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Digitas Says Know Your Niche, Ad Buyers

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One of the more interesting exchanges during the recent Streaming Media East conference came during the panel "Open Distribution Versus Premium Monetization: Striking the Right Balance."

"If you're a media buyer, the last thing you want to do is take a brand that's taken billions of dollars to create and put it in front of a show that no one's heard of," said Brett Wilson, co-founder and CEO of TubeMogul, making the case for premium video.

"It's a show you haven't heard of," shot back Paul Kontonis. vice president and group director for brand content at Digitas.

After his panel, Kontonis headed to the red carpet for a sit-down interview, to further explain his point. When judging premium content, it's important to ask "premium to whom?" Online viewing is broken up into scores of niche categories, and each one has its own online video stars. 

"Media was bought in the past by what you knew and you bought what you liked," explained Kontonis. "It was safe to do that. Everyone knew all the big films and everyone knew all the big TV shows, and we've slowly seen with TV, there's increased fragmentation and the audiences are never as big as they used to be. 

"And now with the web we have the ultimate level of fragmentation and niching of content, and content that reaches very specific groups, so you really need to be in that audience to know the content that that audience consumes. If you are not, you have to really remove that personal subjectivity." 

It takes a lot of data to make an informed online video ad-buying decision, he said. Work with content creators who have a passionate engaged audience that fits the needed demographic. 

In a highly entertaining interview, Kontonis explained how brands can engage with consumers through content, why Hollywood stars are suddenly interested in shooting for the web, and why it's so hard for small online series to find ad dollars ("Everyone is covering their ass.")

To view the full interview, watch the video below.

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