Custom Creative, RTB and the Future of Video

Vindico's James Grant sits down with EU Editor Gautam Srivastava

AdMonsters EU Editor Gautam Srivastava sat down Vindico’s UK Country Manager James Grant to discuss the current state of the Video market – and the steps he feels need to be taken in order for it to reach the levels of Search and Display. Read it below.

Vindico’s strap is ‘Making Video Easy’ how exactly are you making video ad-serving easier and what do you think sets you apart from the competition?

Our serving and tracking technology combined with our full service approach actually combines to make the whole video campaign easy, not just the serving piece. We enable advertisers to gain insight from their campaigns, and utilize that insight into future campaigns and our service allows us to increase the efficiency of creative build, optimization, delivery and reporting for agencies, advertisers and publishers.

Video is a huge part of the internet but in terms of monetisation no one quite has it nailed – not even giants like YouTube, what do you think it will take for the Video market place to see real growth?

The market is seeing real growth right now – why? Because users are accessing video content via the web in greater numbers and eyeballs are always the key to advertising growth. In terms of monetisation I disagree, plenty of companies are seeing monetisation opportunities in video, All3Media for instance has just announced an app model to deliver its content direct to users, potentially without the need for a broadcaster middleman.

You also mention YouTube, yet they successfully monetised the moment that Google bought them – I think the monetisation struggles you mention are in fact outdated business models. There are a lot of incumbent video content providers, either linear or digital, content companies who are struggling to adapt or integrate existing business models and profit margins into new digital video platforms. The audience growth is here and ramping up, the successful business models are still being sought.

But it’s not reaching it’s potential currently is it? What do you feel needs to change/be improved upon for Video to be as lucrative as Display and Search?

There are two key elements in my opinion for video to become a truly successful market. The first is size and scale. Video is yet to reach the size and scale of either, display or search. Audience numbers are growing, viewing figures are growing, the ability to access video content via the web is growing and it feels as though the size and scale is moving in the right direction. The second is the industry measurement standards. The former ‘gold standard’ of measurement – BARB, does not feel like a gold standard anymore. Content is increasingly accessed and distributed online, we need a measurement standard that is common across both linear TV and the digital marketplace.

You’ve made a foray into the potentially lucrative market of Video RTB and you clearly feel that RTB is a viable mechanism for the trading of Video inventory – can you see RTB making up a large chunk of the video market place going forward?

It’s not true that we have an RTB business but some of our clients have asked us about RTB and how our serving and tracking services could dovetail with theirs in order to help them build an RTB business. RTB is already becoming quite crowded with some stand-out leaders, so I think the market is clearly giving us a strong indication of how important that trading mechanism is. No question RTB will be a significant trading channel within the future growth of the video market.

How do you think the role of the Salesman will have to evolve if Programmatic Buying continues to grow? Is there still a role for the direct Salesman?

Of course! Who will sell the competing Programmatic Buying platforms?! In all seriousness though programmatic buying will continue to grow, but will also serve to make spot buying of certain events even more important, I’m yet to see the Champions League centre breaks being traded via an exchange. I suspect we are seeing an evolution of sales channels, not a changing of the guard.

What are some of the innovative things Vindico are doing at the moment in terms of Creative – what should we be looking out for

We build and manage video creative on behalf of both advertisers and publishers. We are constantly adding small, but significant, custom elements to creative. For instance, the innovation might be passing the player control into the video ad, for users to engage with the ad directly, as they would the content. It might be more involved still and bring the advertiser’s website direct to the user when they click, rather than taking them away from their content by opening a new browser tab.

VINDICO is the technical partner behind Vivaki’s ASQ Pool project and so video ad selection and optimization is an area that we have great experience in. The video formats business is still in its infancy, as over 95% of all video ads are re-purposed TV creative. We’re meeting this reality head on, by developing engaging custom formats that maximise online video’s creative abilities.