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SMW '18: Brightcove's Lexie Pike Talks SSAI and Standardization

Learn more about server-side ad insertion (SSAI) at Streaming Media's next event.

Read the complete transcript of this interview:

Tim Siglin: Welcome back to Streaming Media West 2018. I'm Tim Siglin, Contributing Editor with Streaming Media Magazine and the Founding Executive Director of the not-for-profit Help Me! Stream. With me today, I have Lexie Pike, who’s on the product marketing team at Brightcove. Tell us a little it about Brightcove.

Lexie Pike: We're on an online video platform. We enable publishers, broadcasters, and really any media owner to distribute their content to all devices. This includes everything from POP-based decoding all the way to social distribution.

Tim Siglin: You are one of what we call the classic OVPs, online video platforms. Is the company shifting? I know there's a reorg under way. Is the focus shifting, or is just the product focus is shifting slightly?

Lexie Pike: We still have a diversity of products. We're more focused on nine particular market segments, and that's what we're gearing our development towards. We're doing a lot of development in the live streaming category and live streaming. We're also focusing on the marketing and sales segment and making sure that we streamline calls to action and things of that nature, but we're at a media conference, so things in the works are SSAI and live.

Tim Siglin: Okay. Before we come to SSAI, just a question on the marketing piece: Are you trying things like HubSpot in terms of the call to action?

Lexie Pike: Yeah, we're integrated with all of those partners. I focus primarily on the media projects and SSAI. We actually just came from a panel there.

Tim Siglin: Sure. For our audience who may not know that acronym: server side ad insertion. You were on a panel just a few minutes ago. Who was on the panel, and what was the general topic of it?

Lexie Pike: We had five panelists, two from the media side. We had Fox and Newsie, and then we also Michelle, who is from Kagan on the analyst side, and then we had me who talked everything standardization for the IAB.

Tim Siglin: What was the basic gist of the panel?

Lexie Pike: I'd say the gist of both the panel and the macro-trend for the whole conference is really the convergence between digital and linear worlds and making sure we're that all speaking the same language and we're really streamlining process so it's as lucrative as possible.

Tim Siglin: Okay, and IAB, of course, is at the forefront of a lot of that. What are the challenges in terms of speaking the same language?

Lexie Pike: Absolutely, so things like describing the opportunity. We're trying to standardize the ad request because now everything all the media companies do is in a proprietary way. They describe their inventory, whether it's the type of content, the genre, the users, where it's playing. Once you standardize that in a way that buyers are able to both recognize and action off of, that'll make the process much more seamless.

Tim Siglin: Interesting, so what is Brightcove's take on their unique proposition for SSAI as part of the overall OVP.

Lexie Pike: We are a vendor of SSAI, obviously, and we're huge advocates for standardization. Being able to communicate these opportunities and be able to achieve them at scale will be great. That's our perspective. We're all in favor of that square one.

Tim Siglin: I know one of the other issue we had over the last couple years was Nielsen and others have tried to come out with measurement systems, and those are fits and starts. Are we at a point in the industry where we've got decent measurement, not just of audience but across the multiple platforms that people make and zoom content on?

Lexie Pike: Part of the appeal of OTT is that it's so addressable and you have all this rich data. The tricky part is being able to measure it and action off of it. Hopefully, the IAB will be able to solve this in the next couple of iterations with the open measurement SDK. It was very successful on mobile, and we're hoping that that success will carry over.

Tim Siglin: Okay, very good. Thank you for your time.

Lexie Pike: Thank you so much.

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