France’s La Place Media were one of the first pioneers of the publisher co-operative model, whereby premium publishers pool their inventory in a private exchange. The idea is that brand conscious advertisers get programmatic access to brand safe environments, while publishers get CPMs that recognise the premium value of their inventory. Recently La Place Media launched its video advertising division and it selected StickyAds.tv, a French video SSP, as the technology provider. Here Fabien Magalon, Managing Director of La Place Media, and Herve Brunet, CEO and Co-Founder of StickyAds.tv, provide some background on the deal and how the video co-operative will work in practice.
Congratulations on the launch of your video marketplace. Could you provide a little background on La Place Media, how the model works, and the publishers you’re working with [maybe also include a mention of why you chose to work with StickyAds.tv?
FM: La Place Media (LPM) was launched in September 2012 as a publisher alliance between premium media brands who also have strong offline assets: we work with TV channels, radio stations, daily newspapers, weekly/monthly magazines. We have first focused on monetizing the remnant inventory on desktop display of our publisher partners via ad exchanges.
We are now working with 25 premium media sales houses and have more than 200 websites in our portfolio. LPM reach more than 30M unique users per month.
We have recently launched a pre-roll version of our display offering, and selected StickyAdsTV as our technology partner to make this happen in December last year. StickyAdsTV had all the benefits we expected from a supply side partner: strong access to demand, strong local customer-services and strong development capacities.
Could you provide a quick overview of what StickyAds.tv are currently doing and explain how working with a publisher co-operative will be different from working with publishers directly?
StickyADS.tv is a leading European video ad tech platform with offices in France, Spain and Italy. StickyADS.tv enables TV broadcasters and ad networks to monetize their premium video inventory since November 2009.
With our state-of-the-art video supply side platform (SSP), premium publishers can maximize their video advertising revenues with top tier advertisers, secure their media assets while launching a private market place getting the full value of their context and content.
Winning LaPlaceMedia is then very rewarding for StickyADStv as a video SSP reference for 2 main reasons: we get the best premium media brands on board in France and we get to work with one of the most expert team in RTB in Europe.
Working with a co-operative of publishers is like working with a team which is not only an expert in media but is also very familiar with monetization rules and models in a pure RTB world. This reference is – as Fabeien puts it – worth 25 premium media sales houses.
With display advertising La Place Media has mainly focused on about helping publishers monetise inventory they don’t sell directly. However, in video there’s a shortage of inventory and many publishers are selling out via direct sales. How are you going to make the model work for video?
The video market’s dynamics are very different from display: demand is stronger than quality premium supply, which creates a stronger tension on pricing. Consequently we have applied a different strategy so far on our pre-roll marketplace: LPM is positioned first in the ad serving queue, above direct sales.
This creates a mechanical first-view for the buy-side. The buy side takes advantage of all the benefits of a programmatic transaction (improved targeting, efficient automated process), and we trade this benefit against a higher price-floor.
This set-up drives value both for the buy-side and the sell-side. Sell-sides increase their sell through at high CPM price band, whereas the buy side can use its programmatic magic to improve performance.
The first results of this set-up are encouraging: advertisers deliver above average completion rates and click through rates, and we have a decent sell-through at above average CPM’s.
What’s the current state of the French programmatic video advertising market? Are broadcasters starting to take an interest?
The French programmatic video advertising market grew by approximately five times between 2012 and 2013. Video advertising has become so central to TV advertisers that we are now entering a new era where programmatic video will develop very fast and with wider availability of premium inventory.
Several premium publishers will soon announce in 2014 the launch of private video marketplaces. TV broadcasters are already active and I am convinced they will unveil very soon their strategy in programmatic video. Looking it from a European perspective, premium publishers and advertisers outside of France are amazed by the level of innovation we have in RTB technology for video.
We get the impression that many market experts are now looking at France as a model to define the way forward in programmatic video for their own country. This is the reason why StickyADS.tv is now ambitiously looking at the role we can play in the wider European programmatic video advertising market.