Jayson Dubin is the Founder and CEO of Playwire, the only online video hosting service that delivers encoding, hosting, syndication and monetization in one easy application. The Makegood recently spoke with Dubin about video monetization.
The Makegood: Why are publishers increasingly investing in video for their monetization strategies? How can brands and publishers build successful video advertising strategies?
Publishers exist to deliver content, and for ad-supported digital publishers, their content is their revenue stream. Display and most recently native advertising have become the most common ad formats publishers offer, while video has had slower adoption. A big reason for this is that video, up until fairly recently, has been too expensive to create, host and monetize. To do that on their own at a bare minimum, a publisher would need to develop a video player, pay for a hosting provider, a Content Distribution Network (CDN), encoding, and have a full time ad sales team on staff. But the industry is finally at a point where video services are becoming affordable for even mid-tier publishers, and marketers are taking advantage of the ad space that is now available. But the rise of mobile and tablet usage is changing how, when and where digital video is consumed and advertising is served. This changing digital video advertising landscape also opens up the opportunity for publishers and advertisers to reach and retarget audiences through video across multiple channels.
Publishers looking to create new revenue streams and to build their audience through video should consider a premium video property. YouTube for example has unmatched reach and is excellent for building an audience,but the average CPM has gone down only about 20% of their videos are monetized. That means a holistic video strategy is critical. For example, publishers should focus on building their video audience through a site like YouTube with short clips and teasers and drive traffic back to their site for content hosted by another video platform that helps them monetize through direct relationships with advertisers.
The Makegood: Recently, how has technology allowed publishers to create content and host inexpensive video in a viable ad space?
The video space has grown over the last few years to accommodate publishers with budgets of all sizes. Publishers who host their own content can try to work directly with advertisers, or they can work with ad networks like BrightRoll, LiveRail or SpotXchange which offer a revenue share. But the best video strategy for publishers is one that utilizes multiple platforms and multiple channels to maximize reach and ad revenue. Next to compelling content, diversity is the key to success in online video. If you have your own content, you can post teasers to YouTube to build your audience and drive traffic to your site. Once you have the traffic, you can look into low cost video monetization services. Business models vary, so a company like Playwire will provide you with a video player for your site and content and monetize it for you. A company like NDN on the other hand will supply you with a video player that plays 3rd party content if that’s where you’re lacking. Vice Media is a really great example of a company that has made video a top priority while leveraging multiple platforms like YouTube, the BBC iPlayer, as well as building direct relationships with advertisers to sponsor their content.
The Makegood: Could you elaborate on multiscreen retargeting advertising? Is video more successful on multiple screens than other forms of advertising?
Advertisers are laser focused on reaching the right audience, at the right time, at the right place. Only recently has the technology caught up to that need. Consumers are watching videos on their screens, on their tablets and on their phones. Publishers who keep track of their audience data can work with third parties so advertisers are able to accurately retarget across these devices. Video has historically been slow to adopt, but a recent study from the Mobile Marketing Association showed that mobile video completion rates have been as high as 90% which is very high.
The Makegood: Emotive content is the more desired form of content creation. How is sentimental targeting the future of content? How will this assist in the increase in brand awareness?
Regardless of the medium, when you build an emotional connection with your audience, you’re on the path to success. Online video is rapidly evolving. The videos that most commonly go viral are those are that make their audience laugh, or evoke a positive response. Upworthy for example has made its business model after this type of content, and they’ve done very well. But the future of online video is in professional and high quality premium content. This is something we’ve seen with YouTube Studios, Vice News, and websites like Funny or Die. Videos that are created specifically for an online audience but have that quality of professionalism we’re used to seeing on other channels. A viral cat video will be entertaining but for a content creator to build and sustain an audience—which is what advertisers are looking for—they have to focus the quality of their content. News, tutorials, and music videos are some of the most popular types of content out there but original programming is becoming more popular giving publishers more opportunities to connect with directly with advertisers that make sense for their audience.
The Makegood: How is combining a direct sales team with automated advertising the key to success? Why do publishers lack control over who advertises on their content?
The issue with automated advertising is that the networks and exchanges are buying ad placements as cheaply as possible. Their goals are not aligned with those of the publisher. A direct sales team is a publisher’s advocate, who can reach out to advertisers to make premium and exclusive deals. The vast majority of DSP’s are also hesitant to work with smaller publishers, so mid-tier publishers should really be working with either a direct sales team or a trusted 3rd party who is already plugged into the DSP’s and can offer them support from their own direct sales team. The industry is doing its best to target by demographic with video, but there is only a limited number of ads to go around. But I think this will improve and the proof is in the massive increase in the dollars put into digital video advertising – a market now projected to take up 15% of the total digital advertising market by 2017.
The Makegood: Thank you, Jayson.