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As the recent decision of the RNC to reserve US $150 million worth of video ad inventory shows, video will be a major vehicle to convince voters for the upcoming general election in November. With the above fact in mind a roundtable with major players at DSPs, SSPs, and publishers took place in New York City. Below some intelligence provided by the round table participants.

Political Dollars will go into PMP rather than Programmatic Guaranteed

video.david.jonesMichelle DeVine, Programmatic Sales Manager at Vox Media, provided market intelligence and said that a large advertiser expects to put approximately 90% of political video ad dollars to work at PMPs and only 10% into programmatic guaranteed inventory. Programmatic guaranteed inventory, while still bought in a programmatic way, is mostly agreed upon via a direct sales person.  At PMPs (private marketplaces), ad buyers usually bid in a real-time auction, making the process much more competitive for media properties like Vox Media.

Fundraising Campaigns tend to meet KPIs

Dovid Katz, Senior Director, Demand Facilitation at SpotX noted that so far in the election cycle political fundraising campaigns have tended to meet the Key Performance Indicators of these campaigns (funding goals). As the election date comes closer, viewability and completion rates are going to become more important. Katz added that by September he also expects negative political campaigns to be more popular. He also mentioned that repurposing creative for video advertising will not work:“You have to customize your message for each video ad type.” Udi Jacobi, Chief Commercial Officer at Brightcom asserted that using influencers has worked well in some of the political campaigns.

Google and Facebook are at Least 75% of the Video Market

Facebook-Live-VideoParticipants at the round table, sponsored by Brightcom, noted that in the overall digital market approximately 85% of ad-dollars are sold by Google and Facebook. In the digital video market the figure for the remaining “publishers” is perhaps a bit higher (25%) as LinkedIn and other players have a relatively strong video offering.

Higher Growth of the Video Ad Market Hinges on Resolving Latency Issues

The video ad market is growing in leaps and bounds, this year it is expected to rise to US$ 10 billion in the U.S.,  but long video ad load times (latency)  are an obstacle for an even higher growth rate.  Latency refers to a short period of delay (usually measured in milliseconds) between when a video signal enters and when it emerges from the system.
Participants at the round table agreed that still relatively long loading times for video ads are preventing video ad budgets growing even more. Video ad players need to speed up their response times, they concluded.

Hispanics, Very Important

An important Hispanic turnout at the general election and presidential campaign is going to be very  important for Democratic candidates, although the Republican National Committee (RNC) did say that Hispanics will be an important target in their US$ 150 million overall Video Ad Campaign. Javier Chanfreau, CEO of Medula Networks, stressed that targeting capabilities to reach the Hispanic population are a crucial factor in political online video campaigns.

Video Engagement Generally Much Higher than Display

Paulina Tillman, East Lead, Network Publisher Sales, AOL emphasized that video advertising gets much higher engagement rates compared to display. Tillman noted that for a recent campaign the engagement rate was of 1.84%, much higher than display advertising which typically lies around 0.2%.

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What: Brightcom (formerly known as Ybrant Digital), a global ad tech and multi-channel media company, announced today that Medula, a media company focused on U.S. Hispanic and Latin America markets, will lead and manage all of its programmatic digital advertising across its Owned & Operated properties.
Why It Matters: The partnership will help Brightcom in its effort to open itself up to global advertising partners for cross-country audiences and cross-screen ad sales strategies, and , and provide Brightcom with access to Medula’s Spanish language properties.

brightcom-lycos_v2Recent Census bureau data in the U.S. shows that the US-Hispanic population will make up 21% of the country’s population by 2030, and advertisers are racing to acquire the best set of tools to reach these powerful consumers.

As a part of that effort, Medula is now teaming up with Brightcom to take advantage of its multi-channel programmatic products, in order to optimize monetization of its digital inventory for online Hispanics on all devices and levels, including display, video, mobile and social media advertising. Medula’s properties include more than 300 top tier sites including Clarín, La República and La Tercera among others as well substantial U.S. Hispanic traffic.

Brightcom to Provide “Synergistic Uplift of Cross-Device CPMs for Medula”

In a competitive Latin American video market, Brightcom’s mission is to make it easier for publishers, advertisers and other clients to maximize yield across video, display and mobile channels. Powered by Lycos, the company provides proprietary multi-channel advertising products and programmatic advertising solutions and capabilities.

Medula, on the other hand, has proprietary ownership of the largest editorial houses in Latin America as well as the US-Hispanic market. Nonetheless, together, Google and Facebook command more than three quarters of the Video Advertising Market, with publishers and publisher representatives, like Medula, holding a 25% share.

According to Facundo Maldonado, Brightcom’s Managing Director of Latin America & US Hispanic, Brightcom was drawn to the fact that Medula was completely focused on Latin America, and highlighted the owners are media leaders in their respective countries.

“Medula has been an innovative and highly strategic partner of medulaours, epitomizing the modern media company. We expect that when operated in unison, programmatic and direct sales will feed off each other to incrementally raise demand and fill rate for Medula’s inventory,” said Maldonado. “Our programmatic infrastructure, modern ad server, demand facilitation team and family of programmatic buying styles will create a synergistic uplift of cross-device CPMs for Medula.”

Programmatic as Complement to People-Powered Analysis, Insight

Maldonado also made it clear that while the deal is significant for the technological targeting tools that it affords both of them, the human element is still key to reaching key audiences, regardless of the fact that clients will now buy programmatically: “In the end, programmatic is not technology powered.  It is people powered.”

Maldonado went on to explain that “Brightcom will lead on traditional sales, serving agencies and brands throughout the region, and now clients will start to buy programmatically.”

Our programmatic infrastructure, modern ad server, demand facilitation team and family of programmatic buying styles will create a synergistic uplift of cross-device CPMs for Medula.

But does programmatic mean eliminating the human element that goes into the buying process? Maldonado clarified that while many see programmatic as a way to automatize the buying process, Brightcom considers it an added resource on top of data analysis and insight mining to improve results.

Maldonado emphasized that all approaches to buying require a comfortable and direct relationship between the publisher and the agency or trading desk. In terms of encouraging clients to get on board with programmatic, he admitted that the effort “requires a lot of transparency and evangelization.”

Of course, this challenge is not unique to Brightcom, as mounting pressure to develop unique and differentiated technology for reaching key audiences is shaking up the Video Marketing sector.  In the end, Maldonado sums it up in a short sentence: “Our main challenge is to be closer to our clients.”

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