Archive for August 2007

SpotXchange appoints former CNN President of Sales and Marketing Larry Goodman to advisory board

August 20, 2007

WESTMINSTER, CO August 20, 2007 – SpotXchange, the Internet’s first online video advertising exchange, announced today that former CNN President of Sales and Marketing Larry Goodman has been appointed to SpotXchange’s advisory board as a director. Goodman will apply his more than 30 years of media and advertising industry experience to help SpotXchange expand its online video advertising marketplace.

Media buyers, advertisers and agencies use SpotXchange’s self-service tools to distribute online video ads across SpotXchange’s network of online publishers, targeting audiences by region, time of day, publisher and content category. Clients and partners include ClipSyndicate, blip.tv, Gaiam, NeoEdge and Visible World.

Goodman worked for two decades with cable television pioneer CNN. Most recently, Goodman was president of CNN Sales and Marketing at Turner Broadcasting Sales, Inc., where he oversaw all domestic cable and online sales and marketing for the CNN portfolio of networks and websites. These include CNN, Headline News, CNNfn, CNNSI, CNN Airport Network, CNN.com, CNNfn.com, CNNSI.com and AllPolitics.com. Goodman was responsible for generating $500 million in annual revenue across all branded media properties and led a team of 150 sales and support personnel.

Goodman currently serves as president of White Mountain Media, a consulting company he founded in 2004 that specializes in digital and traditional media. Goodman is also a non-executive director on the corporate boards of National CineMedia and Teletrax.

“All of the research data and industry studies point to tremendous opportunities for marketers to reach highly targeted and engaged consumers through online video advertising,” said Goodman. “As the first online video advertising exchange, SpotXchange has hit on a winning business model for making the research predictions a reality by bringing together advertisers and publishers in a marketplace where ads can be targeted, placed and measured for success at fair market prices.”

Goodman’s distinguished professional record and thought leadership have attracted industry-wide recognition from the most influential organizations and publications. He was one of the first sales executives ever to be selected by Advertising Age for its annual honor roll of “Media Mavens.” Goodman has been an active keynote speaker and panelist for numerous prestigious industry conferences and events.

“Larry Goodman knows the advertising world inside and out and is deeply respected within the advertising community,” said Mike Shehan, CEO and president of SpotXchange. “His broad experience in both cable and online advertising serves as an excellent bridge between SpotXchange and traditional advertising agencies,” continued Shehan. “He knows the challenges agencies face, as well as the tremendous opportunities that online video advertising offers them.”

About SpotXchange

The SpotXchange patent-pending platform is the Internet’s first self-service exchange for online video ads. The company is wholly-owned by Colorado-based digital marketing and technology company, Booyah Networks. In 2006, Booyah Networks ranked 23rd on Inc. magazine’s list of 500 fastest growing companies. The company has offices in Westminster, Colo., Los Angeles and New York. Clients and partners include ClipSyndicate, blip.tv, LiveVideo.com, NeoEdge, Gaiam, Visible World and others. Visit SpotXchange online at http://www.spotxchange.com.

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Contact: Valerie Quintanilla, SpotXchange, 303.345.6623, Valerie@spotXchange.com

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SpotXchange to include comScore Video Metrix audience data for targeting video campaigns

August 6, 2007

WESTMINSTER, CO August 6, 2007 – Online video ad campaigns can be targeted more precisely than ever before as SpotXchange (www.spotxchange.com) announces that it will be providing video audience measurement information from comScore Video Metrix to clients using SpotXchange’s auction-based online video advertising marketplace.

According to comScore Video Metrix reports, “primetime U.S. video streaming activity occurs on weekdays between 5 and 8 p.m.” (March 2007, http://www.comscore.com/press/release.asp?press=1264). Information like this is invaluable for advertisers getting into the online video ad game. Now, advertisers using the SpotXchange marketplace can leverage comScore’s measurement service for targeting online video ad campaigns.

comScore (NASDAQ:SCOR) will provide a customized monthly report to SpotXchange with information on all the publishers and syndication networks in the video ad serving marketplace. Information will be aggregated for all sites and by individual sites in the SpotXchange network, giving advertisers a look at the potential audience reach – a powerful resource for advertisers who make buying and targeting decisions. The report will list unique viewers by demographics, total video streams initiated, total video streams per viewer, total minutes of video streams, total minutes of video streams by viewer and gross rating points.

“We’re using a customized version of the comScore Video Metrix report to provide advertisers with a monthly audit of the impressions available in the SpotXchange marketplace,” said SpotXchange CEO, Michael Shehan. “This report enables SpotXchange advertisers to target their campaigns more precisely than ever. SpotXchange has the tools in place to target down to zip code, gender, income, and more. But, it was imperative we incorporate a third party online measurement service to validate our reach and demographics. We chose comScore because our advertiser and agency clients require in-depth audience data for making targeted advertising buys.”

