1spotxchangeThe online video advertising market is predicted to grow strongly in 2013, continuing the upward rise of last year, according to analyst firm Frost & Sullivan. And indeed, online video advertising is increasingly regarded as crucial for the overall advertising mix by both advertising agencies and large brands alike. These are all good news for SpotXchange that with more than 400 million auctions per day is today’s largest global marketplace of video ad inventory. Since its launch in 2009 the company is growing tremendously, reaching by now 110 million unique visitors in more than 40 countries each month.

In the fore of the Asia Pacific region is Matt Von der Muhll, SpotXchange’s Country Director who is responsible for leading SpotXchange's efforts to grow strategic partnerships and to support both publishers and advertisers in the APAC region. Asian e-Marketing had the honor to meet him for an interview in Singapore.

Convincing with success

According to him, his company achieved significant growth since entering the market back in 2009, when they launched the industry’s first advanced targeting tools to help advertisers reach their audiences. SpotXchange could increase revenue by 213 % over the past year in Asia Pacific and has increased the number of publishers it works with by 112 % in the region. Thus, to no surprise the company sees huge opportunities in the Asian markets and will continue to invest and expand their presence throughout the region.

Matt believes that publishers and advertisers are attracted by the greater targetability, personalization of ads, reach to non and light TV viewers, and interactivity that online ad serving platform solutions offer over conventional advertising channels. He enjoys helping publishers to maximize their yield as well as advertisers to find and deliver campaigns to just the right audience at the right time and simply loves working for the leader in programmatic buying and selling of video that connects thousands of digital publishers with advertisers, agencies, trading desks and ad networks.

His company is running top brand campaigns through its IAB-certified marketplace and demonstrates on a daily basis that there is a better way to buy and sell digital video – with solutions that guarantee total transparency, control, and the best targeting and real-time optimization tools available in a premium video exchange environment.

In fact, SpotXchange offers many benefits for video advertising, including a real-time bidding (RTB) marketplace where publishers make available video inventory for advertisers to buy. Their technology offers market leading innovative products that enable publishers to optimize revenue returns and at the same time allowing advertisers to buy specifically targeted audiences. The SXC platform is currently integrated with all key video players, ad servers and demand side platforms (DSPs).

Staying a head of the game with innovations

Just a year ago, the company launched SkipIt - a new service that allows consumers to control their online video experience by skipping ads whenever they want across the web. SkipIt was created to address the high abandonment rates that are averaging between 16-37% in online video advertising, and to finally level the playing field between publishers, advertisers and ultimately, consumers.

“With SkipIt everyone wins! Consumers have the option to skip video ads for the first time, publishers get paid to not play ads, and advertisers don't pay for skipped ads”, Matt states. “Of course, a lot of education is required still required, be it the agencies, brands, or consumers, but now there‘s return on investment, and you can track the performance of a campaign and video basically from end to end”, he concluded.

And just this week SpotXchange announced its new suite of tools to bring programmatic selling of digital video to the forefront, and further enable publishers to make real-time, automated pricing decisions on an impression-by-impression basis.

For the first time in video, publishers will have insight into who their buyers are, what segments of their inventory are most in demand, the associated bid density and CPMs of advertisers’ bids, and the tools to make selling decisions based on those insights.

Programmatic selling as strategic focus

According to Forrester analysts, programmatic buying will account for 22% of digital video spending in 2013, but programmatic selling has received considerably less attention and publishers have been unable to reap the full benefit of automating the sales process. That’s exactly where SpotXchange is getting extremely active in right now, working hard to provide publishers with comparable transparency and control that buyers have long enjoyed so they can optimize their inventory’s pricing and ultimately maximize their revenues.

“The SpotXchange marketplace has always supported both real-time buying and selling, but the rise of demand side platforms (DSPs) has armed the buy side with greater market intelligence and tools,” explained Mike Shehan, CEO of SpotXchange. “It’s not a fair market if buyers are better-informed than sellers, which is why we’ve rolled out new tools to give publishers increased transparency into marketplace activity, putting them on an equal playing field with DSPs and agency trading desks (ATDS) by allowing them to make informed real-time selling decisions.”

SpotXchange’s programmatic selling tools for publishers provide new transparency and control features, including:

  • Bid Activity Report: Publishers can now identify the segments of inventory that are in highest demand based on advertisers’ bid activity regardless of whether bids are above or below the publishers’ price floor.
  • Price Floor Optimization: Based on signals and insights from the bid activity report, the new tools will provide visual cues that indicate level of demand for their video inventory in relation to their price floor. This information will help publishers make more informed decisions to raise or lower their price floors, and in turn, make the most money for their inventory.
  • Pricing Rules: Publishers now have a simple way to establish “if-then” business rules that can automatically charge a premium for their top-quality placements, or a discount for the inventory with less demand, without the need for physically segmenting their video inventory and creating multiple tags. The SpotXchange platform will dynamically change ask prices based on certain characteristics of the ad opportunity including player size, region, URL and advertiser among other things.

In addition to the new tools, SpotXchange completely rewrote the platform’s auction code, bringing down primary auction times to 30 – 40 milliseconds. This will deliver an added benefit to publishers who wish to serve the most valuable ad to their audience without requiring them to wait several seconds for an ad to render, which is more common with traditional daisy chain ad server implementations. The new suite of tools is now available to all digital video publishers.

Actually, programmatic buying is by now the dominant way to purchase video inventory that clearly passes the ball to SpotXchange and obviously explains their formula for success.

“We're bringing programmatic selling features to our publishers, allowing them to maximize their revenue on every available impression”, Matt said. Concluding that the most exciting features is SpotXchange’s” yield optimization tool” that plots the highest bids at the full range of price points of a channel, allowing publishers to adjust their price floors incrementally to focus on the best price vs. fill rate position. What it means is clearly that publishers can feel confident that their digital video inventory is valued at its optimal price. Thus, Matt is convinced that the online video advertising market will grow strongly during 2013, counting on the key trend over the last year that has been the growing importance of the mobile channel, in particular the smartphone, for the delivery of online video.

By Daniela La Marca