I've been very intrigued by two recent announcements from Adconion, which bills itself as the largest independent online advertising network. At the core of both Adconion.TV and GCN is the conviction that content should be brought to users wherever they may live, as opposed to attempting to drive them to a destination site, a la the "must-see TV" model of old. In both initiatives content-distribution-brand advertising are the three legs of the business model stool.
Another difference is that GCN tried to drive traffic back to YouTube to incent users to subscribe to ongoing program updates and get exposed to other related programs. For now though, Adconion has an aggressive plan to build Adconion.TV as an exciting new entry on the Syndicated Video Economy landscape.
VideoNuze is the authoritative online source for original analysis and news aggregation focused on the burgeoning online video industry. This week's announcement by YuMe and Mindshare to introduce an "iGRP" calculation for online video ad campaigns is another important building block in the online video industry's maturation process.
Jayant explained that as the online video medium has grown, YuMe's sales team has begun interacting with more and more TV ad buyers, in addition to online ad buyers it customarily dealt with. The white paper suggests that in addition to measuring reach and frequency, iGRPs can also capture an "interactivity factor" which would measure things like mouseovers, click-throughs and leads. I've believed for a while, as have others, that while there will be experimental ad dollars flowing into online video advertising, in order for the industry to truly scale, it is going to have to draw spending away from TV advertising. YuMe's and Mindshare's GRP plan comes on the heels of Tremor Media's own GRP announcement with comScore from February. Nevertheless, both are classic Syndicated Video Economy plays, which could have a huge impact on the fundamentals of broadband video's future business model. Each leverages the same algorithms it used to optimize which ads to insert, so that video too will only be served to the most appropriate sites. This has been a key tenet of the Syndicated Video Economy concept I've been fleshing out in '08.


Google of course has been very clear in steering away from content creation, consistently declaring it's "not a content company." Adconion, on the other hand, specifically intends to custom produce brand-infused broadband video programming. In my GCN post, I wrote enthusiastically that the marriage of AdSense-powered video distribution as the "spokes" with YouTube as the "hub" was formidable because it gives GCN a mechanism to build ongoing viewership beyond the first exposure at the publisher site. Tyler doesn't think that's important since it offers ways to subscribe, get email alerts and share within the player itself.
With its resources, reach and new production capabilities, this is clearly one to keep an eye on. Founded in 2007 by Will Richmond, a 20-year veteran of the broadband, cable TV, content and technology industries, VideoNuze is read by executive-level decision-makers who need to get beyond the standard headlines and achieve a deep understanding of online video’s disruptive impact.
Under the plan, YuMe and Mindshare will offer a reach and frequency metric for ad campaigns running across YuMe's network, which will correlate to GRPs that media planners use for TV ads.
While a lot of the spending for online video ads is still based on number of uniques and impressions, recently virtually all of the TV ad buyers YuMe deals with have been asking for a way to correlate and compare online video ad buys with TV buys. YuMe and Mindshare plan to work with agencies and advertisers on various experiments testing the performance of different ad formats, durations, content types and targeting schemes.
This is especially true in the down economy where advertisers are paring budgets, not increasing them. The TV ad industry is well-understood by all its participants, and despite its shortcomings and recent pressures such as surging DVR usage, many in the industry have little incentive to change. With the fragmentation of users over the web, social networks, mobile devices, gaming consoles, etc. To address this need YuMe introduced the iGRP calculation a little while back and this week took the wraps off of it publicly. The $60 billion or so that's spent per year on TV ads is a rich pot of gold for online video to tap into. As a result, I believe online video ad executives must address and resolve all the friction points in shifting ad spending.


This will make for a noisy period until the industry coalesces around standard ways of calculating GRPs and other metrics.
It has 800+ publishers in its network, including 60-70 that it represents exclusively, primarily for international sales.
Each has colonized vast tracts of web property and is now trying to identify, as real estate pros would say, the "highest and best use" of its inventory: ads, video or some combination of the two. Tyler explained that it is deep into talks with numerous agencies and brands about creating programs that showcase the brand sponsors.
Still I think as this story unfolds and Adconion.TV finds itself competing with GCN for the highest-potential content, a destination site compliment will become essential. For those interested in understanding GRPs better, and the iGRP calculation, YuMe also released this useful white paper. Learning to speak in the same language - GRPs in this case - that traditional TV buyers have used in building media plans and doing post-campaign analysis is essential for the online video industry's growth. Nonetheless, this awkward adolescence should be viewed as an expected part of the maturation process for an industry seeking to convert an already massive, and still rapidly growing amount of monthly eyeballs into meaningful ad revenues.
The company made a big splash earlier this year when it raised a monster $80M round led by Index Ventures (the lead investor in Skype among others).
Note others like Grab Networks, Syndicaster, 1Cast, Jambo and others are also heavily pursuing the syndication opportunity, each with their own competitive angle.



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