NextMedium Launches Brand Integration Marketplace

NextMedium has launched a new online marketplace for brand integration placements across TV, film, music and video games.

The Embed platform gives media buyers and brand owners a central place to find opportunities for brand integration from multiple content owners and distributors. Entertainment companies can present their available brand integration inventory, while advertisers and their agencies can log into the platform to monitor available brand integration inventory and hook up with content owners or distributors to purchase avails directly.

“Today, brand integration is a manual, high-touch effort requiring lots of research, and lots of contacts to make it happen,” Hamet Watt, CEO of NextMedium, told ClickZ News. “With Embed, we’re trying to make exploring brand integration almost as easy as buying ads on Google.”

The process will never be as automated as buying a simple text ad, Watt said, but he believes the process of identifying available inventory, as well as the responsible content or distribution partner that can implement the brand integration can be greatly streamlined over the current process.

NextMedium is positioning itself as an infrastructure provider, making the underlying platform available to both sides of the process. The company will monetize the platform by collecting subscription fees from buyers and sellers, as well as transaction fees when a deal is facilitated through the platform.

The Embed platform was unveiled to media buyers and content owners Monday night at an event in New York that NextMedium billed as a “brand integration upfront,” with representatives from TV networks, production companies, record labels and game developers pitching their product placement opportunities to media buyers, Watt said.

Nielsen Media Research, which has been collaborating with NextMedium for metrics and standards in brand integration for the past three years, was on hand to share details of its Place*Views database, which tracks the performance of brand integrations, including how long they lasted and the number of viewers that saw them. Nielsen also shared some best practices and research on the space, Watt said.

The growing consumer adoption of DVRs, and the tendency for users to skip ads, makes integration of advertising into content more important than ever, according to Watt. In addition, new broadband video distribution strategies can separate an ad from the content, unless it is embedded into it through brand integration, he said.

When brand owners see the data in the Place*Views database, it becomes business intelligence tool, helping them to keep tabs on competitors and see where their efforts need to be focused, he said.

“Brand integration is one of the least understood ad media. We’re looking to shine a light on that, establish it as an ad format, and make it scalable,” Watt said. “We’re at an inflection point, and it’s critical for marketers to understand the opportunities.”

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