Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A new approach to video advertising for publishers of all sizes

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 |
Watching a funny video ad is one of the special pleasures of life. Trafficking that same video ad is considerably less amusing. In fact, it can take publishers longer to traffic a video ad than it takes to get a root canal. And that’s often the least painful part of growing a video advertising business. We decided to embark on an ambitious project: to build an entirely new video ad server that is both powerful and simple to use. We listened carefully to feedback from over a hundred video publishers and designed our solution around the complex needs of broadcasters, video portals and the world’s largest sports, entertainment and news sites. They told us about the need to traffic a variety of video ad formats, across all devices, governed by complicated syndication agreements and changing business rules.

From the start, we focused on clean design, efficient workflow and scalability to meet the needs of large video publishers, such as YouTube. We then spent hundreds of hours carrying out usability studies with publishers as we refined the user experience, meticulously reducing clicks, eye movement and manual inputs. We also took advantage of Google’s infrastructure to offer the scalability and reliability that publishers expect. Finally, we made sure that every feature has a direct impact on revenue or cost savings, so that publishers would immediately see the impact on profitability.

DFP Video

Today, we’re happy to announce that DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) Video is available to publishers globally. By offering a truly video-centric approach to ad serving in DFP, publishers can now manage their entire display advertising business with video at its core through one platform. No longer do publishers need to deal with the operational complexity of splitting off their video inventory into a separate ad server. We’ve signed up dozens of beta publishers for DFP Video and our impression volume has grown 55% month-over-month for most of this year. The feedback we’ve received has been encouraging: the simplicity and power of DFP Video has reduced costs and increased revenue. For Alex Boyce, GM of The Hollywood Reporter, DFP Video has improved the efficiency of his ad operations team by 25%. Peter Slaughter, Director Advertisement Operations of the Financial Times has told us, “We expect the new system to drive significant improvements to our ad operations workflow, and believe that this may prove to be an effective tool with which to deliver incremental revenue benefit from our video offering."

Here are some more reasons why publishers have made DFP Video the cornerstone of their video advertising business:

Video Content at the Center
By synching to video Content Management Systems (CMS), fresh content automatically appears in DFP for targeting, providing real-time insight into video inventory. We’ve made the process of connecting to a CMS so turn-key, that The Hollywood Reporter was able to ingest their extensive library in a matter of minutes, without any custom set-up or coding.





Trafficking in Minutes
We’ve made trafficking as simple as sending an email attachment: Set the targeting, drag and drop the video ad creative into the browser, and watch it get transcoded in real-time into outputs that work on iOS, Android and other platforms. All in just a few minutes. We’re also getting a hand from YouTube’s massive infrastructure for hosting and transcoding the creatives, which means that ads are delivered as fast and reliably as the billions of daily YouTube video views.

Syndication Simplified
The majority of videos are consumed on distribution sites, and DFP offers a comprehensive partner and financial terms module to manage syndication relationships. Whether publishers are syndicating their content to distribution sites such as YouTube or monetizing videos that belong to different content owner, DFP allows them to set revenue shares and takes care of all the accounting.

Business Rule Flexibility
DFP Video allows publishers to define the ad experience for any section of their inventory. For example, ad rules can set pre-rolls for clips, define pods and bumpers for long-form content, and turn off monetization entirely for subscribers - without making a single player change.

To learn more about DFP Video, contact your account manager or drop us a note.

DFP Small Business Video (Beta)

We also learned a lot from publishers that are just starting off with video, and we’re thrilled to announce a set of beta video features in DFP Small Business that make it easy to get started with video ads.

Turn-key and Free
First, we’ve lowered the barrier to entry by partnering with the folks at Brightcove and LongTail to provide a turn-key video player and CMS integration with DFP Small Business. Publishers can get up and running with a video player, a CMS, hosting and ad serving in about 20 minutes. No SDK integration, no custom coding, no extensive testing. Best of all, ad serving is free (including hosting!) up to a certain volume of impressions, and we’ve negotiated great deals for video player and hosting packages with our partners that range from free to a low monthly fee.

Designed Around the Essentials
Next, DFP SB publishers get all of the reliability and scalability of DFP through an interface that exposes only the video features they need. Whether it’s booking a campaign or using AdSense to fill unsold inventory, publishers can set up line items in a matter of minutes. The path to the full-featured version of DFP Video is seamless and publishers can continue to manage their entire display advertising business in one platform.

We think video ad serving has never been this easy. As we open up this feature to more publishers, we’ll be reaching out to those who have filled out their details here.

Our commitment to learn from every publisher, every conversation and every use-case will continue as we develop DFP Video and add video functionality to DFP Small Business. In just a few years, video advertising spend is expected to reach $10B globally and we’re excited to partner with publishers as they make this happen. Here’s to more enjoyable video ads.