Ad platform AppNexus said today it will open up its new video capability to anyone by the end of the month.
The video capability, announced in June, was issued as an open beta at the beginning of August. It allows advertisers to programmatically — that is, automatically — buy and target inventory for video ads on desktop web, on mobile web, and in mobile apps.
Video inventory — space for the ads to run — is being offered through LiveRail, SpotXchange, StickyADS.tv, Optimatic, SMARTSTREAM.TV, Fyber, and Aerserv.
Previously, AppNexus only supported the purchase of space for display ads on desktop web, mobile web and in-app, and non-video native ads on both. Video in native ads is not yet supported.
Given so many other ways that advertisers can buy video ads, senior vice president Eric Hoffert cited the company’s newest catchphrase to describe its advantage: “bursting the video cost bubble.”
This means that the cost of buying video is “30 to 50 percent less because we have scale,” he said, and the platform can take a smaller cut compared to pure-play ad-buying demand side platforms (DSPs).
He added that the beta phase showed examples of “50 to 100 times better [targeting] than competitors” when using first- or third-party data because more of the desired audience is available. In other words, if you want Audi owners, the platform’s scale delivers more of them.
Similarly, AppNexus says clickthrough and viewthrough rates were substantially higher during the beta, also because of a larger audience.
Regarding the two major issues surrounding digital ads, and video in particular — traffic fraud and viewability — Hoffert pointed to his company’s Inventory Quality or IQ initiative to tackle the first.
Announced in June, that effort is intended to bolster efforts to keep out questionable publishers. Traffic fraud, such as when software bots fake human traffic to increase impressions and falsely drive up advertisers’ payments to publishers, largely derives from the quality of the publishers and their ad inventory.
As for making sure the video ads are actually viewable, he noted that AppNexus bought viewability measurement firm Alenty last year, and the company has made viewability “a core part of our offering.”
However, AppNexus doesn’t currently offer a viewability guarantee, which some other platforms do. With such a guarantee, advertisers only pay for ads that meet some standard of being seen.
Hoffert said that the company’s platform is built on the Open RTB standard, which makes it readily modifiable, as multiscreen programmatic media firm Collective UK has done to better target audiences watching TV shows. But he added that the standard doesn’t yet include an industry-wide approach for buying only viewable ads, so any effort to develop that restraint would require a proprietary add-on to the open platform.