“We are pleased to provide SpotXchange with information from our comScore Video Metrix service,” said Erin Hunter, comScore executive vice president of media and entertainment. “SpotXchange offers advertisers targeting capabilities not yet seen in the online video advertising space. Using the data from our customized comScore Video Metrix report, SpotXchange will empower advertisers to design effective video ad campaigns.”

Based in Colorado and launched in November 2006, SpotXchange is the first online video advertising platform to allow advertisers and publishers to buy and sell online video advertising in a true, real-time auction marketplace. With SpotXchange, advertisers can buy and manage online video ads with the ease and efficiencies currently offered for search engine marketing campaigns. The SpotXchange patent-pending technology takes the best practices in sponsored search-self-service tools, free market bidding, precision targeting, transparent reporting, real-time tracking and optimization-and applies those tools to an aggregated marketplace of in-stream video ad inventory. Currently, the SpotXchange marketplace represents over one billion monthly impressions.

About SpotXchange

The SpotXchange patent-pending platform is the Internet’s first self-service exchange for online video ads. The company is wholly-owned by Colorado-based digital marketing and technology company, Booyah Networks. In 2006, Booyah Networks ranked 23rd on Inc. magazine’s list of 500 fastest growing companies. The company has offices in Westminster, Colo., Los Angeles and New York. Clients and partners include ClipSyndicate, blip.tv, LiveVideo.com, NeoEdge, Visible World and others. Visit SpotXchange online at http://www.spotxchange.com.

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Contact: Valerie Quintanilla, SpotXchange, 303.345.6623, valerie@spotxchange.com

Red Herring: SpotXchange Gets comScore Metrics

August 6, 2007

Red Herring, 16 August 2007, 15:51, by Tomio Geron

[This article originally appeared on August 6, 2007.]

Internet video advertising exchange SpotXchange will on Tuesday team up with online measurement firm comScore to help assure big name advertisers that their ads reach the appropriate consumers and make the right impact.

Under terms of the partnership, comScore will independently verify the demographic profiles of viewers who see ads sold through SpotXchange’s online ad marketplace.

“For (advertisers) who have a well known brand name, I think it’s important for media buyers to go back to clients and say, ‘this information has been verified from a targeting perspective,’ and they can be very confident that it’s legitimate,” said Michael Shehan, CEO SpotXchange.

The partnership is the latest attempt by Internet companies and ad agencies to make the Web friendlier to big brand advertisers that have typically relied on television and print publications to reach customers. Westminster, Colorado-based SpotXchange, a division of digital marketing firm Booyah Networks, allows advertisers and publishers to buy and sell video in a real-time auction format. Its technology also lets advertisers to target specific geographies, genders, ages, or incomes.

With the amount of uncertainty that still exists among advertisers about online video, third-party verification is a plus for SpotXchange, said Andrew Frank, advertising analyst at Gartner. “I think there’s a definite need [among] advertisers for more confidence through metrics and more granularity in being able to see what’s really going on for some of these videos,” said Mr. Frank.

comScore, known for measuring Internet traffic and ranking the most popular Websites, will track many people watch a particular ad and for how long they watch it. The company will also measure an ad’s gross rating point, a metric used in television advertising that describes the percentage of a targeted audience that was reached over a particular period of time.

A number of companies have moved into the area of online advertising exchanges, including Yahoo’s Right Media, DoubleClick which announced plans to be acquired by Google, and AdECN, which recently announced plans to be acquired by Microsoft. These companies specialize in the buying and selling of remnant ad inventory, but have not yet focused specifically on video inventory in the way that SpotXchange has.

SpotXchange currently focuses on professional or semi-professional content and it is targeting major brand advertisers as well. The company also said it was not ruling out adding smaller advertisers or user generated content to its marketplace in the future.

TubeMogul and Vidmeter also provide online video metrics.

Red Herring: The Web-Video Ad Puzzle

August 6, 2007

Red Herring, 06 August 2007, 19:22 by Tomio Geron

With opportunities as endless as the millions of videos online, there is no shortage of ideas in the wide-open world of online video advertising.

Some companies use speech recognition software or automated visual analysis to match unclassified videos with relevant ads. Others “wrap” ads into the viral videos themselves, while other upstarts create personalized video ads on the fly.

The developers behind these so-called contextual targeting technologies hope to categorize millions of user-generated videos-which far outnumber professional movie or television clips available online-and match them to Internet ads. The aim is to deliver highly-targeted video ads that are relevant to the content people are watching at that moment, and the startups that figure out how to do this expect to be handsomely rewarded.

