Premium Video Is Going Programmatic, Says New Report

Categories: Data Trends    ||    Posted on: September 16, 2014

According to the more than 350 media and marketing professionals surveyed for’s 2014 US State of the Video Industry report, programmatic video advertising is maturing beyond its real-time bidding roots.

More than half of publishers surveyed said they make their premium inventory for sale via programmatic environments—a significant change in just one year’s time.

Further, it is evident that sweeping publisher adoption of programmatic is happening because that’s where the buyers are. Brands said 60 percent of their online video ad spending has gone programmatic.

These factors contribute to a vibrant marketplace that has finally started to mature beyond auction models towards putting data to work for all involved.

Additional key highlights found in this report include:

Advertising spending on online video increased for the 5th consecutive year, and buyers claim spending will grow across the board in 2015. Publishers are reaping the benefits of diversified selling channels, inclusive of programmatic.

Agencies and brands are increasingly tapping into broadcast and cable TV budgets to fund their digital video ad spending.

Brands and agencies are moving away from buying direct from publishers and ad networks, in favor of buying through exchanges and DSPs. With 60 percent of their budgets going to programmatic channels, brand advertisers are most aggressive with their spend reallocation.

Video buyers are already running data-driven TV campaigns, evidenced by the 40 percent of brands adopting the practice. Brand budgets for programmatic TV buying are predominantly coming from traditional TV spending, not from digital or incremental spending.

Brand buyers and sellers cited ad viewability as the most problematic issue for them, compared to verification/placement and bot fraud, which ranked lower. Only 25 percent said they are up to speed on these issues, indicating a need for additional education.

Download the full report “2014 US State of the Video Industry” here.


AdMonsters Publisher Forum Recap: It’s Time to Solve the Rubik’s Cube of Data-Driven TV

Categories: View Points    ||    Posted on: August 21, 2014

“400+ audience attributes turns ad targeting into a complex Rubik’s Cube-like challenge. If only we could automate…”
- Dan Ackerman, SVP of Programmatic TV at


TV is the next, and final, frontier for programmatic. That was the big takeaway message from an AdMonsters Publisher Forum presentation by Dan Ackerman, SVP of Programmatic TV, punctuated by an analogy of the Rubik’s Cube.

The Rubik’s Cube is a relatively unassuming challenge, for most people. At first glance, it seems like a simple thing to solve its 9×9, six-sided structure. But, one can quickly get lost in the labyrinth of trying to get all of the colored sides to line up correctly.

Advertising across today’s fragmented media environments is similar. Advertisers have many options to target audiences using attributes such as household income, purchase history, and brand affinities. But, the reality is that effective ad campaigns are incredible challenging to pull off. Getting all of the sides to align and expose a brand message to the right person at the right time in the right environment is hard when there are mountains of data to sift through and disjointed systems that don’t talk to one another.

If only there were a way to automate and leverage algorithms to achieve successful targeting for advertisers and brands…

That’s where programmatic advertising comes in.

The shift to automation began with display ad exchanges trying to create value for remnant ad inventory. DSPs/SSPs then began to trade ad inventory programmatically using real-time bidding, maximizing value for advertisers and publishers. The industry then began to start trading premium video programmatically and, most recently, attribution technologies have allowed advertisers to more precisely measure ROI of ad investment.

Television is, naturally, the next media environment to adopt programmatic, and that is why is building the next generation of sales planning technology for TV that leverages big data to help media sellers better understand the value of their ad inventory to increase yield and increase impact for their advertisers.

Missed us at the event, or want to learn more? Contact us!


TEG Talks, Episode 2: The Death of Brand Advertising and Why You Should Cheer

Categories: View Points    ||    Posted on: July 18, 2014

Our TEG Talks series continues with a second episode hosted by Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder Teg Grenager. In it, he discusses the evolution of brand advertising, or advertising that seeks to build strong, long-term consumer attitudes towards a product or brand. (Think P&G’s “Thank You, Mom” campaign during this year’s Winter Olympics.)

With advertisers increasingly looking to apply a level of measurability and ROI data to brand advertising, that legacy definition may not completely apply to that category of advertising today.

Previous Webisodes:
TEG Talks, Episode 1: Understanding the “Cambrian Explosion” of Ad Fraud’s Patented Conversion Tracking Brings Accountability and Measurability to TV Advertising

Categories: News    ||    Posted on: July 16, 2014

Brendan Kitts, Chief Scientist,

By Brendan Kitts, Chief Scientist,

Conversion attribution on the Internet is ubiquitous, and many methods – including “last click” and cookie-based matching – are used to match a conversion event back to the initial search or banner ad that the user saw or clicked on.

This technology is seamless, automated, and taken for granted: marketers just drop a conversion tracking script onto their websites, and, presto, they have conversion counts and rates for their various ads.

