Today is a big day for me personally and a big day for Videoplaza. Six years after founding the company together with Sorosh and Dante, I’m stepping back from my operational duties to focus on my role as a director on the Videoplaza board and eventually the next adventure that lies ahead of me.
It’s been a tough decision. In many ways Videoplaza is the closest thing I have to a child of my own. And this change is a lot less like me growing up and moving out than it is like my child finally growing mature enough to move out and make its own independent decisions without me. But despite all those feelings, I’m confident that this is the right decision for both the company and me.
Already 10 months ago, I recruited Jonas Flodh to the team from his previous position as VP Products and CTO at Tradedoubler. Step by step, Jonas has successfully taken over the leadership of Product and R&D at Videoplaza and helped us improve further. And today, the transition from me to Jonas is complete.
As a director of the board, I am in other words confident that the technical leadership of Videoplaza is in really good hands. And I’m lucky enough to still have Jonas’ and the company’s attention when it comes to listening to my advice. Going forward, I won’t be able to resist giving it, and I know that the team will do well in filtering out all the noise, but keep paying attention to the few clever things I might occasionally be able to point out.
I am so proud of what we have achieved so far, the team we have built and all the amazing clients that have entrusted their core business to us. We started out as three guys in Stockholm serving overlay ads for Swedish broadcaster Kanal 5. Today, we have offices throughout 7 countries, clients in more than 25 and are reaching 300 million unique users every month.
Many (or perhaps most) of the brightest people I know, and many of my best friends are working at Videoplaza. The toughest part of arriving at this decision has without doubt been that I will not get to see all of you quite as often as I am used to. The memories we share, and our incredible ability to overcome even the toughest challenges together is something I will always take with me. It will keep me going when I need it the most.
And while I’m thoroughly proud of what we have achieved so far, I am also certain that Videoplaza’s best days still lie ahead. With the ongoing disruptions in the TV and ad trading industry, the position Videoplaza has secured, and the opportunity in front of us, is so amazing that it’s hard to fully wrap your head around.
For those of you wondering what is around my next corner, I am sorry to disappoint as I can’t say just yet. After six years of building Videoplaza, I do intend to take some well-deserved time off. But eventually, I won’t be able to resist diving head first into my next adventurous journey.
Regardless of that, wherever I go, I know I will witness and (from the board) keep participating in Videoplaza’s continued success with the soft gaze of a very proud parent.
Choosing an ad tech vendor is increasingly becoming a board level strategic decision for many publishers, due to the growing material importance of ad revenues.
One vendor dominates the market for advertising on the buy and sell side – Google. However with their own huge advertising business, not only are Google a potential partner but also a competitor for many media owners.
In PaidContent, our Chief Commercial Officer, Rags, discusses the challenges of working with the Google ‘death star’ and the desire of many media owners to have an end to end ad tech stack from a more ‘independent’ provider.
Video viewing and IP-delivered video ad spend are exploding due to the increase in usage of tablets such as the iPad.
This month we’ve been taking stock and looking at the data emerging from Karbon, and one key trend we see is a big growth in iPad video monetization: with 150% growth of iPad traffic in the last 6 months across Karbon clients.
Are tablets the new combined TV and PC in one?
Delivering billions of ad impressions every month and reaching around 10% of the Internet’s population, we are fortunate to sit on top of some exciting data. The shift towards tablets is one of the themes emerging:
- iPad traffic accounts for 10% of all the traffic across Karbon, having grown by over 10x in the last 12 months
- Overall, non-PC traffic is around 30% of all the ads delivered, meaning that iPad comprises a third of all our non-PC traffic
- iPhone traffic is stable at around 5% of total ads
We currently integrate with over 50 device environments, through native SDKs, our Brightcove integrations and native multidevice support. The growth in iPad traffic comes from across our footprint – with clients across 25 markets in Europe and Asia.
What’s driving tablet growth?
