ad market in general and Google in particular. With a built-in ad filter on one of the world’s leading browsers, people may be less inclined to buy more stringent software. This would allow publishers, especially Google, to make steady money off their more discreet ads—rather than losing them all to another program.

More importantly, it shows that Google is willing to listen to users’ preferences.

In 2016 there were over 615 million devices running ad blockers of some sort, with growth especially strong among mobile devices, according to a study by PageFair. In addition to browser extensions, users can now get dedicated ad blockers through mobile apps or VPN services. With interruption as the second highest motivator for ad blocking (29%, just behind 30% for security), Google’s concession could be the key to building goodwill.

While YouTube’s video ads may emerge largely unscathed, there’s still much that can be learned from how Google and ad publishers are reframing the terms of engagement. What was once a fight against ad blockers is now a battle against bad ads.

When Ads Go Bad

When should you consider an ad bad? For users, obviously, it’s when it detracts from their online experience. The most widely hated ads are non-skippable video ads and auto-play ads with audio. You know, the ones some advertisers call “high-impact” as a euphemism.

But consider it this way. If users hate your ads, they’re not going to like you any better. So any ad that drives users away—”high-impact” or otherwise—is something that brands and publishers should consider a bad ad too.

Furthermore, experience has shown that you get more out of listening to your customers than trying to fight them. While some websites have tried ad block walls—features that hid content from users until they removed or disabled their ad blockers—customers have proved stubborn.

When faced with an ad block wall, 74% users would rather leave than disabled their ad blocker. And considering that 90% of users have been faced with such a situation, this isn’t merely a hypothetical scenario.

Conversely, users are willing to compromise: 77% of ad block users surveyed indicated that they found some ad formats to be permissible. Skippable ads are likely to tip the balance in advertisers’ favor: research from Treads showed that 79% of consumers would consider disabling an ad blocker if they had the option to skip or close ads.

The takeaway, ultimately, is that pitched battle with the audience does publishers no good. For brands, it could very well do lasting harm. The best way forward would seem to be close to the options Google has chosen, which is finding the middle ground.

Get Good

The question we’re left with is this: how can video ads better satisfy users’ preferences?

Interruption is the main culprit in dissatisfied viewers, so the various solutions have attempted to address it in different ways.

Some solutions focus on content adjustments. These have more to do with the conceptualization and execution of ads on the creative front.
Other approaches have attempted to tackle platform issues. These have more to do with the technology used in calling and displaying ads.
In terms of content, many analysts say that a move to native content is a good idea. The Treads research shows while 48% of users consider pre-roll ads intrusive, only around 23% said the same of native video ads.

For those looking to reach audiences specific to YouTube, however, that’s not much of an alternative. And that is where influencer marketing steps in. Having influencers on YouTube—or other video platforms—benefits you in two ways.

The first is the standard set of benefits you get from influencer marketing. You gain access to a captive, targeted market; your brand is recommended to them by someone who knows how best to reach them, and you get the endorsement of someone they trust. If you partner with a discerning influencer, then you can rest assured that your ads are likely to mesh with their audience.

The second benefit is that by having your ads integrated directly into the video, you get around the problems of the intrusive pre-roll and jarring mid-roll formats. On top of the abruptness of such ads, they usually involve sudden alterations in quality or gaps in loading. Ads that are part of a video will play more smoothly, creating less of a disruption.

The jarring break in pre- or mid-roll ads is something that video platform Brightcove has been trying to tackle more directly. Through a method called “Lift,” they’ve attempted to solve two problems at once: the disruption and quality issues that come from having a video play in the middle of another one; and the signals that allow ad blockers to stop video ads, to begin with.

read more here: vidooly.com

Live, scalable, addressable, ad-supported TV by 2024

To make linear TV more compelling, programmers must cut ad loads and boost relevancy. Can this be done in a way that scales to television-sized audiences? A team of industry experts thinks it can happen before the 2024 Olympics in Japan.

There are just too many ads on TV

According to Randy Freer, CEO of Hulu, television programmers simply don’t value the viewers time enough:

“We overloaded the formats; we overloaded the commercial messages going to consumers. So, they started to say, ‘this is too much…my time is more valuable than that.’ As an industry, I don’t think we value people’s time in a way that allowed them to say ‘I get this, there’s a transaction. I’m not paying as much as I could be paying because my entertainment experiences are being supported by advertising.”

Signs are that television can get the balance right between ads and content. For example, though Hulu offers an ad-free option for $4 more per month most people don’t take it. Moreover, Hulu’s engagement is the highest in the industry. Video streamers watch 29 hours on Hulu per month versus 27 hours for the ad-free Netflix experience.

The key to a more competitive experience is reducing the ad load and delivering ads that are relevant to the user. Programmatic ad selling and server-side ad insertion are key technologies enabling the addressable future of TV advertising. However, delivering targeted ads to tens-of-millions of viewers in real-time is still very challenging. Can the issues be resolved?

According to three experts in video streaming and live ad insertion, the future is bright for live ad-supported television. At Go-Live, an invite-only event to discuss the challenges facing live video advertising, representatives from Yospace, Akamai, and SpotX struck a positive note for the future. I asked where we would be with live and linear ad-supported video six-years from today, in 2024. Here is what each had to say.

