Playwire built its business in internet video, providing free and paid video players for independent video publishers who didn’t want to be dependent on YouTube. Now the company is looking to make itself even more indispensable through its Complete Monetization Platform (CMP) — a system for navigating any web business, from optimizing for monetization to deciphering analytics.
Deerfield Beach, Florida-based Playwire wants to unlock missed ad revenue for a whole group of mid-tier websites that are currently struggling with an advertising ecosystem in which programmatic ad buying just seems to drive ad rates lower and lower. To generate better ad rates and revenues, web and video publishers have to segment their audience, optimize for monetization, evaluate ad sources, and analyze the results.
“It’s a tough time to be a mid-tier website. You have to wonder how you can get access to video ad dollars,” said chief technology officer Nick Branstator, in an interview with VentureBeat. “We’ve taken the technology we have previously deployed on entertainment and gaming sites and broadened it, because we realize more people need it.”
The company has been addressing video publishers’ challenges for a long time, but mostly in verticals such as gaming and entertainment. Now the company has scaled up, and its technology has allowed it to build out optimizations that every web publisher in the middle tier needs, Branstator said.
The CMP initiative is focused on the Web first. The company had already built a complicated ad stack that most companies either ignore or try to manually manage. Playwire automates the management to enable constant, granular optimizations. The company refers to the combination of data science and ad decision-making as “revenue intelligence.”
“It should be a uniquely tailored experience each time so we can balance revenue and user experience,” Branstator said.
He added that for small publishers, trying to do this themselves can be hazardous. Web publishers have to pay attention to direct sales or “header building,” which is getting multiple ad providers to compete in real time to provide ads for a particular video and audience. It isn’t easy running auctions for the best ad revenue or making sure that the audio is working right for a video.
“If you are a mid-tier publisher, it’s too much,” Branstator said. “Some publishers will just plug in Google, but they leave a huge amount of money on the table when they do this. We have a true turnkey solution.”
Branstator said that Playwire’s tools allow publishers to figure out who delivers ads quickly, find the best sources of ads, determine how to monetize a given page as well as possible, and understand the historical performance for a particular page.
“We optimize in all those ways in real time,” he said.
The platform is already live with a number of customers.
“We are constantly adding new features,” he said. “We don’t have machine learning yet, but that’s something we’re working on.”
Playwire was founded in 2011 and is the parent company of Playwire Media, formerly Intergi Entertainment. The company has about 60 employees.