Q&A: Exponential’s Laura Stevens Discusses Instream vs Outream and Exponential’s New CPME Metric


Laura Stevens, Video Specialist at ExponentialThe definition of what constitutes a video ad seems to widen almost monthly as new formats come online. Similarly, the industry’s metrics are often evolving equally quickly to factor in things like viewability and engagement. Here Laura Stevens, Video Specialist at Exponential, explains why Exponential currently favours instream over outstream formats, and discusses Exponential’s new CPME metric.

Exponential currently favours instream over outstream formats. Could you explain why?

LS: When we talk about ‘outstream’ we are really talking about a form of video advertising which, unlike pre-roll, doesn’t require a video player for the content to be viewed. The main form this usually takes today is appearing as a page break within the main body of editorial content. The content parts as the user scrolls down and the video ad begins to play.  If the user scrolls away, the ad pauses. When the video finishes the ad disappears, and the content resumes.  Outstream blurs the line between instream, display and native; essentially delivering video advertising without requiring premium video content to appear against. Essentially non interactive outstream would find their niche in driving views for clients who have more of a volume, blue sky led KPI, rather than clients who want to appeal to the user in a way which requires further engagement with the brand.

We don’t offer outstream but do offer instream on a CPE. Metrics delivered through outstream are currently limited to either CPM or CPCV, which speaks to more of a volume and cost efficient reach approach, versus Exponential’s favouring of a CPE metric, which allows us to better qualify user engagement by allowing the discerning consumer to interact on their own terms with their brand of choice. All ads are also dismissible which encourages more qualified users and quantifiable results.

Exponential recently introduced a new ‘CPME’ pricing model for video ads. Could you explain how it works and why you introduced it?

LS: We feel there are certain industry problems which we’ve attempted to solve with CPME. CPME works by charging an initial CPM for the teaser impressions followed by a CPE if the user chooses to engage.  This new ad model is about combining the best of both metrics, combining the value derived from both engagements and non-expanded teaser units.  And going back to your previous question about viewability, we have also now launched a special vCPME blended package in partnership with Moat that guarantees 100 percent viewability of all ads bought against this metric.

What can advertisers do to enhance video ad engagement levels? Is it simply a case of working with data from publishers and platforms such as your own, or is it still largely determined by the impact of the creative?

LS: Both of these elements, data and creative, definitely need to work together for a campaign to be truly successful. The problem with marketing today is capturing and maintaining user attention.  The marketplace is very cluttered and we are at the mercy of the consumer who has 100% control of how, when and where they choose to consume content.  Advertising – of all kinds – needs to adapt to capture that initial attention and start the conversation. Essentially consumers deserve a better experience, the choice to view or not to view, to engage or not engage, to control their entire media experience. Audience, technology and targeting need to work hand in hand with hi resolution, compelling, creative executions to deliver successful levels of engagement.”


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