Byline: Eddie Ferraro, Managing Director of Globecast Americas
It would be fair to say that there are similarities between the Wild West and the OTT video space. This in terms of the range of offerings to consumers, the apparent lack of clear standards and a need to understand changing viewing patterns and therefore monetization. As Frédéric Torasso, Globecast TV Everywhere Product Manager, wrote in a recent blog: “It is, without exaggeration, crucial for broadcasters to have a comprehensive OTT video strategy, not only for catch-up content, but also for linear channels online – including live content.” And, of course, central to this is targeted ad insertion.
We’ve all seen the huge growth in OTT video over recent years and the associated gradual shift in ad spending. Late last year, Ad Week ran an interesting article summarizing a report looking at linear TV (the article is behind a paywall): Marketers Benefit From Embracing Linear and OTT as More Households Stream Video. The article is based on a report from the Video Advertising Bureau. The article says, “The report, entitled ‘Linear TV and OTT: Living Together in Harmony,’ found that most adults (90 percent) aged 25 to 34 streamed videos, an 18 percent increase since 2016. Moreover, the majority (73 percent) of those adults said they watch ad-supported video on OTT platforms. In all, total OTT streaming time increased by 28 percent compared to last year (2017).”
The article continues, “’Combining linear TV and ad-supported OTT inventory can deliver even stronger campaign results and increased business outcomes for marketers,’ said Sean Cunningham, VAB’s president and CEO, in a prepared statement. Marketers will see benefits embracing both OTT and linear TV. Viewing an ad on both linear TV and OTT platforms resulted in a twofold increase in brand favorability,” according to the report.
This has been reflected in our experience over the last couple of years. We began to receive an increasing number of enquiries about dynamic ad insertion. In response, we spent considerable time exploring the market and how we could help our customers take full advantage of the advertising opportunities that OTT presents.
Earlier this week, we announced a partnership with SnifferCat, the Los Angeles-based company that specializes in dynamic ad insertion (DAI) within the OTT space. As many of you know, dynamic ad insertion is quickly gaining traction as the most effective way for advertisers to leverage viewing data and to deliver, to each specific device, targeted ads that match their owners’ online DNA (so to speak).
As an expanded offering within our media management services portfolio, we’ve been working closely with SnifferCat over recent months to fully understand and integrate its cloud-based technology, allowing us to offer automated DAI to our customers so they can maximize OTT revenues. We’re offering SnifferCat’s automated cue point detection for SCTE-35 tag inserts, enabling platform-agnostic dynamic ad insertion or overlay.
Our goal here is to bring a turnkey global solution to existing and future clients to create successful strategies within the OTT market. What does that mean, exactly?
To explain, SnifferCat’s application identifies breaks in OTT content, whether it’s VOD or live content and regardless of format, and then automatically inserts the correct tag for each distribution platform. More simply put, SnifferCat takes content and metadata and prepares it for distribution across all media, delivering ads to every platform. There’s virtually no learning curve to follow or software to install and the interface is very easy to use. Furthermore, SnifferCat does everything in the cloud, so there’s no physical hardware for clients to worry about.
With online audiences growing so fast, advertising spending is moving from traditional media to digital platforms at an accelerated pace and we will see a huge shift in this year alone.
If traditional broadcasters don’t want to be left in the lurch, they need to adopt clear online strategies so they can tap into this burgeoning market and benefit from the trend toward digital advertising. This is exactly where our new DAI offering comes in. With its patented dynamic ad insertion technology, SnifferCat has simplified and automated the process for preparing unmarked content for distribution and monetization across multiple OTT platforms.
With this offering, our customers can deploy automated dynamic ad insertion with no CAPEX infrastructure investments, letting them tap into what is potentially a billion-dollar market. We are delivering market-leading functionality with flexible and customizable deployment options and its super-simple to use.
For those of you interested in knowing more, don’t hesitate to come by our stand at NAB (SU9910) for a complete demo of this exciting new offering. We hope to see you in Vegas!