Thought Leadership

We Listened To You – We’re Focused on These Top Three Programmatic Video Features

June 17, 2019
By John Peragine & Sambit Patnaik

Programmatic video is poised to become a 40 billion dollar business by 2020 and presents a massive opportunity to buyers and sellers alike. While video budgets are surging, video inventory is still often handicapped by poor signaling, reporting, latency, and errors. To help our partners overcome these challenges, we’ve focused on developing these three features to unleash the full power of programmatic video on our platform.

Video Platform Improvements

We are continually upgrading our exchange to provide better outcomes for buyers and sellers and stay on the bleeding edge of the programmatic video marketplace. Our newest core platform developments serve to make transactions more efficient. The following improvements enable our platform to:

  • Unwrap VAST responses and respond with an inline VAST for over 70% of total requests
  • Block non-compliant creatives automatically
  • Prevent CORS errors with ad delivery
  • Bolster up the creative scanning service, so we have metadata about video creatives
  • Use the above metadata in machine learning algorithms to improve overall performance

With these improvements, we aim to equip our premium publishers and buyers with the capabilities they need to transact most efficiently on our platform while ensuring the best of ad quality standards.

Video Tools Suite

To better monetize their inventory, publishers wanted more visibility into ad performance: “Where can we see if there are enough bids?”,“What ad requests are getting errors?” Talking to sellers, we heard these questions and more; they wanted simplified data, greater accuracy, and more actionable insights.

Our Video Tools Suite is the answer to these sellers’ needs. These tools supply a consolidated analytics view as well as provide server-side debug capabilities to address any real time issue with the ad flow, allowing our internal teams to see everything from how many ad requests come in, to how many bids are accepted, and if the ad renders.

More specifically, our Video Tools Suite provides:

  • A simplified, single page graphical view of analytics from ad request to response
  • A breakdown of the four key stages in the auction, with highlights for each stage
  • Server-side debugger for real-time troubleshooting on any placement

Ultimately, you can’t fix what you can’t see. Our Video Tools Suite provides visibility into video ad performance (or lack thereof) at both a granular and holistic level so publishers can take a more active role in managing their inventory.

Programmatic Video Brand Safety

Rubicon Project has always been at the forefront of brand safety, which is why we acquired SiteScout more than eight years ago; we understood that brand safety has financial consequences early on.

Our approach to brand safety is twofold. If you’re a seller, you’re not going to want an ad that is unsafe to run on your website. Meanwhile, top tier buyers like Ford or Procter & Gamble need to know that their ad will a) be seen by a human b) isn’t on the same site as hate speech or similarly compromising content. Advertisers also want to know they’re working with trusted and transparent partners. As an independent exchange in a premium private marketplace, we use whitelists, technology, and human analysis to ensure brand safety for our partners.

Ultimately, we listened when our partners said they wanted better reporting, more transparency, and better data insights to manage their business. Looking forward, ad spend in programmatic video will only increase. We’re devoted to equipping sellers and buyers with the data and tools they need to take full advantage of this swelling market. With platform improvements, video tools, and a focus on brand safety, our platform has truly become video-first. Please look out for updates on these and other exciting features coming out in 2019.


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