Adam Cahan is CEO of Auditude which provides a technology platform for video management and monetization.
AC: Auditude was founded in 2005 around our Content ID/fingerprinting technology. In 2007, we took our first round of institutional financing and began to build the team we have in place today. We have fingerprinted over 100 channels of broadcast television since 2005, which powers our Content ID offering. In 2008, we launched our complementary video ad management platform, Auditude Connect. Our ad platform customers include Major League Baseball, MySpace, MTV Networks and Yahoo!. Some of the largest names in content, websites and advertising trust us to manage their online video assets and monetization.
We’re headquartered in Palo Alto, CA with offices in New York, Los Angeles and London.
What problem is Auditude trying to solve and for whom?
Auditude is helping create a viable business model for premium online video by making video advertising truly manageable in a highly distributed and complex environment. Imagine all the business rules and challenges that occur when premium video such as TV content migrates online. There are many questions that arise including how to deal with advertiser exclusions, manage multi-party selling (websites, content owners, and third parties), incorporating new ad products as well as managing the overall consumer experience. This is in addition to forecasting and accounting for revenue shares, and delivery across multiple sites in real time.
We’ve spent a lot of time on our product removing and automating a lot of these challenges by trying to apply display advertising models to video content. We’ve taken a holistic approach to delivering ad management capabilities that deal with content, context and user interaction. We believe that we can help solve some of the challenges through scaling capabilities and, thus, see more content and consumption continue to increase online.
Ultimately, we’re here to help grow the business of online video by making it easier for websites to offer advertisers the ability to buy premium online video at scale. We believe that is what will truly accelerate the distribution of premium content online.
What pricing models do you offer?
Our ad platform/server, Auditude Connect, is licensed through revenue share and CPM models.
Please discuss your competitive set.
We believe we are pretty unique in our approach to managing and monetizing online video. Specifically we’ve focused on how to make our ad management platform “content aware”.
What we mean by this is the ability to truly manage multi-faceted, complex interactions between user, advertiser, content owner and publisher with scale. Our competitive set tends to be the installed base of legacy systems that were designed for display advertising with video as an ad-on. There are a few areas we feel we are distinctive including: automation of content ingestion; managing multi-party sales and demand in real-time; incorporating business rules, and exclusions in a highly distributed environment; supporting flexibility in ad products and pricing models; and real-time reporting and forecasting.
How will standardization of video ad formats help propel the video advertising industry? How long until standardization finally becomes a reality?
We have to be careful when we talk about standardization that we not lead advertisers or the industry to believe that this means simplification of ad formats. In fact, we fully support and believe that new ad products should continue to enter the market. That said, standards for this industry are about how we all benefit from metrics as well as interoperability.
Standardization in the form of metrics and interoperability of video ad formats will make video advertising more prevalent, easier for advertisers to buy at scale, easier for publishers and content owners to manage and more profitable for everyone. We’re very active and support the developments that VAST and VPAID are bringing to the market. These standards are becoming more pervasive in our industry and it allows for us to partner across ad serving systems.
We expect to see significant gains in this area in the next 12 months.
Looking at large media companies today, what recommendations would you make to these media publishers given the rapid evolution of technology in advertising?
Anticipate innovation. Do not implement platforms, or any other technology for that matter, with closed or proprietary systems. The ad product that you’re deploying today is drastically different than the ad products you were running 6-months ago. The same will be true in 6-months time. Demand that your technology provider give you a robust set of features and also ensure that they are building an open platform. Require that they invest the time to understand your business and goals and that they are willing to innovate with you. That’s the definition of a true partnership.
Additionally, take the time to understand a potential technology partner’s business model as well. Are they building a “sales and service” model, or a technology licensing model? These may sound the same but have very different implications when it comes time to investing in updates to their platform.
What is your view on exchanges? Do they or will they make sense for video advertising?
Right now the video advertising landscape for premium video is still in the relatively early stages. Most premium content owners are able to manage to high levels of sell-through. In our platform, all of the sites we work with support multi-party sales environments. These are not “true” exchanges but they are the beginnings of them.
Ultimately, the value proposition of an exchange is that it should decrease the friction of buying online video at scale for advertisers, increase the ability for advertisers to target their ideal audience while driving more quality demand and CPMs for content owners and publishers. We expect that exchanges will likely make sense for video in the near future but we’re still managing through some of the Tier 1 challenges before this becomes a scaled reality.