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IAB Digital Video Guide: a compendium of all things video (for novices and ninjas alike)

In a media landscape that continues to be transformed by the confluence of technological innovations and consumer behavior shifts, one thing is clear, the general notion of a video consumer is in the midst of a rewrite. Based on a recent IAB study, the “big screen” video experience is changing rapidly as 56% of consumers’ TVs are now IP-connected and as 54% of those viewers are now spending more time watching non-linear content, including digital video.  And on the small screen, as the “march towards mobile” continues, there’s exciting growth and advertiser demand (145% YoY increase in mobile video ad spend). It’s no wonder then that publishers and advertisers of all stripes are pivoting towards the use of sight, sound, and motion as powerful means of connecting consumers with brands across platforms. However, with all this growth comes both challenges and opportunities.

Given our vantage point, serving as members of the IAB Digital Video Center of Excellence Committees and Board, we see a wide range of perspectives on how best to navigate this frontier of internet-delivered, on-demand disruption that we call “TV Convergence.”  With a goal of providing best practices and advice on “all things video,” the Video Center and its members have developed a Guide to Digital Video Advertising that offers tools, tips, and guidance for publishers, marketers, and brands to understand video in its multiple current and emerging forms. Available as both website and companion PDF document, the guide addresses key topics and themes as outlined below and, given the speed of change in this space, will be updated on a semi-annual basis.

View the Guide to Digital Video AdvertisingOverview (PDF)

Digital Video Advertising Opportunities

IAB Digital Video Guide: a compendium of all things video (for novices and ninjas alike)

Recognizing that the video advertising industry is perceived through various overlapping frameworks, the guide maps the various content sources and delivery mechanisms in terms of market and audience size and offers insights on which formats are seeing the most growth, what works today, and what’s trending for the future, such as vertical video, 360-degree video, VR (Virtual Reality), and AR (Augmented Reality).

IAB Digital Video Guide: a compendium of all things video (for novices and ninjas alike) 1

The Video Ad Tech Overview chapter examines and explains in layman’s terms the different technologies and standards– such as VAST (Digital Video Ad Serving Template) and VPAID (Digital Video Player Ad Interface Definition) –used to serve ads. It also offers links to practical checklists for executing and launching campaigns, including how to migrate from outdated Flash formats to standard browser-based HTML5 video.


In The New TV chapter, the key message for “big screen” video advertisers is that you need to be in OTT (Over-The-Top Video) if you’re going to stay visible and relevant with on-demand, cord cutting/cord shaving consumers (see stats below on OTT device penetration and ad delivery by device).As the chapter on Audience, Data and Measurement points out, back in the “Mad Men” era of advertising, data flowed in a linear and highly front-loaded process that often centered on magnifying a “big idea.”  In today’s world, driven increasingly by automation, real-time decisioning and performance, there is now a much more decentralized flow of data that originates in the media platform and goes to various teams in no particular order.

IAB Digital Video Guide: a compendium of all things video (for novices and ninjas alike) 4

The chapter on Mobile Video highlights the fact that while the “year of mobile” finally arrived in 2016 (when mobile advertising spend surpassed that of desktop), the gap between time spent in mobile and ad spend in mobile is still painfully wide. For advertisers, a key obstacle to increased spend is the lack of a quality mobile video user experience (exacerbated by slow load times). At the same time, publishers know that placing multiple viewability tracking pixels required by advertisers, can bog down the mobile app user experience. To help build trust between buyers and sellers and streamline verification, industry players are working together with IAB to establish an open source viewability SDK. By making available a single tracking SDK, buyers and sellers can see the same metrics while consumers experience fewer slow-loading ads.

Challenges in the Digital Video Space (and Efforts Underway to Solve Them).

