Video won’t save publishers if they ignore these 5 things.

Digital media publishers are having a tough time. Auction based ad buying, ad blockers, ad-fraud, adtech… its a harsh environment to cover the costs of premium editorial. Social is the highest driver of traffic, but the least engaged audience. Usually around 80% of users are on mobile, meaning less inventory, worse formats, awkward creative. And lastly the most valuable format, VIDEO, is an uneconomical solution. High player costs, expensive content creation/curation, scary streaming bills. Video CPMs are high for now, but programmatic might change that and the margins are tight already. Often I will hear that there is a “lack of premium video inventory”, however on average video ad fill rates are still below 50%. If there is such a shortage, why are half the ads not being sold?

Regardless of this, publishers are still eyeing video as the biggest revenue growth opportunity in 2017. To make that true, they need to be smart, resourceful and collaborative. As someone that talks to publishers everyday about their video strategies, here is my take on what they can do to make the video opportunity real:

1. Syndication
Some Tier 1 publishers are creating 1000 articles a day, but only 50 videos. “Video on every page” is something we talk a lot about, but for a publisher to do that they need to understand that finding quality supporting content is necessary for them to grow their video views, inventory & revenue. It is essential to compete for big video ad campaigns.

2. Automation
Yes I am bias because Suggestv is a video recommendation company, but to make the most of the newly acquired/syndicated videos, it is essential to use technology to streamline the process of selecting videos from your available library. Videos can now be sourced programmatically and matched to editorial content. Natural language understanding, machine learning, topic modelling have all moved on and now an algorithm can select videos the same way an editor would.

3. Distribution
This is for the publishers that are creating content. Once you have committed to the relatively expensive task of creating video, you want to get the most value from the asset. A broadcast publisher I met recently said that only 10% of their video library gets monetised online as a lot of ‘buying’ publishers don’t know the content is available and often by the time a syndication deal has been done newer, better videos have been produced to match the changing news landscape. It is crucial to distribute across all the social platforms, but also distribute across publisher networks. Watermarked or not, making more money from your content is a no brainer.

4. Measurement
A video strategy should be exactly that — a strategy. That means defining targets early on and working towards them. Examples of targets set by publishers:
a) video views to page views
b) total video views
c) video views per author (are they inserting video on every page, and driving views)
d) Revenue generated from video off-site

5. Mobile
Mobile mobile mobile. Shorter content, shorter ads, vertical video. If 80% of your traffic is mobile, then at least 50% of your video views will be too. So make sure that mobile is at the heart of your video strategy.

About Suggestv

Intelligent Video Discovery. Suggestv is the World’s leading video recommendation solution. The machine learning technology facilitates the automated distribution and discovery of contextually relevant video content on premium media sites to help combat pre-roll scarcity. Headquartered in London. Suggestv is powering video distribution for the World’s largest media companies. To learn more, visit www.suggestv.io

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