• Poll Shows Strong Interest in Building Video Audiences Through Paid Recommendations

    Taboola and Kaltura have released the results of a poll taken during a recent webinar they conducted, in which attendees (content publishers and advertisers) were asked about their interest in using paid recommendations/native advertising to build their video viewership. The poll found that while 27% currently use paid recommendations/native advertising, 95% said they would "consider switching from  marketing their videos using traditional advertising to paid recommendations/native advertising in the next few years."

    (Note a couple of caveats here: the sample size was just 34 respondents, so the results are more directional than statistically significant. Also the webinar itself was focused on content recommendations, so presumably those attending were already interested in the topic.)

    Nonetheless, Taboola's Adam Singolda explained to me on a call earlier this week that he believes the strong interest level reflects a growing understanding among content publishers about the relative effectiveness of new tools like content recommendations/native advertising for building video viewership. Getting their video viewed is a critical objective for any publisher creating video these days. That's because the cost to create video is higher relative to other media, and therefore strong viewership and monetization are required to generate an ROI.

    Another poll during the webinar found that the most popular method for driving views is to "distribute content to other sites such as YouTube and Hulu" (76%), followed by "use SEO and/or subtitles" (48%), "support for mobile devices’" (41%) and "increasing the amount of video content available via syndicated/licensed content’" (33%). Of those already using paid content recommendations, 42% said they use it "to boost their own traffic through recirculation" with another 42% using it to generate "new revenue streams."

    Paid recommendations/native advertising fall under the larger umbrella term of "content marketing" which has gained a lot of attention recently. The idea of content marketing is to create and share content to achieve particular objectives. The approach contrasts with conventional advertising - paid messages to gain attention and persuade audiences to do something. In our chat, Adam shared a number of examples of how content publishers which Taboola works with are coming to see how content marketing, including video, can help them monetize their audiences beyond traditional CPM-type advertising (e.g. by converting free readers to subscribers, generating product sales, other performance-based metrics, etc.).

    Using video as content marketing is still in its infancy, but Adam is very encouraged by some of the data that Taboola is starting to see. He believes that as more content publishers come to understand the important role that video can play in driving broader monetization goals, they will become even more enthusiastic about video production. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Certainly it would be a big shift from a "media-oriented" mindset to a "marketing-oriented" mindset.

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