IAB Digital Video Guide: a compendium of all things video (for novices and ninjas alike) 5With an eye towards a more efficient future marketplace, the guide’s closing chapter focuses on what works today and what needs improvement in areas such as measurement, reporting, and workflow.  While video-based media is increasingly being transacted on data and can occur in milliseconds using techniques such as real-time bidding, getting the right creative to serve on the right device is still often a manual process that contradicts the entire premise of technology-driven digital advertising.  The guide points to metadata-related efforts like Universal Ad-ID, which is helping streamline workflow and reporting, as well as centralized, cloud-based asset management (illustrated in the diagram below). In today’s world, there are redundancies because files are housed locally on various publisher and agency systems. Simplified workflows, like the one described below, are helping streamline publisher-agency communications, reducing “missing file” errors while providing all players in the ecosystem access with the original asset source.



IAB Digital Video Guide: a compendium of all things video (for novices and ninjas alike) 6By offering a one-stop shop of information on digital video advertising in all its complexity, the Guide to Digital Video Advertising reminds us that the path to a higher-quality user experience starts with education, ensuring everyone in the industry understands the landscape, the processes and roles of both buyers and sellers involved in delivering video advertising and content to the consumer.  As the old saying goes: “If you want to understand someone’s point of view, try walking a mile in their shoes.” As it turns out, going for that walk is a lot easier with a map in hand.

Overview of the IAB Guide to Digital Video Advertising

Full website: IAB Guide to Digital Video Advertising


Source: IAB Digital Video Guide: a compendium of all things video (for novices and ninjas alike)

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RetailMeNot Shifts Its Linear TV Spend To Digital Video | AdExchanger

RetailMeNot Shifts Its Linear TV Spend To Digital Video

After years of investing in brand-building tactics on TV, RetailMeNot, which was acquired for $630 million by payment processor Harland Clarke and went private in April, is moving its working media budget into digital video.

That’s not to say RetailMeNot is entirely abandoning TV, since the broadcast medium drives brand lift during periods when there are more companies competing for share of voice. (For instance, it might make sense to reinvest in an integrated approach including digital, TV and radio, as RetailMeNot did during last holiday season.)

But for now, the shopping deal aggregator is doubling down on digital as it seeks to reach two key demographics in the build-up to back-to-school shopping. First are millennial moms who use their phones to search, and the second are slightly older moms or “household enthusiasts” who use Facebook.

“We’ve put all our eggs in one basket with a heavy focus on digital video in particular,” said Marissa Tarleton, the CMO of RetailMeNot.

RetailMeNot is dedicating about 96% of its working media budget to digital and mobile activations, with the remaining 4% going to channels such as email, according to Tarleton.

RetailMeNot’s digital video strategy intends to engage its two core segments with a series of videos featuring model and actress Brooklyn Decker and the hashtag #DealBrag encouraging consumers to share their shopping deals via social.

“When you have a target that’s that discrete, the digital platform is so much more effective and efficient for you,” Tarleton said.  “Video not only serves as a performance media vehicle for you, but a brand-building medium.”

Although RetailMeNot declined to share specifics, it says its video ad spend is up 400% YoY over Q3 of last year.  In recent tests, the brand has seen video generate three times the number of site visits than static display or banner ads, both on in-feed social video and paid 15- and 30-second video spots on the open web.

And since launching its Facebook Live presence in October, it’s also reached 2.8 million live viewers.

To determine the success of its video activations, RetailMeNot tends to measure standard KPIs like views, but also considers their “shareability” in social, as well as conversions based on the number of site and app visits it drives via videos with a call to action.

“We’ve found the need to get a lot more creative [with messaging] to ensure we’re not just hitting reach, but proper frequency, not to use outdated media terms,” Tarleton said. “And digital video will be a huge part of that strategy.”

Like Gilt Groupe and Groupon, which both tried to evolve beyond flash sales and deep discounting to emphasize discovery, RetailMeNot has attempted to shift from just generating traffic and leads for merchant partners to “something more omnichannel,” as Tarleton put it.

RetailMeNot’s ambitious goal is to link digital exposures to in-store purchases, which gives the company’s services more value higher up in the funnel.

