Can High Impact Units Catch On? Primia Digital And Simple Magic Create A Video Marketplace To Find Out

AssemblingScaling high-impact units on mobile is difficult due to different screen sizes, operating systems and browsers.

Also, while purveyors of high-impact units claim better engagement and viewability, publishers don’t always want to support them, and advertisers don’t always feel the urge to buy them.

“To tell a publisher they have to change the structure of your site and how they report to make this work, you can imagine it’s a big challenge for the industry,” said Giuliano Stiglitz, CEO of Hispanic publisher network Primia Digital (formerly Orange Advertising) and media holding group Latam Digital Ventures.

One issue is measurement: Publisher partners like Latin internet brand StarMedia might want high-impact units, but they’re also accustomed to time-tested metrics like standard display and video impression counts and completions.

Still, if high-impact units perform the way some vendors say they can, the logic is that they’ll drive more mobile revenue and higher CPMs for publishers.

That’s why Primia is working with rich-media company Simple Magic to build a video marketplace to serve high-impact mobile and video formats across its network of 200 publishers. These units are available initially through SpotX’s private marketplace.

Simple Magic claims its rich-media units give consumers choice and unique functionality both on desktop and mobile – they can share videos to social media straight from the unit or opt out of the units for a certain period of time, or even altogether. 

And because Simple Magic had mobile in mind, it built its units to be responsive.

Ran Cohen, GM of North America for Simple Magic, claims it’s technically challenging to support units that aren’t banners or in-stream – a problem he witnessed while at Legolas/Upfront Digital Media (which Undertone acquired in 2014) and Eyeblaster (now known as Sizmek’s MediaMind).

“At Eyeblaster, 60% of the units we sold included video, but there were technological barriers to bring these types of units into the programmatic space and to mobile devices,” he said. “Sometimes you don’t even see the ad if the ad call jumps through several hoops, depending on how difficult it was to coordinate between the DSP, SSP, publisher and technology provider.”

Then came the sales challenges: Creating special units with a publisher required between two weeks to 30 days to create the ad, obtain agency approvals and review the final creative with the advertiser, Cohen claimed. Also, high-impact formats require users to initiate them, or else they don’t render at all.

Therefore, advertisers want these units embedded within a larger media buy that often include more traditional pieces, said Primia’s Stiglitz.

“I would say we’ve had some early success with some strong advertisers like Honda, Corona and Dunkin’ Donuts, but this is about convincing publishers and advertisers that [a more engaging unit] is a good thing.”

But Ben Abbatiello, VP of strategic accounts for SpotX, said the technical gap between high-impact formats and standard ad-serving systems is closing.

Before programmatic and Deal ID transactions were commonplace, the industry wasn’t set up to support high-impact units in an operational sense.

However, now that programmatic is more mainstream, Abbatiello thinks it lends scale to high-impact units such as Simple Magic’s. But he offers this caveat: “Like any tool, programmatic has to be applied correctly to work well.”

 

 

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