Live OTT: The Advertising Opportunity

5 Insights about monetizing OTT video from Advertising Week Europe

Live OTT (“over-the-top”) video is pushing the boundaries of digital video, and more and more advertisers have taken notice. But to truly become a burgeoning field in the world of digital advertising, OTT monetization must find its footing among a number of issues. At Advertising Week Europe, industry experts—including JW Player’s COO Bill Day—sat down with Léon Siotis of SpotX to discuss the challenges and opportunities within OTT advertising. Here are 5 key takeaways.

 

The Speakers

1) OTT ad data is scarce and isn’t easy to access yet.

Quality data on OTT ad performance has been spotty at best, but the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) will be unifying and standardizing its measurements to include OTT. This means publishers and marketers can eventually compare individual ad consumption across web, mobile, and OTT. But accessing data directly from OTT platforms remains challenging. “Being able to get standardized measurements will help OTT grow from a monetization standpoint,” said Bill Day.

 

2) Companies are still ironing out where OTT advertising fits into their budget.

For some companies, OTT is now part of the innovation budget, but for others, it falls into the overall AV budget—as is the case for Discovery. “The goal is to collate VOD impressions . . . so there’s a convergence between TV and digital,” said David Fisher, Vice President of Digital Ad Sales at Discovery. Innovation budgets, which can reach beyond OTT and include interactive video, are emerging yet hard to measure.

 

3) OTT raises the bar for more relevant ads.

Unlike linear TV, OTT allows viewers to make a conscious decision to watch. “OTT video is in front of a customer who’s decided, ‘It’s my primetime,’” said Aurelia Noel, Global Digital Partner at Carat. An irrelevant ad is disruptive and ignores the viewer’s choice. Aurelia compared this experience to a “bath with nice music, and someone storms into my bathroom trying to sell something.”

 

One key challenge for live OTT advertising, then, is to insert ads in a natural or comfortable way that makes sense. That could include finding natural ad breaks that exist, for example, after every half inning in baseball, though not every live sport will lend itself to advertising in this way.

 

Moreover, the challenge is to ensure ads stay relevant. “People don’t mind advertising as long as it’s relevant, impactful, and playful,” said Aurelia. “It’s our role as agencies to work with advertisers to make sure we have creative that’s fit for purpose.”

 

“Too often you see the creative created first and then we find the audience for it. But it should be the other way around,” she continued. “It should start with the audience: Where is that ad going to be seen? What kind of moment am I going to tap into?”

 

4) OTT advertising won’t face the same challenges as mobile.

Despite its challenges, OTT advertising is expected to break through in a way that mobile video couldn’t at first. “Mobile was in a death trap for years,” said Bill. “It was new, hard to measure, and the screen was small. I don’t think OTT will suffer from that. OTT will scale very rapidly in both consumption and monetization.”

 

5) GDPR is both a blessing and a curse for OTT advertising.

On the one hand, the European privacy and security legislation will further limit access to data that is already rare in the OTT space. But it can also be a “gift in a way because it helps clients put together a data strategy. We can create personas using data, making advertising smarter and more effective,” said Aurelia.

 

The session concluded by asking panelists to rate industry hot topics as either “Underrated” or “Overrated”:

 

  • Death of TV – Overrated. As the most effective medium, TV is going through a golden age.

 

  • Death of the media agency – Overrated. Media agencies may be transformed but will still play a hugely valuable part in the ecosystem.

 

  • Duopoly or Triopoly – Underrated / Real. It’s important to push advertising beyond the concentration of power held by Facebook, Amazon, and Google.

 

  • Artificial Intelligence – Underrated. A decent amount of OTT inventory is programmatically sold, and AI (as distinct from machine learning) will change the ad world.

 

  • Blockchain – Underrated. There’s a lot of opportunity for blockchain to combat endemic issues like fraud in the digital space.

 

Click here to watch the full video.

To learn more about how JW Player can support your OTT video advertising, schedule time to speak with a video expert.

 

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JW Player Joins Forces with Float Left to Simplify OTT for Publishers

Our partnership provides a complete “over-the-top” solution that reaches viewers seeking premium viewing experiences while ma­intaining choice

We’re proud to partner with Float Left to create an end-to-end OTT solution for content publishers and broadcasters around the world. Float Left is a front-end application developer whose apps have helped publishers like Crackle, NBC Sports, and Viacom delive­­r content on OTT (“over-the-top”) devices. This partnership bridges JW Player’s high-quality online video delivery with Float Left’s templated apps and custom development. Publishers will be able to expand their content distribution, create premium viewing experiences, and focus on their core business.

 

For many publishers, OTT is the next frontier. Viewers want to “lean back” with the quality of cable TV while maintaining the convenience and choice of watching video on-demand. OTT content, streaming over broadband or cellular, offers the best of both worlds.

