The Ad Tech CEOs on What to Expect from TV and Video Advertising in 2015


Few people have a better grasp of what’s happening in our industry than those working in ad tech. So each year VAN asks the people at the top of those organisations, the CEOs, about what they think will happen in the coming year. This year’s predictions are from Bob Lord, CEO at Adap.tv, Mark Zagorski, CEO at Exelate, Tod Sacerodoti, CEO of BrightRoll, Doug Knopper, Co-CEO of FreeWheel, Pierre Chappaz, CEO of Teads, Mike Shehan, CEO of SpotXchange, Hervé Brunet, CEO and Co-founder of StickyAds.tv, Scott Ferber, CEO of Videology and Sorosh Tavakoli, CEO at Videoplaza.

Bob Lord, CEO, AOL Platforms

bob_lordThe majority of TV companies will begin to employ audience driven, programmatic selling. TV is still the largest and most powerful ad medium, but it is on the verge of experiencing meaningful disruption.   The technology to power automated data-driven ad decisions, campaign optimization and measurable attribution, enjoyed by digital for many years, is here now for TV. In 2015, we will see broadcasters, cable networks and MVPDs begin to open their systems, adopt programmatic technology and transact on more precise audience segments – beyond just age and gender – to expand the value of their TV programming.   This will align with the overall ad industry’s movement towards data-driven marketing, enabling advertisers to seamlessly plan, buy and measure their spend across all screens and understand what is driving ROI – all from one platform.

Mark Zagorski, CEO eXelate

Mark ZagorskiThe industry will see the dawn of the TV data management platform (DMP).  The proliferation of smart TVs and set top boxes that have digital data capture capabilities means TV is playing a bigger role in harnessing consumer data to not only make ads more accurate, but also for measuring the performance of ads in both the online and offline worlds. The TV DMP will be the backbone of this shift as media owners and advertisers seek an efficient way to ingest, manage and make actionable the influx of “TV Everywhere” data.

Marketers will wake up to the biggest threat of the walled gardens of online media – the handful of companies attempting to control access to consumer data that their advertising relationships generate. In 2015 we’ll see the power shift as marketers begin to demand their data back, so that they have the flexibility to move their data from partner to partner, and determine what media works. Agencies will be their biggest advocates in this effort, and it will make the once cozy “agency-media” relationship get downright chilly.

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Tod Sacerdoti, CEO and Founder of BrightRoll

TodSacerdotiProgrammatic spending is expected to increase by over 200% to $2 billion in 2015, according to eMarketer, as advertisers accelerate the demand for video inventory and continue to rely on programmatic platforms to consolidate their video ad buys across media. Meanwhile, publishers will begin to realise the huge opportunity for efficiency and financial growth that programmatic brings. Demand for mobile video inventory, in particular, will continue to skyrocket as the sophistication around cross-screen mobile targeting and measurement advances.

We’ll also see publishers offer mobile video inventory that more closely mirrors (and integrates with) desktop video. These advances could generate more premium inventory, causing average mobile video CPMs to rise. In turn, we could see advertisers spending more on mobile video ads than on desktop by the end of 2015.

Doug Knopper, Co- Founder and Co–CEO, FreeWheel

Doug KnopperSet-Top Box VOD will be the “premium inventory” keyword for 2015. STB VOD represents a significant opportunity as it characterizes a meaningful volume of under-monetized, long-form, premium TV content,  and an audience that is highly engaged and in an environment that is properly viewable and safe.  Dynamically unifying premium STB VOD inventory with its equivalent premium Digital and OTT  is a major step forward step toward unifying campaigns across screens, and essential to achieve the necessary scale that benefits both the buy and sell-side operating within the premium video ecosystem.

Publishers will need the right solutions in place to effectively manage and monetize their audience across screens, devices and partners, regardless of where the content is being viewed. While ‘programmatic TV’ will continue to be a hot topic in 2015, TV refers to professional premium content, and the screens it is watched on are details. Without unifying TV and audiences across all viewing, you won’t have the scale able to deliver the full value through programmatic or any other sales form.

Pierre Chappaz, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, Teads

Pierre ChappazAccording to research from Integral Ad Science, 70 percent of the video ads bought aren’t viewed. This is not just because of ad fraud, it is also because users do not like to be forced to watch a video ad, so they often escape pre-roll. Brands are aware of this situation and are asking the industry to ensure that in 2015 they’re paying for campaigns which are viewable.

