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The State of Online Video Advertising 2011

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Another common method is targeting based on consumer demographics and behaviors. Targeting combined with scalability creates a very powerful medium from an inventory perspective. But where do the ads come from? They can come from a number of sources. All of the networks have the ability to insert ads from traditional ad servers such as Atlas or DoubleClick. They all have access to either in-house creative services or perhaps creative assets from ad agencies. I asked Grenager at Adap.tv how I as a publisher would get my ads served. Initially, I could sign up for Adap.tv for Publishers, which is similar to DoubleClick for Publishers but is specifically designed to serve video ads. The Adap.tv for Publishers Yield Manager helps optimize the relationship to various ad networks. I could also get access to the adap.tv marketplace, which helps publishers access buyers and ads and is somewhat similar to the ad exchanges in the banner advertising space. The combined system can then pick the highest paying ads from the ads offered to me from my ad network partners or the adap.tv marketplace for impression-level optimization and, of course, revenue optimization.

Keeping It Simple

I found that ease of use for all parties concerned is one of the most important current and future trends. I caught up with Dave Otten, CEO of LongTail Video, while he was at the company offices in Eindhoven, Netherlands. It seems that LongTail had very quietly entered the online video advertising space, and it appears to be doing quite well. It has an interesting product mix and wants to be the go-to solution for publishers and advertisers. The LongTail Ad Solution is a self-service online video ad network that is used by thousands of websites and serves hundreds of millions of ads a month. 

Ad Solution has two components. The advertising network model is targeted to publishers and uses the JW Player or the Flowplayer. It can establish a direct relationship with the advertisers. LongTail acts to bring the publishers and advertisers together and helps the publishers monetize their video streams. The second piece has evolved from the ad market itself. If the publisher has an existing relationship with advertisers or wants to use a different ad server, LongTail offers a series of plug-ins for the player from Tremor Media, YuMe, or others. The plug-ins are licensed on an annual basis; currently, hundreds of publishers are using ad servers connected through the plug-ins. 

One of LongTail’s newer pursuits is Open Video Ads (OVA). VAST and VPAID are two of the standards being promoted by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) for how video is delivered. OVA is essentially an ActionScript 3 framework that enables any ad server supported by OVA to deliver video ads into the JW Player or Flowplayer. The idea is to take an open source framework and enable publishers to easily run live with video ads. It is licensed under General Public License, and about 11,000 publishers have downloaded the plug-in. OVA will become more tightly integrated with the Ad Solution offering in the near future. 

I actually had the opportunity to use the LongTail Ad Solution. After signing in as a publisher, I was walked through a wizard and easily set up a channel for my site. After answering a couple of questions, I was presented with the appropriate codes to use with the player. If I were using an online video platform, the process would have been made simpler by just adding a couple of variables to the player and saving. I found it to be very straightforward, and I was up with video ads in literally a matter of minutes. LongTail will have added additional features by the time you read this article. 

Mixpo’s Gupta added that his company can create video advertising quickly and easily for publishers. Mixpo’s Ad Assembly Studio lets publishers create advertising, overlays, and logic, and it is easily modified based on ad performance metrics to better align the ads with the consumer demographics. 

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