 

And the market has noticed. OTT’s share in ad spend jumped to 26% in October 2017. The previous year, that number had been at just 8%. It’s the kind of momentum that has led to very tiny, minor predictions like OTT revenues reaching $120 billion by 2022.

Viewers can stream full-length online movies and TV shows via their OTT device.

 

But setting up OTT is far from straightforward for most in-house teams. Not only do they need to stream videos flawlessly, but they must deliver them via OTT apps individually customized for Roku, Apple TV, Smart TV, Amazon Fire TV, and any number of other OTT devices. Limited time and staff resources, difficult implementation, a cumbersome app submission process, and complex monetization are just a few of the hurdles standing in the way of becoming a true OTT publisher.

 

At JW Player, we have many customers who want to overcome these challenges and take their online videos “over-the-top.” Float Left develops video-centric apps that can stream their content from JW Platform so that viewers can quickly access publisher videos through OTT devices. With analytics tracking, publishers can make informed programming decisions and eventually compare how their videos are performing across OTT, web, SDKs, and more. From launch to code maintenance, publishers receive full life cycle support.

 

The end result is a much more simplified, turnkey process for delivering visually stunning experiences in digital video. Publishers can bring their content to more screens and, most importantly, put technology in the hands of video tech experts while they get back to running their business.

 

Having collaborated with Float Left previously, we’re excited to continue our work together with a partnership that gives more publishers OTT options to engage their audiences. If your viewers want to stream premium video on their TV without cable, the time has never been better to extend your business into OTT.

 

Having problems with your “over-the-top” video strategy? Get to the bottom of it by scheduling time to speak with a video expert.

 

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What’s Next for Video in 2018?

JW Player Leaders Predict What’s in Store for Video Next Year

As 2017 winds down, we look ahead to the most important trends and opportunities in the future of video. From shorter mobile video ads to the rise of native apps and machine learning, the evolution of the industry is only just beginning.

Get a head start on navigating the landscape with 2018 predictions from our video experts.

 

Brian Rifkin, Cofounder, SVP Strategic Partnerships:

  •   2018 will be the year of less is more.

The most successful publishers will implement faster sites with fewer but more impactful ads.

  •   2018 will be the year of the shorter mobile video ad.

As the 30-second video ad continues its steady decline, the 6- to 15-second ads will dominate mobile.

  •   2018 will be the year of intent to watch.

By creating an “intent to watch” experience, publishers will be rewarded with more loyal viewership and greater monetization.

 

Jeroen Wijering, Cofounder, Chief Product Officer:

  •      2018 will be the year of actual machine learning products.

In 2017, all the big clouds launched audio, video, and language processing systems based on machine learning. However, those systems gave us very inaccurate metadata. That data can’t be scaled to grow audiences and automate workflows. It’s a problem we’ll crack in 2018.

  •      2018 will be the year mobile users will start deleting apps.

In 2017, the majority of mobile users (51%) installed exactly zero apps a month.  Moving forward, we may even see a decline in apps as more users “return to the web” with progressive web apps (PWAs) and HTML5 technologies.

Major indications of this trend came this week from Apple and Microsoft. Apple is enabling Service Workers (an essential API used in PWAs) by default in the next version of Safari, and Microsoft announced it would enable Service Workers and support full-featured PWA experiences in Microsoft Edge and the Microsoft Store.

 

Rob Gill, VP of Product:

  •      2018 will be the year when OTT platform winners emerge.

OTT revenues are climbing (and will reach $120 billion by 2020). Leading the way will be giants like Roku and Android TV.

  •      2018 will be the year when artificial intelligence (AI) improves editorial workflows.

We’ll see more AI automation of the production, editing, and management of video content.

 

John Luther, SVP Product Strategy:

  •      2018 will be the year of WebAssembly.

Everyone will be talking about (and implementing) WebAssembly. The ability to run low-level binary code alongside JavaScript will move the Web further toward a universal “native” app platform. Together with PWAs, WebAssembly will allow users to do more “app-like” things within a browser or embedded web view, while gaining better performance and battery conservation.

  •      2018 will be the year when AVOD (still) reigns.

Despite current anxieties about quality, brand safety, and ad blocking, AVOD (ad-based video on-demand) will continue to grow as the preferred business model over SVOD (subscription-based video on-demand).

The barriers against SVOD include:

  1. Consumer SVOD budgets that are already saturated
  2. Improved ad targeting and SSAI (server side ad insertion) technologies that support AVOD
  3. Clumsy signup and login flows in SVOD
  4. Exorbitant back-end vendor fees in SVOD
  5. High subscriber turnover

To succeed in SVOD, you must have enough cash to make premium long-form content (think giants like Netflix and Hulu) or a very strong niche (Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Shudder).

 

Ready to take advantage of the latest video innovations? Schedule time to talk with one of our video experts.

 

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