Yoav Arnstein: Online video is the future of advertising

Advertising, Digital & Media, Media

Yoav Arnstein, General Manager LiveRaill EMEA, considers that online video is the future of advertising and appreciate it is extremely beneficial from brand awareness and engagement standpoint.

In an interview for AdHugger, Yoav shares his opinion on online advertising, tells about LiveRail and its activity and also about the raise of the mobile.

Yoav Arnstein, General Manager LiveRail EMEA; Source: PR
Yoav Arnstein, General Manager LiveRail EMEA; Source: PR

AdHugger: Why should  advertisers use online video ads instead of other formats of online advertising online?

Yoav Arnstein: Online video advertising can be extremely beneficial from a brand awareness and engagement standpoint. After all, how often do you hear of a display ad going viral? Online video ads are multi-purpose in the sense that they are a proven complement to TV advertising, enable precision targeting, provide a launch pad for earned media, and are a great vehicle for driving interactivity.

With global online video viewing continuing to rise, it behooves advertisers to match the behaviors of their audience. The amount of premium content online is increasing the availability of high quality video ad inventory. Budgets are following suit and enabling publishers to continue to invest in the portfolio of online video content.

AdH: How can publishers profit from your platform?

Y.A.: While the traditional “steak dinner” approach to buying media still exists, programmatic, or automated ad buying, allows inventory to be sold much more efficiently and effectively-which is where our technology comes in.

Through our cloud-based platform, publishers are connected to all major ad exchanges, networks, trading desks and DSPs (demand-side platforms) all in one place, exposing their inventory to over 130 potential buyers who utilize real-time bidding (RTB). Every time a user hits play on a publisher’s website, an auction happens, with the winning bidder getting to deliver their ad to the viewer. All of this happens in a matter of milliseconds and enables simultaneous competition for each impression, maximizing fill rates and CPMs without creating major lag time for the viewer. We do this while providing publishers a range of controls to block certain advertisers, command attractive price points and align these revenue streams with their direct sales efforts.

LiveRail’s Platform is also a holistic yield management tool that allows publishers to manage all their direct sold advertising campaigns next to their own programmatic deals and connect to open marketplaces. By consolidating all their video ad sources in one platform, ad management efficiency increases, both from a revenue and operational perspective.

AdH: Where do you see the online video ad market in the next couple years? Why?

Online video is the future of advertising. The online video ad market has already seen tremendous growth over the last several years and we expect that to only continue, especially with online distribution of content chipping away at the broadcast TV market.

With platforms like Hulu, Roku and the recently-introduced Amazon Fire, users’ IPTV consumption will skyrocket, providing new chances for advertisers to reach their target audience and more opportunities for publishers to monetize.  IPTV viewing is a highly individualized experience that will enable brands to leverage audience data to make purchase decisions and deliver a more personalized and relevant ad experience. This will mean more budgets, more fragmentation in spend, and a democratized ecosystem in which we hope the best content, user centric consumption experiences, and superior distribution platforms will win.

AdH: What are the tech requirements for clients to use LiveRail?

Y.A.: We tend to focus on the quality of the inventory and scale of the publisher in order to determine their fit to LiveRail.

AdH: Which devices does LiveRail enable buyers to reach with their video ads?

Y.A.: LiveRail provides pre-built RTB-ready SDKs for both iOS and Android and is also certified for delivery to most connected TVs and games console platforms.

AdH: Can you speak to the performance of video ads on mobile devices?

Y.A.: Mobile traffic is surging for nearly every major site on the Internet and mobile devices have transformed into an essential accessory for consumers. With the amount of people worldwide utilizing a smartphone or tablet to watch video, these personal mediums present a great opportunity for buyers to reach and connect with their target audience on the devices they use the most frequently. No longer are these just information devices, but entertainment consoles and retail shops.

