With Video Programming and Ad Targeting, Context Matters

Ad Innovation June 13, 2019

With Video Programming and Ad Targeting, Context Matters

(This article originally appeared on TV[R]EV)

TV[R]EV’s Alan Wolk caught up with Field Garthwaite of IRIS.TV to talk about how broadcasters and publishers across lifestyle, entertainment, news and sports are using its video programming platform to surface the right content to the right audiences.

The company has made a series of announcements including a deal with programmatic ad company MediaMath that lets advertisers buy video campaigns based on contextual targeting and has announced plans to unveil its new Contextual Ad Targeting for Video offering at Cannes.

IRIS.TV recently implemented Microsoft Azure’s Media Services Video Indexer solution to analyze and extract deep contextual and brand-safety metadata from publishers video content. The goal is to give publishers additional ways to use contextual segments to represent their inventory to advertisers and at the same time give marketers enhanced control and targeting of where their advertising is placed and with what topics they are aligned.

Field Garthwaite of IRIS.TV and Alan Wolk of TV[R]EV

Field explains that IRIS.TV’s customer base breaks down into two sectors: the ad-supported business and subscription video on demand.

“With ad-supported businesses, we’re proven to actually double audiences in the first year with almost all of our clients.” — Field Garthwaite, CEO of IRIS.TV

He explains that if you’re a big sports broadcaster, there will always be one video that outperforms the rest by completion rate and by video views and those are the videos that will generate the most revenue.

When editorial teams have access to viewing data, they can make decisions on it such as: what to feature on the home page, where to acquire audiences, and over time, editorial and marketing teams can actually make investment and divestment decisions from those insights.

IRIS.TV also serves media companies focused on subscription video on demand. For the subscription business, it is all about churn and how to increase the lifetime value of content. Subscription-based companies want to understand audience loyalty and how to convert audiences from trial to subscriptions and higher value categories of content. Personalization is also important for subscription services. It all comes down to the data that is collected and how programming and marketing teams apply those insights into content and programming.

“We found that, aside from, say, Netflix, no media company is actually processing and using data on consumption the same way an e-commerce marketer would.” — Field Garthwaite

Field and team believe that it will soon become standard practice that all viewing data gets pushed into customer data platforms or DMP – so that media companies can actually store it and use it for programming and marketing teams can use the intelligence for tailored email and ad buys.

“It’s huge because with all these new services coming in now, there’s going be a lot of churn. Anybody who can help them figure out a way to avoid churn is going to be in a great place.” — Alan Wolk

“We’re talking to companies that service these customers, and churn rates can be up to, like, fifty percent a year or higher.” — Field Garthwaite

He goes on to say that if a consumer comes into a service under trial for one particular show and they love it, it is up to the media company to expose them to other shows and convert them from trial to subscription. However, this scenario is different for every provider out there.

“We think that’s gonna be one of the big things over the next two years is how to reduce churn rates and just how to keep people engaged.” — Alan Wolk

IRIS.TV is activating data captured for both contextual marketing and programming. Through its video personalization and programming platform, media clients can apply business rules to coincide with editorial standards. For example, say there is a hurricane or breaking news that is sensitive, media companies can ensure that content does not get recommended alongside content that isn’t brand safe.

“We enable business rules on top of our machine learning. But everything else ties back into the advertising side, passing that data onto the advertisers so they know they’re not transacting on data that’s not brand suitable and they’re targeting context data that’s actually where they want to reach audiences.” — Field Garthwaite

Contextual targeting will become especially important as cookies start to go away as a targeting capability at the end of this year.

Field adds that IRIS.TV is able to pass data from the actual content into the ad-serving environment through the video player. Info can be passed to the programmatic side of the business allowing buyers to buy against viewers watching specific content like tennis or financial news.

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