The widespread availability of conversion data has arguably led advertisers to be able to confidently optimize their ads online with a greater degree of granularity than ever before. Different ad creatives, devices, mediums, keywords and times of day can all be used in optimization using conversion data that has been collected on them. Indeed, one could argue that conversion-tracking systems – with their incredibly fine measurability – have been the engine that has powered the online advertising revolution.

In contrast to online, conversion measurement in TV is nothing short of an unsolvable labyrinth for advertisers. When an ad airs on TV, conversion events can happen on the Web, over the phone and even retail stores; and there’s no way to know whether those sales were driven in part to the original TV ad, let alone what particular TV airing caused it.

With the goal of bridging that gap, has been hard at work in aligning television closer to digital within attribution modeling. Today, we are happy to share the news that the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted an important patent for TV conversion tracking.

This patent validates our work in solving a critical problem for marketers: Online advertising systems have a problem with over-attribution. They tend to be very good at taking credit for – well – everything! TV has the opposite problem; TV tends to take no credit at all.

For example, because online advertising systems are often designed to attribute everything that is last click, it is not uncommon to see branded search keywords (eg. with an amazing cost-per-acquisition in the pennies thousands of conversions. At this kind of incredible cost-per-acquisition, shouldn’t a marketer just shut off all other marketing campaigns on TV, radio, etc. and pour those budgets into online keywords?

Experienced marketers know that such an approach is likely to result not only in a bloated keyword campaign, but could also spell the end of their business by shutting off one of the most important parts of the sales funnel – people who need to learn about and be exposed to the product for the first time.

The reality is the people who typed in the brand’s name into the search box overwhelmingly already know the product’s name and what it does.  The paid keywords are being used as navigational links to reach the site. To put it bluntly, keywords can receive credit by simply being in the right place while a user’s navigating to the site. It’d be like a promoter going up to fans waiting in line to get into a concert, giving them a coupon, and then claiming credit for the fans walking through the door. (Recent reports corroborate this phenomenon.)

This dichotomy between over-attribution in digital and lack of quantitative data in television makes it extremely difficult for marketers to calculate how much budget to apply towards TV. Further increasing the difficulty, the lack of granular conversion tracking also makes it impossible to do things like optimize TV media towards the media that is producing the highest number of conversions. In a media environment where every dollar counts, this can be incredibly wasteful.

This patent describes one of’s automated conversion tracking systems for television, designed to go beyond last click-type attribution to credit assignment based on properties of the conversions and media event.  US 8,768,770 “System and Method for Attributing Multi-Channel Conversion Events and Subsequent Activity to Multi-Channel Media Sources” describes a process where a machine-learning system is trained to recognize conversions that come from TV, based on cases which are clean enough for deterministic attribution – often about 1% of the cases. It then estimates the probability of conversion for the larger set of TV airings based on those learned patterns between airing and conversion.

The technique makes it possible to probabilistically separate organic Web activity from Web activity driven from TV. This kind of signal source separation is similar to the “cocktail party problem,” where one tries to segment specific conversations out of several conversations happening simultaneously within a room. The system can also report on conversions that are due to marketing events that were not TV – For example it would be equally bad to over-assign credit to TV for understanding which TV airings have been more effective – in order to do this, not assigning credit is just as important for optimization purposes as assigning credit. has worked diligently to disambiguate, measure, and report on TV’s impact and make it possible to budget TV in a rational way. and Convertro, the leading multi-touch attribution platform recently acquired by AOL, have years of experience running television campaigns and measuring television sales response. In general, our results suggest that TV effects are extremely large, distributed across multiple channels, extended in time, and are woefully under-reported.

With better measurement techniques, we believe that it will be possible to bring hard ROI measurement to TV and put it onto a similar footing as online advertising. That’s good for everyone, not only in television, but also in online advertising too. Optimizing your marketing campaign using keywords only is equivalent to looking for your keys by only searching under a street lamp – just because there is some light there, doesn’t mean that’s where you should be focusing.

The objective should be to cast light on all parts of your marketing campaign.

Further Resources
Read the patent contents here:

A scientific paper on the algorithm was published at IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, along with attribution results from various television advertisers. You can read that paper here:

Conversion attribution on television, radio, offline, and digital channels, is performed by Convertro who use a multi-touch attribution (MTA) algorithm to measure effects across channels. You can learn more about Convertro’s technology at Secures Certification for Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings for Mobile

Categories: News    ||    Posted on: July 15, 2014

By Sean Crawford, Vice President, Global Head of Inventory at

The annual Internet trends report from Mary Meeker, a partner at venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), has predicted the growing importance of mobile over the past several years, but this year’s report put mobile’s future into clearer focus: mobile internet traffic is growing at a rate of 1.5 times that of conventional broadband, and at an annual rate of 81 percent. Video, she says, is largely driving that growth.

