We recently launched our Video Advertising Council, drawing members from organisations representing a range of offerings and products in the digital advertising industry. In keeping with the IAB's "Big Tent" principle the members include publishers, networks and agencies to ensure that all key issues and challenges faced by the industry are addressed.
We asked our council members, which include Adaptv, Fairfax, Foxtel, Google, Innovid, MCM, MCN, VENA, SpotXchange, SBS, TEN, Tubemogul, TVN, Videology, and Yahoo7!, to share their thoughts on why they wanted to be a part of the IAB Video Council, what they see as the biggest opportunity in video advertising in the next twelve months, and what the biggest challenges to the video ad market in Australia might be over the next 12 months.
Mitch Waters | Adaptv | What is the biggest challenge to the video ad market in Australia in the next 12 months?
Traffic fraud is the biggest issue the industry faces. The IAB Brand Safety Council will tackle this head-on, taking learnings from overseas, in particular the US. Time is of the essence. If the issue is ignored advertiser confidence could be damaged to an extent that will take years to recover. It's a bit like subprime mortgages during the GFC; lots of those involved knew the risks, but they were making too much money to care. Let's hope our industry doesn't suffer the same sort of collateral damage.
We're not the only industry that suffers from fraud, but it becomes more focused where there's high growth potential and the ability to subvert technology and processes. We need to take learnings from other industries that have faced the problem. We also need to be open about it – educating the broader market about this issue and be open about how we endeavour to tackle it. Technology will play a large part in solving the issue but we shouldn't be so complacent to assume it'll fix it entirely. We'll always be fighting fraud – we just need to make sure the problem doesn't get out of hand.
Ian Dejong | Fairfax Media | What do you see as the biggest opportunity in video advertising over the next 12 months?
I think our biggest opportunity over the next 12 months is also our biggest challenge - Platforms.
With the ever fragmenting landscape, Advertiser's & Publishers are faced with more and more SDK & custom implementations to monetize across desktop, mobile (m. and Native), IPTV, set-top boxes etc. and that's not to mention operating systems.
Delivering and playing the TVC is the easy part. It's the event handling (inc reporting metrics) and the scale-ability of support for our industry standards (VAST2,3 / VPAID2 / VMAP etc.) that is the real goal here and how we can define success.
There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, now with the likes of Streaming Players such as Roku and Google Chrome cast, consolidating platforms and content distribution, along with server-side event handling solutions coming to fruition, our biggest opportunity will be user reach through a truly agnostic approach. And with ease comes up-sell in market.
Suzie Cardwell | Foxtel | What is the biggest challenge to the video ad market in Australia in the next 12 months?
Video is the most engaging medium advertisers have to tell their stories. Whether it's in broadcast TV or online VOD, video is the most effective way to entertain, inform, surprise, outrage, comfort, cheer, sadden, delight and charm an audience.
As always for advertisers, the challenge is to find the target audience and the right environments to tell these stories. As broadcasters increasingly move into providing TV everywhere, the big opportunity in video advertising will be the opening up of premium TV content combined with the ability to target within them.
In mobile apps, online, on set-top-box, on game consoles, on smart TVs and everywhere else TV content will increasingly be coupled with data, opening up new possibilities for audience targeting.
For agencies, navigating this environment will continue to be increasingly complex, so finding the partners who provide these premium environments, the targeting capabilities and the tools to plan and buy within them will be key.
Jono Burke | Innovid | What do you see as the biggest opportunity in video advertising over the next 12 months?
Australia's broadband expansion will help pave the way to a new "TV" advertising industry. Smart TV device adoption and new content business models will give advertisers the opportunity to take more control of video campaigns. Sophisticated measurement, refined targeting and advanced ad serving are just some of the ways that will help lead this. We are on the cusp of a true evolution in TV audience behaviour. These viewers are very familiar with the "internet" experience and expect a "two way communication" with their TV consumption. This includes the advertising layer as well. In the next 12 months we expect to see more and more different ways to consume "TV". Tablets, personal computers, smart-tv-sets, gaming consoles don't complete this list. Along with this increase in "TV" devices we see a major opportunity to work with advertisers to build the right experience to that "future of TV advertising" across all devices using responsive TV design.
Chris Derrick | MCM Media | Why did you want to be part of the Video Council?
With the growing focus on online video by the wider advertising industry, MCM Media thought it was important to be a part of the IAB's Video Advertising Council to share our experiences and engage with other key players in what is a growing and dynamic segment of the industry. Online video advertising is evolving quickly and there are many issues and challenges for all players in the market that we must address together as an industry.
MCM Media represents VEVO in the Australian market, making us the third largest video network behind Google and YouTube. While we are uniquely positioned to maximize the growth in the industry, we need to work together with our partners, clients and fellow members of the Video Advertising Council to drive outcomes for all parties on a measurable, long-term, valued basis.
The Video Advertising Council should be an opportunity for all stakeholders in the industry to drive the agenda on key challenges and opportunities we all face, whether that is the growth of mobile and programmatic buying, or agreeing standards around viewability, fraud or more effective measurement tools.
Anis Fanaeian | Vena TV | Why did you want to be a part of the Video Council?
I noticed that agencies often request either irrelevant metrics, or have little understanding of how video differs from display, and their expectations follow. On the other end I've seen some large premium publishers create technologies to offer video but treat the VAST standard almost as an afterthought, leaving room for tracking errors and problems up and down the pipe.
