Media Pitch: Ad3 Wants to Make Video Faster & More Profitable for Publishers
As the pivot to video picks up steam, startup Ad3 hopes to rectify issues that have made online video less enjoyable for viewers and less profitable for publishers. The video technology startup plans to cut out superfluous ad tech partners with its all-in-one video player, ad server, mediation layer, and real time analytics. That will help publishers drive more revenue, and cut down on slow load pages, says chief revenue officer Ian Kane. Additionally, the startup has introduced a new auction logic technology, called CacheQ, which helps publishers fill video ad inventory at much higher rates.
In the following interview Kane explains how Ad3 is helping publishers maximize their video inventory and what the startup’s plans are for the future.
1. Explain your existence: What problem are you solving or opportunity are you enabling? How are you unique and innovative?
There are 3 problems today for publishers looking to run out-stream video.
- Video ad technology is expensive and cost prohibitive. Companies are charging thousands of dollars a month to license their video player or $30k on-boarding fees.
- Many video ad networks promise high CPMs ($10), but only fill 20% of the inventory. That’s a $2 CPM and no better than display ad CPMs.
- Companies claim to be DSPs, but when a publisher sends them an impression these companies serve up VPAID creative that doesn’t show an advertiser, but rather calls 10 other exchanges/DSPs. This creates page lag that hurts user experience and negatively impacts not only video ad revenue, but also display.
As mature as the display and native market is -- video is still the wild west. Many companies in the space are doing a lot of nefarious things and provide little value outside of making a margin for themselves. Ad3 is passionate about addressing these problems.
Simply put, Ad3 is focused on two things -- speed and revenue. We help publishers extract as much ad revenue as possible while maintaining a quality user experience.
2. Inspiration: How did you come up with this idea? How does your new tech solution reflect changes and trends underway in the media world?
Ad3’s background is in the publisher space. 12-14 months ago we were looking to run out-stream video on our O&O properties. After talking with every major player in the video space we identified the 3 problems mentioned above. We built proprietary technology that addressed the problems we saw as publishers - CacheQ is the result.
The industry is moving towards more transparency. Advertisers want to know where their campaigns are running and publishers want to know who is representing their inventory. Everyone wants to cut out intermediaries that provide zero value -- hence the push to ads.txt. Most importantly, publishers need a way to generate as much revenue as possible from their approved ads.txt partners.
3. Results: How have you or do you plan to help media companies increase revenue or cut costs? Can you quantify this?
Ad3 cuts cost and increases revenue for publishers. We do not charge serving or on-boarding fees like other companies. Bottom line, our patent pending CacheQ process will increase the overall dollar per page view for quality publishers and increase fill rates by 3-4x whatever their existing partners are doing.
We ran a case study in June. Overall the publisher saw a 690% increase in RPM. Previously they were getting $0.90 RPM and Ad3 increased that to $3.22 RPM. This led to a $7,942 increase in revenue at the end of the month. Most importantly, load times were only 100ms.
4. Share some wisdom: What do you think are the most important trends affecting the media business today?
There are many, but it boils down to declining on-site revenue. Publishers need to get more revenue from their user base without adding more page weight. If they can maintain fast page loads, generate higher RPMs from existing placements, and keep the user on site longer then they can focus on what they do best, producing high quality content.
The problem is that many companies are trying the same old tactics. Innovation doesn’t come from repurposing old solutions to new problems. You need to rethink the entire approach.
5. What's Next? How do you plan on expanding or improving on your offering? Where do you see opportunities for growth?
In 2018, digital ad spend in video will surpass $13 billion, which is a big market for Ad3 to tackle. Short term, our focus is providing more granular analytical insights to publishers. This includes showing exactly how ad dollars flow, the audience generating the best return, and overall improvements that can be made onsite to further increase monthly ad revenue.
Further out, a natural evolution for Ad3 is address the in-app market. However, we are cautious not to spread ourselves too thin. We are passionate about solving the current out-stream market problems and will remain dedicated to fixing them before jumping into an entirely new area.
Ian Kane is the Chief Revenue Officer at Ad3. Ad3 is the creator of CacheQ which provides Publishers up to 400% video advertising fill with virtually no impact on page load. He has worked in digital media for over 10 years with a heavy focus on business development, sales, and strategy. His career started as the 1st employee in a media startup which grew into a $50mm a year business during his tenure. Prior to Ad3, he was head of Publisher Solutions at Tapad. Ian currently sits on the advisory board for Tersai.