Video Trends 2018, Israel – The Golden Path to Programmatic Video

Tali Brousard-Shimer

Video Trends 2018, Israel

This year’s Video Trends Conference in Tel Aviv was a tremendous success, attracting more than 700 visitors, including many international industry leaders. Conference topics tackled the most crucial issues for programmatic video including technology innovations, data driven advertising, optimization for video, video engagement and more.

Cedato’s CMO/BDO Dvir Doron, moderated a captivating panel discussing technologies that will ultimately pave “The Golden Path to Programmatic Video”. The discussion explored the latest technology innovations and trends intended to create a more efficient programmatic process for video. The panel provided a wide view of industry concerns and included participants from Pubmatic, Appreciate, Cydersoft and Cignal.IO.

The discussion opened with the burning question of programmatic adoption. Despite the many inventions in the marketplace designed to help create a more direct and safer environment for our premium publishers, how is it that we still don’t see enough programmatic premium supply and what are the issues we need to address to create a safer environment for them?

The panelists cited issues of transparency and supply chain efficiency as main instigators to this problem. Overall agreeing that the changes experienced by the industry are healthy. A deeper dive revealed the issue of scarcity of inventory rather than uncertainty as a main contributor to the lack of programmatic supply. An analysis from the Demand side points to the overload of queries per second as a problem, ultimately leaving DSPs with more lost opportunities than just over a year ago. On the bottom line, wider adoption of optimization in the upcoming year, for Demand through supply path optimization and for Supply through Video Header Bidding, will help create a more efficient ecosystem thereby improving user experience, fill rates and as a direct outcome, programmatic growth.

On the in-app front, the story is a bit different, with many advertisers still testing the waters. Many publishers on the other hand have doubled their programmatic inventory, leaving low fill-rates and much room for improvement. Market education has still a way to go. Premium supply is still easier to sell placing greater importance on the need for unified yield.

When discussing Header bidding for video, there was a consensus that most publishers approach video optimization as they would for display, using the same header bidding wrappers, and the need for a more video-specific header bidding technology is apparent and clear. Many publishers are turning to server side header bidding as the answer for video, yet for header bidding to be done efficiently for video, there always needs to be some client side optimization in the process.

Ads.txt was hailed for its quick adoption in the market, navigating the ecosystem toward a real change. Still some nuts and bolts need to be tightened before we’ll see a smooth and efficient process that will keep publishers’ revenue unharmed. But the impact is definitely felt as publishers add more and more resellers to their files for fear of missing out on revenue. The long-term effect of this is bringing them right back to where they started, and thereby missing the expected improvement. App publishers have been seeing a shift of budgets from desktop and mobile web to apps due to the struggle with Ads.txt by demand partners. Eventually Ads.txt will be resolved for in-app as well, leaving few options for late adopters.

On the topic of supply path optimization, the landscape is still viewed as fragmented with DSPs taking different approaches to dealing with all the noise and clutter. Some of the more sophisticated players have their own machine learning algorithms. However, more and more companies in the supply chain are using third party technology. In-app advertisers are approaching supply path optimization with care and are becoming more selective about exchanges to integrate with to be sure they’re not seeing duplicates of the same impressions. However, video is always more complex than its display counterpart, and the unique ability to identify where the impression originates and then track the impression back to the player is a great strength. In the end, everyone is trying to solve the same problem from different directions through predictive technology and optimization.

To wrap up the session, the panelists shared their predictions for another exciting year in 2018 that places a focus on transparency technologies for a healthier, cleaner shorter value chain, and a crunch for heightened transaction efficiency. The panelists forecasted more consolidation over the year to come, resulting in fewer players in the market. Ad spend will increase for programmatic video and for video in general. And of course, we’ll see more data driven decision-making as a stronger emphasis is placed on driving results and competitiveness.

Looking forward to another exciting year for programmatic video.