Mobile phones demonstrated some growth in video ad monetisation in the last two years, based on the data from Karbon, however mobile phone growth stabilises as access to tablets increases.
In Apple’s latest results, they reported a rise of 65% in iPad sales from 11.8 million units a year ago, compared to 19.5 million units in Q1 2013. Mac sales, however decreased to 3.95 million units (compared to the 4 million units sold in Q2 2012). Industry analysts IDC claimed that 49.2M tablets were shipped in Q1 of 2013, a 142% increase on sales in the same period last year.
A number of factors drive iPad usage including the great user experience. Publishers and broadcasters are investing in native apps and features such as AirPlay in conjunction with Apple TV, also increasing adoption.
The audience is accessing video content more and more via tablets such as the iPad making the tablet is the new PC at home. And in some ways, it’s the new TV at home, either complementing or replacing the existing big screen in the living room.
This is only the beginning of something more significant. In advanced markets, we expect tablets and mobile to outperform PC in less than 2 years. Being in this industry, you need to constantly follow the audience as that is where the ad dollars will go.
Read more about this post on Techcrunch.
TV is the world’s largest advertising medium, turning over roughly $200B every year, dwarfing every other medium including the $40B display ad market. One of the main reasons behind the success and scale of TV advertising is the way it’s packaged and sold – via the reach and frequency of a specific demographic. You could argue about the accuracy of panels, but the fact remains that TV offers something that digital has struggled with to date – an audience-based approach to ad trading.
Videoplaza has, since it’s birth, been obsessed with helping video publishers build a profitable and sustainable business in the new IP-delivered TV world. One year ago, we launched Karbon, the world’s first device aware ad platform. We wanted to give our clients one workflow and enable them to sell one audience across all devices. Today 30% of our broadcaster clients’ ad volumes are running on non-PC platforms – be it mobile devices, tablets, games consoles, IPTV or other devices.
While content and ads are broadcast on traditional TV, the opportunities in the real-time and dynamic IP delivered world are countless. It’s not difficult to imagine how we will eventually marginalise the “50% of wasted ad spend”. That said, in the grand scheme of things it’s still early days. Today, IP video is still predominantly sold on its unparalleled premium environment and addressed towards content segments rather than audience segments.
This is all about to change. With a maturing display market and increased availability of user data, buyers are increasingly implementing an audience-based approach. This is a great thing and with Karbon 2, launching today, we are bringing this to the new IP-delivered TV. Starting from today you can connect various islands of data, 1st or 3rd party, to build, sell and target audience segments across devices.
This is not a turnkey solution, as much as we would have liked to build one. Most of the hard work lies with publishers to find, structure and package your user data in segments relevant and attractive to your clients. This requires a new way of thinking. The shift towards audience based trading needs to part of a broader data strategy.
We expect 30% of all video ad spend to be audience-based, equating to €2B in EU and US by 2015. Not knowing who your audience is quickly risks making you irrelevant for buyers. If you haven’t started defining and implementing your data strategy, now is a good time as audience-based trading, finally, is coming back to TV.
France is one of the most interesting and diverse markets in Europe when it comes to digital media and video consumption, and leads the way in terms of IPTV. So it’s with great delight that we welcome two new French clients.
Firstly Next Interactive Media is a subsidiary of the leading digital multi-media group, Groupe Tests, which owns and operates a range of magazines and online sites including RMC.fr, RMCSport.fr and BFMTV.com, the online news channel. We work with Next Interactive Media to monetise video content across their online sites, and ultimately via IPTV.
We are also very excited to be working with Hi-Media, one of Europe’s leading advertising networks, who over the last ten years have become a market leader in helping internet businesses monetise their audiences. Last summer Hi-Media launched their own video network called “Plein-Ecran” (“Full Screen”) which helps leading brands including Jeuxvideo.com, 750 grammes, Au Féminin TV, Marmiton, Auto Plus, La Tribune and BBC, monetise video content. We work with Hi-Media to ensure these brands can deliver video ads across a large range of different devices.