IAB’s Digital Adspend report found that UK retailers and other advertisers spent £6.3bn in 2013, with more than £1bn of that directed at those who use a mobile device to go online. I think part of this surge can be attributed to the fact that mobile can lend itself to many types of video formats, which buyers should evaluate based on creating the best, personalized user experience.  Another benefit is that when a consumer is using their mobile device, that is typically all he or she is focused on, as compared to traditional TV advertising where the viewer could be out of the room or occupied, therefore missing the ad.

AdH: Can you give us some insight on LiveRail’s analytics system? How does it differ from other analytic systems present on the international market?

Y.A.: LiveRail’s analytics system provides real-time availability of crucial operational data. Our visual dashboard enables accurate and easy decision making and also allows for flexible report generation and portability of data.

Our publisher clients are using analytics to optimize campaigns, discuss optimization of their programmatic spend with buyers, and to adjust floor prices and priorities that will drive increased revenues.

For advertisers, we provide insight into campaign performance by monitoring more than a dozen engagement metrics, such as percentage viewed/completed, pause/resume, and muting. Capturing and tracking these metrics results in about 2 billion data points daily. This data needs to be made available to customers in near real time for reporting and ad hoc analytics. Ad hoc analysis is critical since it can move the conversation from asking ‘what happened’ to asking ‘why?

AdH: What role is LiveRail playing in Europe?

Y.A.: We have been operating in the European markets for about seven years now. The rate of adoption for programmatic was faster in Europe, France, Netherlands and the UK in particular, so we have seen a lot of success and rapid growth. In fact, we just hired a new Commercial Director for France and Belgium, which was important as we are increasing our sales efforts in the EU and are opening an office in Germany next month.

The premium nature of the European market creates an opportunity for a holistic video platform like LiveRail. Publishers in Europe appreciate our ability to allow them to manage direct sold campaigns and programmatic private marketplace in one platform. It creates opportunity, capitalized upon by many of our clients, to command programmatic CPMs that surpass direct sold campaigns.

AdH: You just recently held your second Video Publisher Forum in London. What was the reasoning behind launching this sort of event?

Y.A.: Following the success of last June’s inaugural Video Publisher Forum event in New York City, we thought it would be interesting to take the event overseas to gain some international perspective.

LiveRail serves roughly six billion ads monthly, accounting for about 20% of all online video ads delivered. This gives us a pretty comprehensive view of the market and a lot of valuable insight to share, which is why it made sense for us to host our own event series.Through these events, we are able to facilitate forward-thinking conversations with some of the industry’s top players around the future of television, digital video and programmatic advertising. The event in London featured companies like Telegraaf Media, AdVideum, DataXu, Videology and Xaxis. We are also holding our second annual Programmatic Speed Dating event in late April, which offers the chance for publishers and buyers to connect and establish new relationships and deals.

 AdH: What are the main challenges and opportunities facing online video advertising face in EMEA space?

Y.A.: In some countries the nature of the TV market is still holding back the growth of the online video advertising market. It will be interesting to see if this changes.

I also suspect that the increased amount of inventory will be coupled with some potential questionable quality concerns. LiveRail’s main focus is ensuring sellers and buyers are transacting based on high quality standards, as it is crucial for the continued growth of our industry. We are also proud supporters of industry efforts that work to deliver on the promise of a nontoxic digital media environment.

At the same time, we are very optimistic about market growth. I expect 2014 will be a huge year as more publishers embrace programmatic and advertisers continue to shift their ad spend to digital video.

Yoav Arnstein leads LiveRail’s EMEA business from company’s office in London and he is in charge with overseeing all commercial operations, including sales and services. He joined LiveRail from Legolas Media where he was CEO and grew the company to a multi-million dollar revenue business.

Prior to Legolas, Yoav was at Eyeblaster (now MediaMind) where he was GM International, and then GM North American operations. At Eyeblaster, Yoav oversaw revenue growth of more than 5x, opened multiple international offices and helped build Eyeblaster into the world’s leading rich media ad platform.

Yoav holds a B.Sc in Computer Science and Statistics from Tel-Aviv University and an M.Sc. in Computer Engineering from Denmark’s Technical University