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MTV: What Premium Content Delivers to Online Video Advertisers
As online video advertising grows, should brands look to premium content creators or ad networks? MTV sees a place for both.
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Is premium content a strong buy for online video advertisers? In a panel discussion at the recent Streaming Media West conference in Los Angeles, content and advertising execs looked at what premium can and can't deliver.

For Viacom, defining premium online content is no problem -- it's what the company creates. "For us, it's definitely our shows and our musical performances. For Comedy Central, for MTV, those shows that are on right now, Jersey Shore -- I'm sure you guys have all heard of it -- are doing great. So that is definitely considered premium content. I personally think everything that we put out there is premium content, because we really try to preserve our audience and our targets, and speak to them in their languages," said Sharon Silverstein, vice president of digital ad sales for Viacom Media Networks.

The reason that Viacom is able to offer targeted ad buys on its online programming is that the cable channels themselves are highly targeted. That's why the network doesn't have to crunch numbers and show who's watching.

"When people come to buy MTV or Comedy Central, they know the target, they know it's a clear 18 to 34 target for males for Comedy Central. We feel like we already have that target there so we don't need to go further and use data to target them in a certain way," continued Silverstein.

While some online channels will fill out inventory with user-generated content (UGC), MTV doesn't have a place for it.

"We don't run any UGC," said Silverstein. "Our target comes to us because they want quality content and they want to see what MTV's doing because it's cool. So, it's not something that we do -- when we've done UGC it hasn't been successful so we made the decision not to do it.

The question, then, comes down to whether brands should buy with ad networks or premium content creators. Silverstein see's a place for both.

"I really believe that there's two big pieces to a plan and it's definitely the ad networks for the reach and it's definitely the premium content for the brand awareness and becoming a part of the conversation. MTV Networks -- just across our music and entertainment properties -- has over 140 million Facebook fans that we program to. So, it's not just our core sites but we reach a mass audience who's really engaged, so I do believe that there's room for both, but they solve different problems," answered Silverstein.

Scroll down to view the entire discussion.

Data vs. Content: Who's the Real Star of Online Video?

The rise of online video has opened up a world of metrics and audience data that can help us understand consumers' interests in a way that has not been possible before. At the same time, the growth of online content consumption drives investment in premium content to satisfy the demand. In this session, speakers discuss what makes up good inventory - whether prioritizing audience data crunching or investing in high-quality, premium content will create the most engagement and return on investment. Hear ad networks and content platforms debate which of these two approaches will prove the best for monetizing the boom in online video.  

Moderator: Richard Bloom, VP, Head of Publisher Network and Partnerships, AOL Video

Speaker: Sharon Silverstein, VP, Digital Ad Sales, Viacom Media Networks

Speaker: Bernard Ho, GM, Video, IGN Entertainment

Speaker: Richard Kennedy, SVP, Business Development, blip.tv

Speaker: Teg Grenager, Co-Founder, VP, Product, Adap.tv