But a number of digital marketing companies contend that big brand advertisers are far more interested in people’s demographic profiles-typically determined by Internet cookies that track their web site visits-rather than contextual data drawn directly from the specific videos that people are watching at any particular moment. That’s why a beer producer trying to reach older men is much more likely to sponsor football programming, rather than an Internet video of a bunch of college students getting drunk.

“Branding is 90 percent demographic, 10 percent contextual. When doing branding it’s about who is watching, not what they’re watching,” said Iggy Fanlo, CEO of San Francisco-based online advertising startup AdBrite.

But that hasn’t stopped dozens of startups from trying to bridge the gap between large advertisers and user-generated content. These companies believe that the unruly world of user-generated video is where the biggest future opportunity is and are trying to plant that flag.

Video ad spending is expected to make up only about one percent of the amount U.S. marketers spend on television commercials in 2007, according to eMarketer. However, online video ad spending is expected to rise from an estimated $775 million this year to $4.3 billion in 2011, representing almost 10 percent of television ad spending, according to eMarketer.

The cast of companies includes ScanScout, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based startup backed by General Catalyst Partners that uses a combination of audio analysis of the speech and music as well as visual analysis of patterns in the video to precisely match it with a relevant ad.

Rivals such as adap.TV and Digitalsmiths-backed by Aurora Funds and Chrysalis Ventures-also do such matching, known as contextual targeting. There are various ad formats: adap.TV-backed by Redpoint Ventures and Gemini Israel-has “inline” text ads on the bottom of the video with hyperlinks to advertisers’ web sites, while others have text ads on the bottom of the video that, when clicked, pause the video and expand into video ads.

While most companies insert ads into videos when a user goes to a web page, Kiptronic, a former podcasting company backed by Blueprint Ventures and Prism VentureWorks, focuses on downloadable videos. The company inserts ads on the server side so that users take the video and ad on their iPods or wherever they go.

Sequoia Capital-backed AdBrite “wraps” ads into videos so that wherever that video spreads on the Internet it has the ad inside it. Cambridge, Massachussetts-based EveryZing, an audio and video search engine funded by Fairhaven, Accel, and General Catalyst, focuses on transcribing speech from publishers’ videos to better match it with ads.

Others take a radically different approach. Australian startup Qmecom offers personalized video ads targeted to specific geographies, genders, and ages. New York-based Visible World has a similar product.

While many companies focus on particular parts of the process-such as serving, inserting, matching, targeting, buying, and selling of video ads-Westminster, Colorado-based SpotXchange, a division of digital marketing firm Booyah Networks, aims to be an end-to-end solution.

SpotXchange, launched in November 2006, allows advertisers and publishers to buy and sell video ads in an auction format. In the vein of Yahoo/Right Media’s display ad exchange-but for video-advertisers on SpotXchange can purchase ad space from large, medium, and small publishers and target particular geographies and demographics.

These startups hope their interest in user-generated content will give them an advantage over larger digital marketing firms such as DoubleClick, eyeblaster, and aQuantive, which are geared towards matching ads with professionally-produced content.

“The market is dominated by high-end brand advertisers and high-end brand content with a high sell-through, sold-out situation with leading major publishers,” said Ari Paparo, DoubleClick vice president, rich media. “As soon as you go to the mid or long tail there’s massive undersold inventory where buyers aren’t interested in that business yet.”

Most of those advertisers have so far shied away from user-generated content because it is entirely unpredictable. Homemade videos have proven to be a hit among Internet users, but advertisers rightfully point out they don’t want their ads or brands associated with violent or offensive videos. In the most recent example of a user-generated fiasco, several major British advertisers pulled their display ads from Facebook last Friday after their ads were placed with a Facebook user-generated group for white supremacists.

But there are signs of progress. Startups such as Redwood City-based YuMe Networks are going after the so-called “middle” part of the market-the clean, semi-professional content-that is the highest quality user-generated or cheapest professional content. But to do so, YuMe, backed by Kholsa Ventures, Accel Partners and BV Capital, has opted for statistical data and metatags, which describe the content of a digital file, because cutting edge contextual technologies remain unproven.

“It’s a difficult thing to do, to analyze what someone is saying in English, deciding if the word was BMW, but also deciding if they said something nice about BMW or bad, before throwing a car ad up,” said Jayant Kadambi, CEO of YuMe. “Getting the semantics of that right on context is not that easy.”

Meanwhile, San Francisco-based VideoEgg, a specialist in videos on unpredictable social networking sites-backed by August Capital, First Round, and advertising giant WPP-uses computers and humans to vet 25,000 videos per day to make sure they are appropriate for the company’s 100 advertising clients.

Other companies have specially-named products geared to this problem, such as ScanScout’s Brand Protector, which CEO Doug McFarland says insures that advertisers will not have their ads placed with inappropriate content.