With that shift, it hopes to not only drive lower-funnel discounts and promotional offers, but also aid merchants in brand-building through video content and an expansion into new categories beyond coupons.

“With our app, we started to solve a problem most retailers have, which is not just capturing online traffic, but capturing the mobile user and driving them in-store,” she said. “I think retailers are thinking more strategically about personalization and location in mobile.”

Source: RetailMeNot Shifts Its Linear TV Spend To Digital Video | AdExchanger

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Apple adds ad tracker blocker to desktop Safari

There’s arguably a pretty big distinction between Apple dynamically shuttering the ability of websites that users of its browser aren’t actively using to deploy cross-site trackers which silently harvest those same consumers’ browsing habits in the background — a practice web users have long voiced loud discomfort about (i.e. when people complain about random ads stalking them around the internet), versus advertising company Google’s recent intent to add “quality filters” to its Chrome browser and actively block ads that do not meet its own quality bar, thereby controlling the marketing content Chrome users are able to see.

No one likes being stalked around the internet by ads for something they once looked at or have previously bought. And Apple has noticed this — so it’s adding an ad tracker blocker for its Safari web browser as part of a series of updates of its desktop OS.

Apple’s SVP of software engineering, Craig Federighi, unveiled the incoming Safari feature — which it’s calling “intelligent tracking prevention” — onstage at its developer conference, WWDC, drawing applause and a handful of appreciative “woos” from the crowd.

The feature will use machine learning technology to power tracker blocking in a bid to outwit the digital stalkers, according to Federighi.

“Safari uses machine learning to identify trackers, segregate the cross-site scripting data, put it away so now your privacy — your browsing history — is your own,” he explained.

“It’s not about blocking ads, the web behaves as it always did, but your privacy is protected,” he added.

There are plenty of questions here — such as how effective the tech will prove versus ad industry ingenuity; whether it will be enabled by default; and how much configuration consumers will be offered. Not to mention whether Apple will be extending the blocker to the mobile version of Safari. But it’s a positive step for privacy.

The explosive proliferation of online trackers in recent years — which not only intrude on web users’ privacy but can add serious lag to page load times too — has led to the rise of browser extensions for tracker blocking.

One of these standalones, Ghostery, was recently acquired by a pro-privacy browser called Cliqz, for example.

Apple has clearly spotted what it feels is growing appetite for web users to have more control over their browsing privacy.

Update: A little more detail on how the tracker blocker will function can be found on Apple’s Webkit blog, where it notes that it’s building on long-standing Webkit features aimed at reducing tracking (such as default blocking third-party cookies) with the new machine learning-powered tracker blocker, and that in its testing process it found popular websites with more than 70 cross-site tracking/third-party cookie trackers — “all silently collecting data on users.”

“Intelligent Tracking Prevention [ITP] is a new WebKit feature that reduces cross-site tracking by further limiting cookies and other website data,” writes Apple’s John Wilander in the blog. “Intelligent Tracking Prevention collects statistics on resource loads as well as user interactions such as taps, clicks, and text entries. The statistics are put into buckets per top privately-controlled domain or TLD+1.”

Apple then applies a machine learning model to classify which top privately controlled domains have the ability to track the user cross-site, based on the collected statistics. It notes that all data collection and classification happens on-device.

The ITP system analyzes the frequency of a user’s interaction with the websites they visit, automatically purging a site’s cookies entirely after 30 days if the person does not visit the site and ensuring its cookies cannot add new data so long as they don’t use the site.

However, if they do visit again, the tracker blocker temporarily adjusts how it responds — by, for example, allowing cookies in a third-party context for a one-day window before shutting that off if the person does not visit the site after 24 hours. In this scenario the cookies are partitioned, which means users can stay logged in to sites they only visit occasionally but those sites’ cookies are restricted for cross-site tracking purposes.

“This means users only have long-term persistent cookies and website data from the sites they actually interact with and tracking data is removed proactively as they browse the web,” adds Wilander.

Source: Apple adds ad tracker blocker to desktop Safari

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