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5 reasons why publishers should embrace programmatic for online video

The explosion of digital video consumption is proof that consumers are now shifting from their traditional habits when it comes to viewing video content. People are spending more time watching video content on a number of devices, such as mobiles, tablets, PCs and laptops; and naturally, this is where advertising dollars are going. Online video has become increasingly important and companies in Asia Pacific are spending an average 30 per cent of their total advertising budget on online video. With such a high demand for online video, programmatic trading in a marketplace is becoming even more relevant for publishers and broadcasters to efficiently and effectively monetise their online video inventory.

Recently, SpotXchange commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a study, titled ‘The State of Online Video Programmatic and Real-Time Bidding in Australia and Southeast Asia’, and the findings confirm that programmatic video and real-time bidding (RTB) is on a growth trajectory in Southeast Asia. Twenty-six percent of online video ads representing between 21-40 per cent of the Southeast Asian marketplace were traded programmatically. However, Australia continues to be the most developed market for video RTB in Asia Pacific with 34 per cent of online video ads traded programmatically representing between 21-40 per cent of the market.

While many advertisers have been quick to embrace programmatic buying, publishers have been a little more reserved. Transparency and brand safety were the top two concerns buyers and sellers in Southeast Asia and Australia had when using RTB in online video, according to Forrester Consulting.

As the market for programmatic trading matures, we are starting to see the arrival of new solutions and platforms designed specifically for publishers. Many platforms have touted their solution as a way to level the playing field, making it easier for publishers to secure buyers. While there are many questions publishers should ask before they decide how to approach programmatic trading, these are the top five reasons that should help them make the leap:

#1. Programmatic technology promotes transparency and transparency attracts buyers
Programmatic trading actually increases transparency by giving publishers the ability to reveal key data to help them understand how they can make their inventory more enticing to bidders. In return, programmatic platforms allow them to get a deeper understanding of what their buyers need.

Without revealing the referring URL, the environment in which the ad will appear, many buyers would not be as attracted to the inventory a publisher has to offer. Advertisers will often pay more for content ID and URL, content duration, user-initiated ad units and a larger player size. By revealing more information, there is a much stronger chance for publishers to secure more bids and this competition will help improve price yields.

#2. Programmatic technology gives publishers better access to metrics
The best platforms are the ones that give publishers access to the richness of their metrics and data so advertisers can analyse this information to get more value out of their impressions.

This data can also give sellers detailed information about their own inventory in the wider market, and help them understand who is bidding, what they are bidding for, and their bidding preferences. Sellers should use a supply-side platform to fully understand factors that can sway bids such as targeting, premium URLs, timing, content type and content duration.

#3. Programmatic technology gives publishers a better understanding of their audience
What we have established is, the more transparent a publisher can be about their audience and the properties of its video inventory, the more bids and higher values they can achieve. As such, many marketers are willing to spend more to reach certain demographic groups that match their brands. An example would be mothers and shoppers from specific cultural backgrounds, and men on higher salaries who have been cited as desirable target audiences in recent campaigns.

Exposing your inventory to potential buyers allows them to match the impressions in a way that increases its value. What could have possibly been seen as remnant inventory could suddenly be sought after.

#4. Programmatic technology provides publishers with the ability to maximise yield for their inventory
In the past, publishers have resisted releasing their inventory at a lower price than they have specified for the fear of CPM degradation. For example, publishers in Southeast Asia generally tend to fear depreciating the value of their premium inventory if it was traded in a programmatic environment. Whilst most of the premium inventory in the APAC region is pre-sold, programmatic trading actually provides publishers with a selection of data and actionable insights to help them make more informed decisions. This doubles with the ability to access multiple demand sources simultaneously, providing publishers with a good indication on whether their inventory is being traded at a fair market value in their audience segment.

Programmatic technology allows publishers to maximise yield for each individual impression, as opposed to the traditional process of selling media space in allotted volumes at fixed rates. By reaching out to multiple demand sources every time an advertising opportunity occurs, they can yield the highest CPM for every single impression.

#5. The introduction of Deal IDs provides efficiency in the buying and selling of video inventory
Deal IDs are universal identifiers which set the terms for a programmatic direct deal between advertisers and publishers. A Deal ID may include attributes such as price and impressions, and ad placement and websites, all under a single parameter, which is passed as part of the bidding process.

Deal IDs provide major efficiencies and publishers like these ‘universal identifiers’ because they allow them to set business rules for buyers (including demand side platforms, agency trading desks or client direct) based on inventory access, rate and priority. In short, Deal IDs replace what insertion orders (IO) have been doing for media buyers and sellers over the past 15 years.

With the introduction of Deals IDs in programmatic trading, publishers can achieve greater operational cost savings, decreased latency and margins for error.

For publishers taking the leap into programmatic trading, here are some key questions to ask before choosing a video advertising platform.

Transparency – Publishers need to ensure the whole programmatic trading process is transparent, both in commercial terms and capabilities. Does the platform offer real-time reports or are these reports produced monthly/post-campaign? Publishers need to gain visibility into who is bidding and at what price these bids are being made.
Multi-screen capabilities – As consumers increasingly consume content on multiple devices, there is a huge opportunity for publishers to capitalise on mobile video. It’s important to invest in a technology platform that will allow advertisers to reach their audience in the way they want to be reached. Publishers need to understand if a platform will allow publishers to monetise their inventory across multiple devices.
Education and support – Technology is only one part of the solution, and having ongoing education and support is vital to ensure that publishers can maximise the benefits of programmatic trading. Ask if your vendor will provide managed services or if you are expected to learn how you can optimise your trades independently.

Matt Von der Muhll

Matt Von der Muhll is the Managing Director for SpotXchange, Asia Pacific. He is responsible for directing and managing SpotXchange’s strategic partnerships, supporting publishers and agency partners in the region. Matt joined SpotXchange as Director of Media Partnerships in 2011 and he has been responsible for growing and managing the company’s ecosystem of partners in Asia Pacific. Under his leadership, SpotXchange has aggressively accelerated its revenue growth and Asia Pacific is today one of the company’s top performing regions in the world. Prior to joining SpotXchange, Matt held strategy, media and partnerships roles at companies such as Responsys, Adconion Media Group and CC Media. He has a Bachelor of Business in eCommerce from the Swinburne University of Technology.