At Teads, we have already begun championing the disruptive cost-per-view model, charging brands only for completed views. Furthermore, we are convinced that viewability will begin to be solved through innovative ad formats. By sticking to a view-to-play outstream format, adverts offer the user a more respectful experience and ensure they choose to watch.

Viewability will improve as advertising formats show an increased respect for the users. In return brands will have more valuable views from truly engaged users.

Mike Shehan, CEO SpotXchange

Mike ShehanThe convergence of TV and digital video will be a huge trend in 2015 as companies start to explore programmatic TV offerings, and we experience the continued growth of the connected TV market. The TV industry will need to consider which challenges programmatic can mitigate, and then embrace programmatic as an essential tactic, not a strategy.

Mobile will be another key growth area next year and we expect to see more mobile web and in-app campaigns activated with cross-device targeting. Publishers will make a stronger push towards the increased use of data to maximise the value of each impression and programmatic advertising’s stronghold on the advertising market will continue to expand globally.

Lastly, the video industry has seen its fair share of M&A activity this past year and we expect that trend to continue with more notable industry players making large investments in programmatic companies in 2015.

Sorosh Tavakoli, CEO, Videoplaza

Sorosh Tavakoli, CEO of VideoplazaThere will be no room for doubt that linear TV advertising has peaked after 2015 as we will see the beginning of the serious shift in audience and ad spend towards digital platforms. Although expected, this will force the incumbents to accelerate their investments in digital while attracting even more newcomers to the party.

2015 will also be the year when advertisers will seriously accelerate their efforts to ensure they are not paying for fraud and bot traffic. This will not only create severe issues for some of the already struggling ad networks but also adjust the scale and growth of most programmatic players in the market. Winners will be publishers with quality content and an engaged audience.

Finally, I think this will be the year when Youtube stops playing monopoly. Facebook will launch a new video platform that will gain traction; forcing Youtube to provide better, fairer terms for content owners. This will be the first step towards an eco system allowing content owners to build a profitable and sustainable business.

Scott Ferber, CEO, Videology

Scott FerberThe foundations for holistic campaigns are set, but the tools for holistic planning will become actionable in 2015. The ability to buy across devices in one place, without disrupting existing TV planning workflows, will encourage advertisers to invest closely in cross-screen audience engagement.

Programmatic technologies are supporting and enabling this momentum. With a third of European video ad revenue set to be generated programmatically within two years, we’re moving into a truly programmatic era. As more consumers watch content across a growing array of devices, finding audiences is more important than ever. Programmatic trading, as a facilitator for reaching audiences efficiently at scale, will have growing importance in strategic media planning.

Addressable television will leap forward in 2015 in terms of becoming a scalable solution for advertisers, while, more and more, the industry will view TV and online as part of one ecosystem.

Hervé Brunet, CEO and Co-founder, StickyAds.tv

Herve BrunetIn the programmatic video ecosystem, the popularity of PMPs, or private marketplaces, will grow significantly next year as top publishers – including TV broadcasters – become more open to selling their premium inventory programmatically, but will continue to demand high levels of transparency and control. This is particularly relevant to video inventory, which publishers are reluctant to place into open exchanges.

PMPs are direct, invitation-only marketplaces that enable publishers to make their premium inventory available to a handpicked group of advertisers, and they bring together the efficiency of programmatic trading with increased brand safety and contextual placement. Private marketplaces accounted for more than a quarter (27 percent) of all European RTB advertising spend in the second quarter of 2014, and I think this figure will double next year as PMPs generate significantly higher CPMs than open exchanges, effectively enabling publishers to retain full control of their video inventory and ensure brand safety.


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  • #Predictions are a mix of over-optimism, no-brainers and likely #video #advertising scenarios…1:1 (or at least 1:household) #addressableTV will not hit scale in 2015: We’ll see more of it and it will get tested, but it won’t be mainstream. TV-enriched #DMPs – Yes! We might see #SetTopBox #OTT and #VOD providers tip-toe into advertising, but carefully not to upset paying viewers – this will likely happen via private marketplaces #pmp AKA #programmaticdirect to maintain control and quality. Overall, I think Sorosh Tavakoli, CEO, Videoplaza is spot on in his views.

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