With my focus being on programmatic, my agenda is to make sure the left hand can communicate with the right as efficiently as possible, allowing everyone to speak the same language, and having expectations aligned with industry standards rather than personal experiences.
Being part of the Video Council is a great honour and means I can lend my voice to these discussions as well as be in the eye of the storm as the video industry booms around us.
Matthieu Von der Muhll | SpotXchange | Why did you want to be a part of the Video Council?
Video advertising has been a big part of my working life over the past 6 years and in that time we have seen the video product emerge from the ground up. It has very much gained the attention of advertisers and publishers alike and we can already see the growth of our industry. It has very quickly become the most valued form of digital media, which holds the potential to grow exponentially. Like all industries there are issues and challenges and I feel being a part of the Australia IAB Video Council will allow me to continue to help provide insight, knowledge and education to a very fast paced and dynamic market such as this, to ensure its continued growth and success.
Ian Swindell | Network Ten | Why did you want to be a part of the Video Council?
Working in digital at Network Ten means that online video is always front of mind. Although we execute some fantastic integrations and sponsorships across the network, video is our bread and butter. Working on many different platforms with VOD and live streaming means that we have had to work hard to ensure a consistent advertising capability across our offerings. The growth in programmatic trading, both direct and RTB, is adding another layer of complexity with its own challenges. As a free-to-air broadcaster we also need to consider the current move towards combined digital and linear (broadcast) programmatic buying that we're seeing in the US.
Having comprehensive, well communicated standards is the only way we will be able to ensure that the current fast-paced change in the online video landscape does not impact our ability to deliver a quality video experience for our viewers whilst maintaining premium advertising opportunities for our demand channels.
I joined the IAB Video Council as I believe that we will be able to help to educate the industry on these changes, what they mean and what we need to do to continue to grow and get the most out of online video. I think it is critical that Ten have a seat at the table to contribute from a publisher perspective. I also have no doubt that Ten will benefit from the contributions of the other council members given the broad mix of representation from across all aspects of the video eco-system.
Peter Ostick | TVN | What is the biggest opportunity for video in the next 12 months?
I would suggest the next 12 months will be defined by the rise of the Video Private Exchanges for premium local broadcasters and publishers. Some of our more advanced partners on the sell side are starting to use technology to automate a strategy that creates a middle-price tier of inventory between direct sold and remnant. This inventory is guaranteed to be available for bidding but none of the demand partners are guaranteed to win the impression.
This healthy tension between constrained supply of premium local inventory and strong demand on the buy side will offer some really great opportunities for the sell side to increase yields by double compared to remnant, create competition, and open up supply to multiple demand sources, while the benefit for the demand side will be increased liquidity and flexibility on inventory procurement. As a result, managing variables such as global campaign reach and frequency will be much more effective.
It really is an exciting area of collaboration between switched on buyers and sellers. Hopefully we can then stop the rather repetitive conversation about automation being a race to the bottom. Instead, on both the supply and the demand side we will be executing on well thought out win-win strategies that use technology at their core to execute but human brains in the creation of the strategy.
Sarah Wyse | Videology | What is the biggest challenge to the video ad market in the next 12 months?
Online video advertising has doubled in size over the past 2 years and is increasingly an area of focus for many advertisers trying to effectively extend their traditional broadcast reach. The promise of efficiency that data, programmatic technology and smart insights offer, has sparked real interest and therefore investment from both advertisers and media publishers. There are a few key challenges in online video today, the single biggest being the lack of video inventory available in the AU market.
From an advertiser point of view, not being able to buy more online video as a result is not the only downside. In this complex, digital world comes very clever opportunists who are cashing in by creating false ad placements, otherwise known as bot or fraudulent traffic to maximise the opportunity that demand out-striping supply brings. Advertisers have been burnt several times running on illegitimate video sites and as an industry we are in great danger of stifling online video growth. A collaborative approach that incorporates key market players and emerging technologies will be a step in the right direction to help protect brands who are being impacted.
The IAB have recently launched a brand safety council and online video council to help solve these issues and educate the industry on online video best practise. Watch this space.
Cora Spear | Yahoo7! | What is the biggest challenge to the video ad market in the next 12 months?
Yahoo7 offers our audience some of Australia's favourite TV shows from the Seven Network and has led the market in offering our clients premium video inventory. Ensuring we are able to clearly differentiate this premium video is paramount to growing a sustainable, profitable ad-funded online video industry.
As online TV audiences continue to grow, we need to recognise the true value of our inventory and price accordingly, especially with the growth of programmatic. Good content is not cheap to make or cheap to buy and the industry needs to be able to easily identify the difference between a cat playing the piano and the high production values of a daily show like Home & Away. Traditional TV scales for brand advertisers in ways that digital cannot (yet) match, and this provides a safe choice for many marketers as it generates predictable results although maybe not with the precise level of detail that can be matched by digital.
We need to clearly understand the economics otherwise TV subscription models may become the only viable model for making and streaming decent content. If that happens, Brands could be heading back to the 1950's TV advertising with product placement and host mentions to reach their audience...
Back row: (including the two sitting on lounge arms): Cora Spear (Yahoo!7), Ian Swindells (Network Ten), Alice Manners and Gai Le Roy (IAB Australia), Anis Fanaeian (VeNA TV) and Matt Von der Muhll (SpotXchange)
Middle row: Nick Young (MCN), Suzie Cardwell (Foxtel), Oliver Grundy (Google) and Sarah Wyse (Videology)
Front row: Peter Ostick (TVN) and Mitch Waters (Adap.TV)