It’s clear that people are watching video on a whole host of connected devices and mobile is a central part of our lives today. With the advent of this explosive consumption of video through mobile applications, there is an even greater needed to accurately measure those growing audiences.

Nielsen has been a company leading that effort, testing an expansion of its Online Campaign Ratings to mobile. This would mark the first only only measurement solution to offer insights into a campaign’s full digital and cross-platform audience.

We are excited to announce that’s platform is a certified partner with Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings for mobile, expanding on our multi-year relationship with Nielsen in video measurement. We already work closely with Nielsen delivering the latest in audience guarantee technology and this in another powerful tool for our clients.

Mobile will continue to see rapid growth and brands are starting to invest in it as a critical component within their overall marketing strategy. Similarly, advertisers are looking for ways to substantiate investment and effectively measure campaign impact. It’s not enough anymore to simply measure the impact of a campaign across one or two devices.

Cross-screen and integrated measurement needs to be comprehensive and thorough, and’s clients will be able to activate unbiased, third-party measurement through our expanded mobile partnership with Nielsen.

We are currently conducting a pilot program with clients, and will have additional news to share in the future.

For more information about’s certification with Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings for mobile or to inquire about a pilot program, please reach out to our team today. State of the Video Industry Survey Sweepstakes Offical Rules

Categories: News    ||    Posted on: July 14, 2014

No Purchase Required to Enter or Win

Eligibility: The Sweepstakes (the “Sweepstakes”) is open only to legal residents of the 50 United States (including the District of Columbia) and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 years of age or older at time of entry. Employees of AOL Inc., its advertising or promotion agencies, those involved in the production, development, implementation or handling of Sweepstakes, any agents acting for, or on behalf of the above entities, their respective parent companies, officers, directors, subsidiaries, affiliates, licensees, service providers, prize suppliers any other person or entity associated with the Sweepstakes (collectively “Sweepstakes Entities”) and/or the immediate family (spouse, parents, siblings and children) and household members (whether related or not) of each such employee, are not eligible. All U.S., federal, state and local and Canadian federal, provincial, and municipal laws and regulations apply. Void in Quebec and where prohibited by law.

Sponsor: The Sweepstakes is sponsored by AOL Inc., 770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003 (“Sponsor”).

Agreement to Official Rules: Participation in the Sweepstakes constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, which are final and binding. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

Entry Period: The Sweepstakes begins at 9:00 AM ET on July 23, 2014 and ends at 6:00 pm ET on August 8, 2014 (the “Entry Period”). Entries received prior to or after the Entry Period will not be accepted.

Entry: Go to and follow the instructions to submit your entry. Limit one (1) entry per person. The use of any agencies or automated software to submit entries will void all entries submitted by that person.

Drawing: At the conclusion of the Entry Period, Sponsor will select the name of one (1) potential Grand Prize Winner in a random drawing of all eligible entries received during the Entry Period. The odds of being selected as a potential winner depend on the number of eligible entries received during the Entry Period.

Requirements of the Potential Winner: An entrant who is notified that their entry was selected in the random drawing is a Potential Winner. Potential winner will be contacted via email and will be asked to provide their full name, age and mailing address within a specified time period. If a potential winner does not respond within the timeframe stated in the notification, the Sponsor may select an alternate potential winner in his/her place at random from all entries received during the Entry Period. A Potential Winner is not a winner until they have returned all required documentation and eligibility has been verified by Sponsor. Potential winner must comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements. Except where prohibited, Potential Winner may be required to sign and return to Sponsor, within a specified timeframe to be determined by Sponsor, an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability/Publicity Release and W-9 form in order to claim her Prize. Failure to return documents as specified, or if prize notification is returned as undeliverable, will result in the entrant being disqualified, and the prize may be awarded to a potential alternate winner. In the event the potential winner of any prize is a Canadian resident, he/she will be required to correctly answer a time-limited mathematical question to be administered by email/mail to receive the prize. Acceptance of a prize constitutes consent to use winner’s name and likeness for editorial, advertising and publicity purposes without additional compensation, except where prohibited by law.

Prize: One (1) Grand Prize Winner will receive an AMEX gift card in the amount of $250 USD. Gift card is subject to issuer’s terms and condition.
Prize is not transferable and no cash or other substitution may be made, except by the Sponsor, who reserves the right to substitute a prize with another prize of equal or greater value if the prize is not available for any reason as determined by the Sponsor in its sole discretion. The winner is responsible for any taxes and fees associated with receipt or use of a prize.

General Conditions: In the event that the operation, security, or administration of the Sweepstakes is impaired in any way for any reason, including, but not limited to fraud, virus, or other technical problem, the Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, either: (a) suspend the Sweepstakes to address the impairment and then resume the Sweepstakes in a manner that best conforms to the spirit of these Official Rules; or (b) award the prize at random from among the eligible entries received up to the time of the impairment. The Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Sweepstakes or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner. Any attempt by any person to undermine the legitimate operation of the Sweepstakes may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, the Sponsor reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. The Sponsor’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision. In case of a dispute as to the owner of an entry, entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the email address associated with the entry.

