When it comes to programmatic platforms, quality premium mobile video's supply is a limiting factor.
Some say that programmatic will quickly become the new inventory for all forms of advertising, making coveted impressions previously sold exclusively through direct relationships available on private exchanges. But does premium mobile video fit into the programmatic picture?
It doesn't when you look at the economics.
It's a given that more publishers will make more inventory available via programmatic platforms and it's likely that a sizable portion of that inventory will soon be video, but premium mobile video simply is not governed by the same supply-side economics as display and user-generated, non-premium video advertising.
The supply of display advertising opportunities is huge, with more than 2.3 trillion ad impressions in 2013 alone (ComScore Ad Metrix September 2013). In the video realm, ad impressions topped 24 billion in 2013, bolstered especially by user-generated content of the "YouTube" variety (ComScore Video Metrics October 2013). With numbers this big, it only makes sense to offer impressions to the highest bidder, and in the case of display advertising especially, massive supply means an algorithm can likely sell inventory more efficiently than a human. The same is true for non-premium video.
But premium mobile video is different. Supply is limited. In the entire online video universe, less than a quarter of ad impressions are premium. In mobile, that number is even smaller. Premium publishers know they have a top commodity on their hands and they are not willing to part with their inventory easily.
Yet despite supply constraints, demand among top brands remains high. Big brands require brand-safe, relevant content with the seamless, unobtrusive ad experiences premium mobile video affords them. On top of that, brands want unique creative, smart metrics, and usable consumer insights.
These are not things an algorithm can provide -- at least not yet! For now, due to supply constraints, consistently high demand, and the individual brands' intricate needs, premium mobile video is likely to continue to be bought and sold by humans.
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Paul Bremer is an accomplished and well respected expert in digital media. He leads blinkx Mobile, bringing 15 years of successful digital advertising sales and management to his role as general manager.
Before joining Rhythm, Paul co-founded Inflection Point Media in 2008. Inflection Point Media helps marketers reach small and medium sized business decision makers.
In addition to a series of management and sales positions with WebMD, Lycos, and The Wall Street Journal, Paul previously directed national sales teams at Internet Broadcasting and with NBCOlympics.com.
At Internet Broadcasting he oversaw sales initiatives across IB's 80+ TV station partner sites and sales teams in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Leading sales efforts for NBCOlympics.com for the 2004 and 2006 Olympic Games, Paul established relationships with blue chip advertisers that led to record-breaking revenue and first-time profitability for the sites.
Paul is also a co-founding board member of two charities, The Tom Deierlein Foundation that works to improve the lives of Iraqi children and the Rough Riders Foundation that supports better education for underprivileged youth. He earned a B.S. in History and Diplomacy from Georgetown University. He and his wife, Laura, live in Connecticut with their three children.
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