Universal ad ID underpins ad workflow

David Springall, CTO of Yospace, sees automation of the buying, selling, and playout of video ads as key to future of live and linear video. By 2024, he thinks it will all be in place:

“It seems logical to me that all advertising sales will be automated by then. There’s going to be the use of computationally intensive technologies like blockchain to give purchasers better protection against fraud which further cements the need for pre-fetch at any real scale. Ad copy management workflows will be made more secure. It is going to be handled in the same way that it is handled on broadcast, through a trusted chain of custody which is consistent throughout the industry. In other words, trafficking ads by a universal ID rather than some arbitrary URL.”

Addressable delivers increased ad value

Kevin Schaum, Senior Director of Advanced Solutions Group at SpotX, struck an optimistic note. He believes the industry will be at full addressability by 2024, and that it will deliver the needed revenue lift:

“The idea of addressability for everybody is a reality. Where there are personalized ads and the media owners, and broadcasters get higher rates because of that. I hope that in the next six years we can work through a lot of the challenges. I believe we are going to get there.”

read more here: nscreenmedia.com

About 50% of Hulu subscribers take $11.99 limited-ads option

A significant number of Hulu’s more than 20 million subscribers are paying for the more expensive limited-commercials option.

That’s according to Fox CEO James Murdoch, who told Recode that about 50% of Hulu subscribers are willing to pay $11.99 per month to cut down on ads popping up during streams. Fox—along with NBCUniversal, Disney and Time Warner—is a part owner of Hulu.

Recode later updated its story to cite insiders who say that more than 60% of Hulu subscribers still take the less expensive, ad-supported tier.

Earlier this month, Hulu revealed that it now has more than 20 million subscribers, but the service has yet to reveal how many of its subscribers are opting for the $40-per-month live-TV service.

Hulu also said it has grown total engagement by more than 60% and that 78% of viewing on the service takes place in the living room on connected TVs.

“Hulu is the complete TV experience for consumers, offering both live and on-demand programming and more consumer choice than ever before,” said Hulu CEO Randy Freer in a statement. “We are the only place that delivers award-winning content, ad loads less than half that of traditional television, with ads that are always viewable and always in a brand-safe environment—and we are leading the TV and advertising industries into the future.”

The strong uptake for Hulu’s more expensive tier with limited commercials is similar to the numbers CBS has been able to put up for its All Access streaming service.

Earlier this month, CBS said about one-third of its 2.5 million All Access subscribers are opting for the $9.99-per-month ad-free tier of the service.

Joe Ianniello, chief operating officer at CBS, said the fact that consumers are willing to pay more for a premium channel experience with CBS shows gives the company some added leverage when negotiating things like carriage and distribution.

read more here: fiercecable.com

IAB says revenues up 21% to $88B in 2017. What they don’t say: ‘not for you’

The IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) is out with its Q4 and 2017 year-end state of the digital advertising industry report. In a repeat of the past several years, digital advertising revenue is up. There was growth across formats and devices. And while the IAB doesn’t name names, Facebook and Google continue to suck up most of the oxygen in the room.

The data for the IAB report is collected from IAB member companies and publicly available corporate data by PwC.

Overall, digital ad revenue grew 21.4 percent to $88 billion in 2017. To put that in perspective, PwC says the revenue change in digital seen last year is greater than in the newspaper industry as a whole.

Digital video increased overall share in 2017, chipping away at search, to $11.9 billion, up 33 percent from $8.9 billion in 2016. Search still continued to grow at 17.5 percent in 2017, to $40.6 billion. Banner revenues, which includes banners, sponsorships and rich media, totaled $27.5 billion in 2017, up 23 percent from 2016.

Mobile continues to gain share, accounting for 57 percent of the overall digital ad pie in 2017, to reach $49.9 billion. That’s more than all digital ad revenues in 2014. Mobile has seen a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 71.4 percent since 2010. Mobile share grew across all formats, as shown in the slide from the IAB webinar on the report.

Despite mobile’s ascendance, desktop revenues still grew in 2017, with a CAGR of 6 percent over 2016.

CPMs also increased in 2017, according to data from SQAD.com shared by the IAB. CPMs for in-stream video were up 3 percent 2017 year over year to $25.22, and CPMs for display rose 6 percent to $14.72 on average.

Social media isn’t broken out as a format, but its share of revenue topped 25.2 percent in 2017, reaching $22.2 billion. Facebook, of course, accounts for the bulk of social media advertising spend in the US.

Duopoly dominance
The IAB doesn’t release data on specific companies, but the top 10 companies commandeered 74 percent of total revenues. That share among the top 10 has remained relatively consistent, says the IAB. The elephant in the room is the fact that the top two — Facebook and Google — now make up the majority of that 74 percent.

During the webinar announcing the IAB report, Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research shared his analysis of Google and Facebook’s share of the market in the US. Acknowledging there are “a lot of assumptions” that go into these estimates and that his analysis is based on gross revenue, Wieser said, “It seems clear they are taking share. [Google and Facebook] probably accounted for 90 percent of the growth. The rest probably accounted for 10 percent or so.” Weiser pegs the duopoly’s share of US ad revenues at above 70 percent.

read more here: marketingland.com