Release and Limitations of Liability: By participating in the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to release and hold harmless the Sweepstakes Entities from and against any claim or cause of action arising out of participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt or use of any prize, including, but not limited to: (a) unauthorized human intervention in the Sweepstakes; (b) technical errors related to computers, servers, providers, or telephone or network lines; (c) printing errors; (d) lost, late, postage-due, misdirected, or undeliverable mail; (e) errors in the administration of the Sweepstakes or the processing of entries; or (f) injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Sweepstakes or receipt of any prize. Entrant further agrees that in any cause of action, the Sweepstakes Entities’ liability will be limited to the cost of entering and participating in the Sweepstakes, and in no event shall the Sweepstakes Entities be liable for attorney’s fees. Entrant waives the right to claim any damages whatsoever, including, but not limited to, punitive, consequential, direct, or indirect damages.

Disputes: Except where prohibited, entrant agrees that any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of, or connected with, the Sweepstakes or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the appropriate court located in the Commonwealth of Virginia. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, entrant’s rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsors in connection with the Sweepstakes, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the Commonwealth of Virginia or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Sweepstakes Results: Sweepstakes results may be obtained by sending a hand-printed, self-addressed, stamped envelope to’s Sweepstakes Winner, c/o, 1 Waters Park Dr., Ste 250, San Mateo, CA 94403. All requests must be received by September 30, 2014. Canadian residents may omit return postage.

What You Missed From’s Global Product Webinar

Categories: News    ||    Posted on: June 25, 2014

A few weeks ago, we hosted a global product webinar covering the latest innovations around our new yield optimization and brand & creative control features.

In this exclusive webinar, we shared compelling use cases from our publisher and ad network clients that participated in our yield optimization beta launch program. They were able to dramatically increase fill rate and optimize revenue opportunities on each impression.

We also illustrated new brand controls that ensure publishers that their brand integrity is preserved by controlling what creative assets they choose to accept or reject.

We had a lot of great questions from both existing and prospective clients, and we are highlighting three in particular:

Why do some in the industry use parallel ad calls?

Our approach to yield optimization is drastically different to our competition. We prefer server side yield optimization and leverage machine learning algorithms to learn what ad that has the highest expected revenue based on the inventory source and device combination. Parallel ad calls, on the client side, can heavily degrade the end-user experience and increases latency.

Instead of parallel ad calls where you rank all ads and only give the opportunity to show to the top 7 purely based on price, we rank all ads based on the expected revenue (ad success rate * CPM) and try sequentially the best ad first. We could do parallel ad call but we think this is in detriment of the end-user. Our server side yield optimization effectively maximizes publisher revenue without degrading the end user experience.

Can you give an example of brand control within competing ads?

Let’s take the following example: Suppose your direct sales team goes out and sells your homepage inventory over the holiday season for AT&T. But, AT&T has stated that want the exclusive and don’t want to see any other telco brands. As a publisher, you need to be able to enforce that.

In addition, if you are also selling other inventory programmatically, you need to be able to guard against competitor creatives. With our brand and creative control tools, you are able to easily approve or reject creative assets in order to maintain to contractual relationships.

What are some of the factors that attribute to a reduction in ad errors?

We rank ads by success rate, so innately you will see a reduction in ad errors. We are looking at a historical success rate of a particular ad from a 24hr period. If we didn’t review ad success rates within a 24hr period, there could be a high price ad that might be misconfigured or set up with a high price but a low success rate.

This type of ad might be tried continuously without success – driving those latency factors we discussed. With the fill rate optimizer, your ad error report will look a lot cleaner, dropping low success rate ads to the bottom.

TEG Talks, Episode 1: Understanding the “Cambrian Explosion” of Ad Fraud

Categories: View Points    ||    Posted on: June 17, 2014

Digital advertising is set to eclipse $50 billion this year, according to eMarketer. As the industry continues to grow and evolve from the primitive days of the banner ad, the underlying technology powering advertising has never been more complex…and it gets harder to understand with each new buzzword.

We’re here to help.

We have launched TEG Talks, a brand new video series that takes a deeper look at the most pressing issues in advertising technology and breaks them down into digestible, 30-minute sessions. Hosted by Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder Teg Grenager, these videos are made for advanced media mavens and media novices alike.

Our first video looks at fraud in advertising, which has been a dominant theme in advertising news over the past several years. In it, viewers are walked through how and what kind of fraud happens, get an explanation of the “Cambrian explosion” of fraud currently happening, and get actionable advice on what we can do to not only root out the bad actors today, but also continue to protect the medium for tomorrow.

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