Monday, November 21, 2011, 10:06 AM ET|Posted by Will RichmondSpecific Media, which acquired online video ad network and technology provider BBE one year ago, has since achieved an approximately 240% gain in its video reach, to approximately 80 million viewers in October. Specific, which runs one of the largest display ad networks, has combined both companies' strengths in order to expand its footprint. Matt Wasserlauf, EVP of platforms and services at Specific and formerly head of BBE, explained to me last week that the video ad network has grown significantly by leveraging Specific's thousands of publisher relationships.
However, since many of these publishers don't necessarily have huge video volumes, Specific has used in-banner video ads as a migration path. By broadening the base of publishers carrying video ads, Specific has also helped reduce frequency, improving the viewer experience. In fact, Matt said approximately 25% of Specific's clients are using a mix of display, in-banner and in-stream video ads, supporting his belief that ad effectiveness in the digital age is more about leveraging each format's benefits rather than shifting spending from one to the other. In one example Matt cited, where a telecom client ran an integrated campaign, it achieved a 75% view-through rate.
Specific has also applied its data and targeting technologies to video, which has improved effectiveness. Earlier this year, Specific's internal research showed that its targeting was paying off with video click-through rates increasing by 21% and view-through rates increasing by 46% in Q1 '11.
Next up for Specific is capitalizing on this past summer's acquisition of MySpace with Justin Timberlake, which is part of what Matt calls the company's "owned and operated" strategy. MySpace will help Specific optimize client video ad campaigns on its own content, as well as across the publisher network. Specific sees MySpace becoming an important destination for original video programs and music, which would be appealing particularly to advertisers seeking more socially-oriented video campaigns.
The video ad network space is intensely competitive, with each of the major players having raised lots of money and rapidly innovating to differentiate themselves. Overall it appears that Specific is finding its way by building off its strong position in display advertising, using targeting, and soon by tapping the MySpace content.
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