Indeed, with the transformation of entertainment into a world where homemade videos become pop culture icons and get distributed through computers, mobiles phones, and television sets, many of these companies are in it for the long haul. And if they succeed, they will have found the best ways to capitalize on user-generated videos while making advertisers, publishers, and users happy.

“I still think advertisers are wary of user-generated content,” said Andrew Frank, advertising analyst at Gartner. “It’s starting to change, but it’s a pretty long-range proposition.”

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E-Commerce Times: Online Video Ads: Ready for Prime Time?

August 1, 2007

E-Commerce Times, Part of the ECT News Network, By John P. Mello Jr., 08/01/07 4:00 AM PT 

The rise of online video has seeded the inevitable growth of online video advertising, a segment that 16 percent of advertisers intend to do business in this year, according to a recent report. The growth of high-speed access has been a major driver to the growing interest in the format; however, advertisers must be careful to approach online video ads differently than they tackle television.

Online video watching is growing rapidly, and where the eyeballs go, you can expect advertisers to follow.

Sixty-five percent of U.S. broadband users watch video online at least occasionally — a substantial increase over last year, when that number was 44 percent, according to a report released last Friday by JupiterResearch.

In addition, advertisers’ interest in delivering their messages via video continues to grow, with 16 percent of them saying they’ll run video ads this year, according to the report.
Fired by Broadband
One reason more people are watching video online and advertisers have begun to see the Web as a viable channel for video is the greater reach of high-speed Internet connections, maintained the report’s author, Senior Analyst Joe Laszlo.

“It’s the growth of the broadband audience that’s opened the door to online video ads,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

A sign that video advertising has come of age on the Web, he contended, is that Net surfers can cross paths with a video ad anywhere in cyberspace, not just at sites that cater to video junkies.

“The ability to do that really comes down to the growth of the broadband audience,” he said. “Without broadband, doing video on your main landing page would slow the page down tremendously and would drive your audience away. People would not have the patience to wait for the ad unit load.”

Playing It Safe
Much of the increased video traffic on the Web has been to sites like YouTube . Ironically, though, those sites have been unable to capitalize on the market they played a large part in creating, according to Mike Shehan, CEO of Westminster, Colo.-based SpotXchange, an auction site for online video ad space.

“YouTube basically hypercharged this industry, but advertisers tend not to want to touch that with a 10-foot pole,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

YouTube hosts user-generated videos, he explained. From an advertiser’s point of view, user-generated content is risky content.

“If you’re dipping your toe in the water, you’re not going to want your first dip to be something risky,” he said.

Fourfold Increase
Although still in its nascent stages, video advertising is expected to become an important revenue pipe for the Web.

“[F]or every US$100 U.S. marketers spend on television commercials in 2007, they’ll spend a mere $1.10 for video ads on the Web,” David Hallerman, a senior analyst with eMarketer, of New York City, wrote in a report released earlier this month.

“By 2011,” he went on to say, “when this latter figure will be potentially four times as high, nearly $1 in $10 going to Internet advertising will go toward video.

“Put those data points together,” he continued, “and it is not difficult to see how even a small shift in TV ad spending will be a driving force in overall Internet ad spending gains.”

More Quality, Fewer Retreads
As hot as video advertising is right now, it could be even hotter if there were more quality video to be found and if advertisers got out of the retread business, according to the Jupiter report.

“While video ad inventory overall has skyrocketed with the myriad video ventures launched in 2006 and early 2007, the highest-quality inventory, from familiar, reliable publisher brands like the major newspapers and television networks, remains relatively scarce,” it asserts.

What’s more, in 2006, about a third of advertisers “repurposed” existing TV spots for Internet play, the report said.

“This has generally not proven effective, and advertisers and publishers alike have moved strongly away from 30-second spots for much online video,” the report noted.

“The need to re-edit or shoot new creative,” it continued, “may have created barriers that motivated changes in advertisers’ plans.”

Annoying Eyeballs
Advertisers who want to capture eyeballs online need to avoid turning off Web surfers to their ads, posited Jim Ivaldi, the owner of Jivaldi, an Internet marketing firm in Pleasanton, Calif.

“People do not want to be bombarded with advertisements in video,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

Online users move through the Net very quickly and have short attention spans, he noted, so they don’t want to sit around for a 30-second spot to finish before they can get to the content that they want.

“That’s not going to go over well,” he said. “I don’t think you can approach this from the same mindset as you do on TV, where it’s a given there are going to be 30- and 60-second spots.”

Advertisers should analyze their market data carefully to make sure they’re not annoying consumers, cautioned Laszlo.

“Switching costs online are so low it’s easy for someone online to get annoyed at an overbearing ad or too many ads or too many repeats of the same ad and go away,” he observed. “I think it’s very, very hard for a company to win that consumer back once they’ve been driven away.”

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