As well as working with these two market leaders, we continue to build out our team in France, and have added our very own IPTV specialist, Tung Tran Quang, who will be leading account management for the region, and joins us from another of our clients, broadcaster, M6, where Tung was previously working on the deployment of their catchup TV service.
The full press release in French in available here.
We’re delighted to announce our latest collaboration with Brightcove: a comprehensive monetisation solution for HTML5 video, including support for VAST-compliant pre-, mid- and post-roll ads, a new HTML5 video player API for dynamically setting and changing ad policies, and HTML5 video plugin support for leading ad management platforms including Videoplaza.
This is fantastic news for our dozens of joint clients with Brightcove – meaning they can now deliver video content far more easily to HTML5 and Flash devices via a single integration, and then make use of Karbon’s pre-integrated monetisation – reducing complexity and workflows for you, and meaning the user gets a great experience whether viewing content on Flash or HTML5.
Rags Gupta, our chief commercial officer, commented: ’Today’s audience consumes video across a vast array of platforms and runtimes and enabling publishers to plan, target and deliver video advertising across these environments is the hallmark of our Karbon platform. Our close partnership with Brightcove and deep integration with Video Cloud ensures that our many common customers can reach, monetise and measure their audience consistently and reliably on both HTML5 and Flash-based platforms.”
You can read more about the Brightcove collaboration here.
London, 6th February 2013: Videoplaza, the leading global sell side ad management platform for video, today announced that STV, Scotland’s leading digital company and commercial Public Service Broadcaster, has selected Videoplaza’s ad management technology Karbon to monetise its TV content across multiple platforms and devices including mobile and tablet devices, games consoles, connected TV and YouView set-top boxes.
Launched in March 2012, Karbon will strengthen STV’s digital offering by enabling seamless monetisation of its content available via its catch-up service STV Player, website stv.tv, and hyper local online service, stvlocal.com across multiple connected devices. This includes YouView, for which STV was selected as one of the first two initial additional content partners. An end-to-end ad management platform for IP-delivered video, Karbon will enable STV to sell one audience across multiple devices, to simplify the ad operations workflow and will provide a future-proof advertising strategy to accommodate new platforms and devices as they emerge.
“We pride ourselves on being at the forefront of the evolution of TV, delivering must-have content wherever and whenever consumers want it,” said Alistair Brown, CTO, STV. “To strengthen our digital offering and take full advantage of the multi-screen opportunity, we needed an ad management system capable of monetising across all current and future digital platforms. With its innovative approach to cross-device video advertising, Videoplaza’s technology makes an attractive proposition which will enable us to future proof our ad strategy to accommodate new devices when they come to market.”
The deal marks a milestone for the TV industry with Videoplaza becoming one of the first technology providers to announce monetisation capabilities that extend to YouView set-top boxes. The YouView Internet TV service provides an opportunity for broadcasters to grow their audience reach and develop premium revenue streams through a digital advertising strategy. Bringing together catch-up and traditional TV, YouView enables viewers to watch and move between live and catch-up TV from the content libraries of STV and the UK’s Freeview channels, as well as the ability to pause and rewind live TV.
Stephen Byrne, UK Commercial Director, Videoplaza, said: “STV has been a true pioneer in the TV space as one of the first-to-market with online HD content and its trail-blazing STV Player. It is a truly multi-platform content provider and continues to push the boundaries of multi-screen viewing. Powered by Karbon, the first device-aware ad management platform, we are confident that STV will be well positioned to strengthen its digital strategy with a cross-platform ad strategy. We’re particularly excited to be empowering STV to monetise its offering for YouView, a TV platform, which represents a major development in the evolution of TV in the UK market.”
