Brian Fitzpatrick, Europe is MD of Adap.tv. Here he discusses the EMEA offering, the complexities of the European Video ad market and the rise of RTB in the video channel.
Can you give an overview of the Adap.tv offering – and where it currently sits in the video ad eco-system?
Adap.tv operates two distinct product divisions, the Platform and the Marketplace. The Adap.tv Platform provides customers with programmatic ad trading solutions that power some of the leading advertising companies including Cadreon, Collective Video UK and Havas Media. The Adap.tv Marketplace is the industry’s largest video advertising marketplace, and a central meeting point for thousands of advertisers and publishers worldwide. Both offerings deliver an automated and holistic way of planning, buying, selling and measuring TV and video advertising across multiple sources, screens and methods of transacting.
Is Adapt a pure tech offering or do you run a video ad net solution as well?
Our core competency is technology, however we have a significant video sales team selling campaigns directly to agencies in the US.
How is Adap.tv connecting supply and demand – especially in a fragmented market like Europe?
With 27 countries to cover, 23 languages and a diverse approach to doing business, Europe poses a daunting challenge for any global company looking to do business.
Until now, the approach tended to focus on selecting the big countries, establishing a team in each and competing to win publishers. However, this is a very costly exercise and only a few companies have managed to succeed.
The rise of RTB has helped to consolidate the European market by removing the need for buyers and sellers to negotiate directly with each other. Sellers set floor prices, buyers enter maximum bids, and this has created a mini revolution in display, which we are starting to see that happening in video.
For example, publishers in large countries such as Poland have significant traffic in the UK, but it was difficult for them to get the attention of UK media buyers. However, by linking with an exchange, the inventory is instantly visible to the relevant buyer at a price they set.
What kind of efficiencies is Adap.tv bringing to the market?
The efficiencies we bring result from a combination of process, visibility and pricing, both within our public Marketplace and outside of it.
We simplify the process of buying by aggregating publishers’ inventory into one central point from which buyers can choose. Any sites that they don’t want to form part of a campaign can simply be removed.
We provide full visibility to all domains in the public marketplace – mobile, web and IPTV. Each site is named and we have integrated all the major data providers to allow extra levels of targeting.
We have built predictive technology that allows buyers to see the total cost and CPM required to meet a campaign’s goals before it goes live, thereby making it straightforward to manage and optimise.
Can you speak about the evolution of RTB in the online video ad market? How much traction has it had over the past 12 months – and how significant is it in the current online video ad market?
We are still quite early in the cycle, but we have seen streaming and download speed increase to allow seamless viewing of video content, particularly on mobile, which is an important step in the industry’s development.
The broadcasters still dominate the majority of the revenue, but due to the regulations to which they have to adhere, it is currently difficult for them to engage in this space. The IAB is working hard to help address these issues with all the players in the market.
The past 12 months has seen the rise of video networks and exchanges. Broadcasters dominate the spend, but the online video publishers, including Youtube and DailyMotion, dominate the amount of video inventory available.
Another recent development is the rise of simulation games such as Farmville on sites like Facebook. Research is showing that the time people are investing in managing their virtual animals’ welfare, or the growth of their vegetable patch, is offsetting the time they used to spend watching soap operas on television.
Is there still a huge gap between display and video? There still seems to be a lot of complexities in the video market with multiple ad server solutions. How is Adapt making this myriad of technology solutions work together?
We follow the approach ‘make it simple’. As a Silicon Valley start up, we like nothing more than chatting about how we have solved many of these issues, our co-founder and CTO Teg Grenger has just been given an award by the IAB in the US for his work on setting the standards for VAST compliance. However most people buying online media just want to know, ‘Does it work?’
In a nutshell, Adap.tv has tried to act as a central hub for any technology involved in the process of buying video. This might be data partners, video platforms, ad servers, mobile distribution or connected TV.
We can provide technology to address each of these needs, but we also understand the importance of working together with companies that already have this technology.
We try to stay focused on the client and how they want to work rather than setting a strict list of guidelines they have to follow.
Demand seems to be outstripping Supply at the minute with publishers able to secure significantly higher CPMs than display inventory. Can this trend continue? And is there a threat that automated trading will put downward pressure on pricing?
Publishers are seeing the value of their display inventory come under intense downward pressure while the CPMs for video continue to rise. (Video ads can command more than ten times the price of display). Many therefore are already shifting focus and resources to meet this new revenue source.
In RTB display we see an almost infinite number of impressions available to buyers, some of these are visible, but much of it is blind. This is often acceptable for response lead campaigns, but online video is more of a brand lead medium so things are quite different.
The lack of supply for quality VOD means that rather than depress prices, RTB in this case is driving them up. This was particularly true in the run up to Christmas where demand for inventory was so intense that the average CPM rose by 35%. Although fluctuations like this are not common and simply reflected the competition for inventory at the time, as more buyers come online we are seeing CPMs steadily increase.
Adap.tv recently signed a deal with Collective in the UK. Can you give some details around the partnership?
There is a lot of discussion around RTB and publishers are quite rightly being cautious before exposing their inventory to this new technology. As RTB has not been around for long, there is still a lot of education needed and research to be done. Publishers therefore want to work with partners they know and trust.
Networks continue to provide a valuable service to publishers and have done so for many years, helping them manage many of the changes the market has experienced.
This deal allows us to work together to combine the experience of the Collective team with the technology of Adap.tv. This provides their publishers with a private marketplace fully managed and operated by the Collective team who they know and trust will have their best interests at heart.
Can you give some overview of the Adapt.tv strategy in Europe, and how it intends to work with local players here?
Adap.tv is a global player and we are building a global business. Europe is central to achieving this goal, so we have developed a strategy that will allow us to reach viewers of video in any country.
This will be made up of a combination of global publishers looking to monetise their inventory in the public marketplace and local country publishers creating private networks in conjunction with their network partners.
Buyers of RTB don’t want to log into multiple platforms to access different inventory sources – rather, they want to have one system that gives them access to all the players.
Our aim is to make Adap.tv the ‘must have’ technology for buyers and sellers of RTB video in Europe.ExchangeWire