Q&A: Tremor Video chief talks online video advertising

The rise of online video is only set to continue as it is inherently easier to sell than copy alone, says Bill Day, chief executive of Tremor Video as he discusses the future of TV vs video advertising

Bill Day: chief executive of Tremor Video
Bill Day: chief executive of Tremor Video

Everyone seems to be getting very excited about digital video, is this justified?

It is 100% justified. Why? Because it’s what consumers are choosing to do. eMarketer says between 82%-87% of 12- to 17-year-olds and 25- to 44-year-olds online will regularly watch a video online – rising to 90% of 18- to 24-year-olds.

Furthermore, consumers are increasingly screen agnostic – watching video on a greater array of devices. If you’re not doing it you’ll be left behind. It's that simple.

Why do you think video will be easier to monetise than copy alone online?

Firstly, because the power of sight, sound and motion is undeniable and proven by the way people are choosing to consume content.

Second and, more importantly, video will be easier because buyers are already comfortable with the format as they’ve been buying it on TV. 

Why do you think  programmatic buying will affect TV advertising?

Programmatic buying will bring the success of digital ad targeting into TV advertising which will revolutionise TV's ability to reach the right people, and move away from simply maximising reach in hope of reaching the desired audience.

TV networks will sell their inventory through automation which, in turn, will enable marketers to purchase specific content that directly targets their desired audience.

It's also important to note that even with programmatic buying, there will always be a need for marketers to establish and maintain relationships as well as understand and effectively apply data.

What element should advertisers be focused on?

The one area where they're not actually focused on – how TV and online video can work together, not against each other.

Whatever you want to believe, it's a fact that TV and online video are now co-dependent. Buyers love the traditional power of TV – scale and creative – but they cannot get these anymore unless they include video in their buys.

Again, this is driven by consumer choice. Buyers who figure out how to best use TV and online video together will be the most successful.

What are the key trends/tactics in coordinating TV and video advertising?

Three things – premium placement, brand-performance measurement and a programmatic work flow.

Throughout TV's history, advertising has hinged on brands knowing exactly when and where their ads ran. This level of transparency needs to be taken to video with an extra step -  dictating placement by performance.

Reach and frequency is a start in coordinating TV and video, but there isn’t a way for TV marketers to know they’ve made an impact in real-time.

Digital provides more insight than ever into R&F and how to move consumers from awareness into purchase.

For example, performance-based pricing models allow advertisers to only pay when their campaigns achieve measureable brand results.

Video buying needs to be easy and transparent even though programmatic is a complex technology. 

What should marketers' media spend be focused on?

If you’re a brand marketer you should be focused on achieving a brand KPI. So, for example, you don’t buy clicks or completions, but instead buy a shift in brand preference, which can be measured by real-time surveying.

Has YouTube got online video sewn up?

YouTube has been a constant choice for advertisers, representing about 20%-25% of their digital spend. This means advertisers want YouTube, but only to a point.

Google offers tremendous reach, but they're not providing an environment that most TV advertisers are used to or comfortable with. UGC environments are risky for many brands.

Do you think Facebook presents a real challenge to YouTube?

It’s simply too early to judge Facebook on this. Plus, YouTube is a huge content aggregator so it could maintain its current position even if Facebook became very successful adding video and even video ads.

The online video industry has simply become too big for us to experience the old days, when one large player could dominate. And it’s only going to get bigger. As offline branding exceeds direct response, we expect video to eventually eclipse search.

What other opportunities do you see for video?  

The opportunity in online video for content developers and advertisers is huge and we're only just beginning to realise this opportunity.

Video will be everywhere a consumer wants to view it, hence the dramatic rise in mobile use and the early signs it’s happening with connected TV. The opportunities are wherever the consumer wants to view video.

What do you think is the most common misconception?  

That video must be just like online display ads. We hear all the time that what happened in display is going to happen in video soon. When I hear that, I know the person doesn’t understand video. Online video is evolving rapidly across a variety of devices.

What people do not understand when they get into the business is just how incredibly different it is to display or search.

What is your one digital advertising prediction for 2015?

I’m going to be bold here and say that we’ll stop using phrases like "mobile video" and "online video". It's either all TV or it’s all just video. Think about your family – has your child ever asked to watch "online video" when they want Netflix on? Nope, they say TV. That's all they know.

Content across devices, on demand. Mobile just becomes another screen and the ad buyer cares about reaching the consumer, not reaching a screen.

Personal Questions

Age: 50
Lives: New York and New Jersey
Family: Lots
Working motto? Hire people that can take your job.  
One thing not a lot of people know about you..? Was a co-founder of About.com which literally invented or perfected many aspects of the modern Internet, from blogging to search engine optimization to ppc advertising.

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