Last Thursday, we celebrated 5 Years of Videoplaza in style with more than 400 people in joint parties in both London and Stockholm. A massive thanks to all of you who turned out to celebrate with us. In London we took over the Museum of London for a historic celebration, and in Stockholm, we hosted guests at our St Eriksgatan office (which is an old bicycle factory).
There was a fantastic collection of people from the video, technology and broadcast worlds at both parties, and we were delighted to be joined by so many clients, partners, industry colleagues, friends and family.
We were celebrating not only our 5th year birthday as a company, but also the growth and the development of the New TV industry, which has evolved hugely over the last 5 years.
As we have grown up as a business, so has the industry we occupy – from the movement of video online to a multitude of devices, through ever evolving standards, to new commercial models and different ways to monetise content. It’s amazing to see how far it has all come, and we are hugely proud to be part of this exciting and cutting edge industry.
Here’s to the next 5 years!
Exciting times in Iberia as we continue to build out our European operations with a new team in place and now a new office in Madrid.
We were recently joined by Xavier Ruis Planas, as Sales Business Director for the Iberian region. With over a decade of experience in the digital advertising field, Xavi has focused on the evolution of IPTV and mobile video advertising strategies. For the past three years, he held the position of General Manager and New Business Director for TV and Mobile at Smartclip, helping the company’s founders develop a leading business in Spain. Prior to Smartclip, Xavi founded his own digital company, Ad One, and successfully managed its growth and sale to Admsmedia group in 2008. We are delighted to have him on board.
With Xavi in place, we have now further added to the team with the hire of Carlos Prieto to the role of Strategic Account Manager. Prieto joins Videoplaza from Hearst Magazines, the global publishing giant, and producer of titles such as Elle, Fotogramas and Diez Minutos. Prieto was with Hearst for 12 years, starting in their IT and advertising production departments. In ’07 he moved into the digital area, and was part of the core team responsible for creating Hearst’s digital advertising business unit.
The team will based in our new office situated in the middle of Madrid’s financial district, where a number of key tech and media companies are now based including Google and Havas Group.
Xavi comments, “As IP content reaches more and more consumer devices in and out of the home, publishers, content owners and broadcasters in Spain are rapidly understanding that they can derive tangible value from IP-delivered content through the right approach to monetisation. The Spanish market is primed for significant growth and I am excited about helping publishers here take the value of their content to the next level.”
We are thrilled to announce the addition of key new members to the Videoplaza team.
Firstly video industry veteran, Rags Gupta, joins us as Chief Commercial Officer. With over 12 years of experience in the online media industry, Rags has spent most of his career building businesses in new markets. Having joined Brightcove in 2005 pre-product and pre-revenue as part of the founding executive team, he was instrumental in taking the Company to market and signing major deals with several US media companies. In 2007, he moved to London to establish the Company’s European presence. Rags will be responsible for our marketing, sales and client relations teams, and will be a core architect of our client strategy moving forwards.
Maria Flores Portillo comes on board as our VP of New Business. Focused on pursuing partner alliances, Maria brings a number of years of mobile and online video experience. Her previous roles at major media companies include Strategic Partnerships manager at Google and Head of Business Planning at Upstream.
Joining the R&D team in Stockholm, Jonas Flodh will drive product innovation worldwide. He has been in the mobile, telecoms and digital media space for over 15 years managing business, product and corporate development activities for large multinational organisations. His most recent role was as Vice President, Products & Technology at Tradedoubler.
And Hanna Lindén becomes our Director of Talents, helping us to recruit and retain the best expertise in the industry. She joins from the respected executive search firm, The Up Group, where she specialised in digital, technology and online business searches.
In addition, Michael Stephanblome, the founder of Adjug and former managing director of Gumtree.com, joins other key industry luminaries on Videoplaza’s board of directors and advisors including Henrik Torstensson of Spotify, Andy Chen of Preview Networks and Richard Titus, serial entrepreneur and angel investor.
We’ll keep you posted on team updates as the Videoplaza family continues to grow, and you’ll hear from the new team shortly via the blog!