Online video ad network Brightroll has begun to include mobile inventory across its network and exchange, offering advertisers the ability to run 15- or 30-second video ads on mobile devices such as the iPhone, and handsets running Google's Android platform.
Although the availability of mobile video inventory remains limited, the company says it no longer defines pre-roll as an ad before video content exclusively, which greatly expands the potential scale of its network. "We've moved past that definition, and transitioned from serving ads before video content to serving ads before free content," said Tod Sacerdoti, BrightRoll CEO. "Advertisers care about buying an ad experience, not a content experience," he added. That approach allows the company to sell into almost any form of mobile content, including games, productivity tools, and even simple text-based media.
According to Sacerdoti, mobile apps will contribute the vast majority of inventory to the network. "Many of the free app experiences for consumers are still poor... If there is an established monetization vehicle for developers, those apps will get better. For developers, ad rates in video are around ten times what they would probably get from display," he said. Meanwhile for advertisers he suggests, "There's no ad format other than television where you have the entire user experience consumed by the ad."
A range of mobile ad networks currently offer similar video solutions including click-to-video and video interstitials, and networks such as iVdopia have specialized in selling pre-app video ads to brands including Coca-Cola and Miller Light.
BrightRoll's potential advantage is the advertiser base already making use of its desktop video ad network. According to comScore, BrightRoll was the third largest video ad entity in June, behind Hulu and competing network Tremor Media. Sacerdoti said expanding clients' existing online video campaigns to mobile is "as simple as checking a box," since the same 15- or 30-second creative is used, and he hopes advertisers already targeting an audience through its existing network will simply extend those campaigns to mobile.
BrightRoll says it has already conducted mobile campaigns for clients in the automotive, CPG, and mobile communications sectors, but declined to reveal details of specific advertisers.
Mobile inventory will also be made available via the company's recently launched video ad exchange, Sacerdoti said. However, it won't be subject to the same level of targeting as desktop inventory, offering targeting options based on geography, handset, daypart, and content type.
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Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
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