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Video Advertising > Columns

Digital video ads can do things standard TV ads never dreamed of, like serving individualized addressable ads to each connected household. Video ads can also target viewers across devices, blend seamlessly into video streams, and command higher CPMs than traditional ads. One day all video ads will use these technologies, but for the moment they’re cutting edge. Read the latest news and analysis of video advertising here.

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Data, Personalization, and Practical Magic

Discussions of data acquisition, application, and monetization that would have seemed like the most mind-blowing magic to denizens of other eras proved ever-present at Streaming Media NYC, the reimagined and rebooted Streaming Media event that made its raucously well-received return to Manhattan in May.

Post-Peak Performance in the M&E Universe

The recent Subscription Wars report commissioned by U.K.-based digital payments tech company Bango points to consumer dissatisfaction with the fractured state of subscription services in general and the increasing appeal of indirect subscription options and super-bundles of aggregated services sold through telcos like Optus in Australia. Perhaps it's another sign of less-than-inspiring times that the best thing consumers say streaming services can do for them is to stop standing out from the crowd and start disappearing into it.

Should We Trust Nielsen Math?

After reviewing Nielsen/Gracenote's 2023 State of Play report, Data-Driven Per­sonalization: The Future of Streaming Content Discovery, I found the numbers they cited to be very much on the creative side. I don't get a warm, fuzzy feeling when I think about their research.

The State of CTV Advertising

Ad buying is changing. For example, now you can buy from an agency that has deep knowledge of data around local viewing, or you can go to a TV manufacturer that has deep knowledge of all of the viewing on its hardware.

Amazon Prime Adds Ad-Supported: Not Too Late for Tiers

September 22 brought the unsurprising news that Amazon will soon join Netflix, Disney+, and Max by adding an ad-supported subscription tier for viewing its premium content in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, and Canada. Prime being Prime, it's slightly inverting the approach its fellow top-tier titans have taken. Instead of offering a reduced subscription price for those budget-conscious viewers who are willing to suffer through a few ads in their premium shows, Amazon is making the ad tier the default and tacking on $2.99 to its ad-free tier.

Personalization Is More Than What You Think It Can Be

With advances with generative AI, just-intime transcoding, SSAI stitching, and other streaming video tech stack components, companies like Infuse Video are demonstrating that the true vision of video personalization—changing the video content itself—is finally at hand.

The Argument for Addressable Advertising

For this column, I spoke with Larry Allen, VP and general manager of data and addressable enablement at Comcast Advertising, about a question that lands firmly on the deterministic side: "What is addressable advertising?" The term "addressable" refers to targeting digital and broadcast inventory and being able to buy audience segments on a household level.

Measuring What’s Possible—Is This a Real Problem?

Now that ad dollars are moving from broadcast to digital via CTV buys, maybe we need to accept that the measurement standards for digital and broadcast are always going to differ.

Nostr: The Next Step to Micropayment Video Content Monetization?

The impetus to create something like Nostr began with the Bitcoin community, which was seeking more ways to confirm known identities on the public Internet and create a path to send payments between two parties with more ease than ever before.

Max, Netflix, Off-Licensing, and The Real World

Perhaps the most surprising HBO outplacement news came just at this writing in late June, when WBD revealed that it was "in talks" to license the five-season HBO comedy series Insecure and other DFA'd HBO titles to Netflix, the first time HBO has ever let a tier-one original content competitor get its hands on HBO content. Like selling ads and staggered season releases for Netflix, for HBO, cutting such a deal with a premium rival was internally frowned-upon if not strictly verboten until recently.

Producing for FAST? Take it Slow

FAST programming needs space for the commercials. Unless you intentionally craft that space into your show, it just slices into your content randomly, ruining the mood of narrative content and frustrating viewers just as the show was getting to the "good part." Watching YouTube content on a Roku device is like this now. The random "pop" to commercials in the middle of a scene is very annoying.

Why the Upfronts Are So Yesterday

The internet fostered the ability to make changes on a continual basis, so how come national broadcast advertising is still being transacted in the upfronts (the same format that started in 1962), which require an annual dollar and audience-reach commitment in advance to buy and sell advertising?

The Top 5 Problems with Streaming Advertising

At Streaming Media West last November, I moderated a panel on how to keep advertising workflow flowing. The discussion yielded a number of valuable insights on the state of streaming advertising, including 5 key takeaways on the biggest challenges we face with advertising in the OTT world today.

What the Growth of FAST Really Tells Us About Viewers

The popularity and growth of FAST show us that viewing behavior, despite the rise of streaming, hasn't really changed much at all. People want choice, but they want it in a way that meets their needs. FAST doesn't scrap the broadcast experience with which so many are familiar; it is evolving it in a way that broadcast could never do to improve upon the viewer experience.

The New Advertising-Industrial Complex

Strategically, streaming delivery needs more advertisers. Advertising is a necessary part of the media business model, but by not being nimble enough to attract more advertising and somehow sell digital the same way cable and broadcast are sold, digital services are shooting themselves in the foot.

Streaming Numbers in the News

Targeting streaming viewers is becoming harder. Today, services are looking at understanding what viewers will buy, not their personal information. Here's a roundup of a few recently published reports.

FAST and the Future of Streaming Monetization

FAST (free ad-supported television) is on the rise, but how can content distributors thrive in this very competitive landscape?

The Ad Tech Industry Needs to Tell a Better Story

Ad tech is driving billions of dollars in revenue every year. So why can't people understand what it is, how it works, and why they should care?

Does Ad-Supported Streaming Actually Cost You More?

About one-third of users of ad-based streaming services click on and subsequently purchase items, according to Parks Associates. So maybe subscription is cheaper in the long run?

Paying to Watch Ads with HBO Max

Like almost everything else HBO Max does, the OTT service has gotten the ad experience right