What to Look for in a Video Monetization Partner

Post on September 13, 2018 by Marcos Malé

Marcos Malé Associate Director, Product Management

With a 53 percent increase in digital video advertising spend from 2016-2018, according to IAB, it is important to work with a video monetization partner who will fuel your growth.

While revenue, high CPMs, and fill rates are key factors when evaluating SSPs to monetize your video inventory, there are other criteria you should consider when thinking holistically about long-term business value. You need a partner with great tech and yield, but also with world-class customer support – one that is nimble enough to support your tech and ops teams day-in and day-out to make your account a success.

These characteristics are especially critical for video, as this format tends to have more complexities than banner ads. You also need a partner that doesn’t blindly deliver ads to your site, but one that gives you the controls to adjust which buyers you work with and proactively works on your behalf to ensure you receive optimal creatives. Ultimately, you should look for a partner who is constantly innovating and protecting your interests. This will help you grow towards long-term success.

Given there are a number of video monetization options for partners out there, we summarize a few table-stakes items to consider when evaluating vendors. Below are some key capabilities and offerings to look for:

Reporting

Unlike banner, video requires additional tracking and reporting if you want to understand your users’ engagement with advertisements and hone in on critical video errors. Advertisers seek inventory that has a high-completion rate and high-viewability score, so you should track these to assess the full potential of your inventory.

Some key metrics that your SSP should help you track are:

  • Ad Requests, Paid Impressions, eCPM, Fill Rate, Quartiles, Clicks, Completion Rate
  • Error count (including IAB codes and more) to gauge the scale of revenue loss due to failures
  • Creative level error reports (to help you hone in on which buyers and creatives are causing errors)

Inventory Quality & Third-Party Measurement

While measuring viewability and fraud is a larger concern for advertisers, publishers should seek an SSP that protects the ad ecosystem and has these capabilities. Inevitably if your inventory has fraud or low viewability, buyers will reduce or stop buying your video altogether. You want an SSP that can help you identify these issues early, so you can tackle them before it’s too late. Accreditations, internal experts focused on quality, third-party verifications, whitelists, and more are all good markers of a partner who is focused on fraud protection.

Ad Quality Tools

User experience is critical to premium publishers. An SSP that is tackling faulty ads shows they not only focus on short-term yield results but also keep the pub’s long-term business in mind. Seek an SSP that keeps your pockets—and user—happy.

Some key features in this area include:

  • Creative optimization: Aligning the best ad with your inventory and not just based on CPM
  • Blocking arbitragers: Prevent excessive latency and arbitraged ads that lack creatives and try to resell your inventory without your permission
  • Blocking faulty or error-prone creatives: Avoid creatives that don’t generate revenue and cause a poor user experience
  • Creative scanning: Protect your site from malware or broken ads by working with an SSP that partners with companies like TheMediaTrust and/or those who use internally built scanning systems

Demand Sources

To maximize your revenue, make sure you work with an SSP that brings you demand from all the major DSPs. Additionally, your SSP should have PMP and targeting capabilities to help you set up deals with buyers (both guaranteed and non-guaranteed) to generate higher CPMs and fill rate than in the open market.

Controls

You should look for an SSP who allows you to control what you don’t want with block listing, rules, and more. It is important that you can choose the buyers to work with and don’t have to be subject to black box technology.

Integration Methods

Whether you are a large or small publisher, your SSP should be able to support wherever you are in your journey and where you plan to be with a wide variety of integration methods such as proprietary sever-to-server APIs, oRTB, VAST/VPAID tags, header bidding adapter, and header bidding wrapper technology. If you are looking to get the highest yield, consider header bidding to allow your SSP to compete with your guaranteed direct line items and your ad server.

Protocols, Platforms and Formats

Your SSP should support multiple protocols, platforms and ad formats too. For protocols, they should provide back the most common protocols including VAST 2.0, VAST 3.0, VPAID 1.0, and VPAID 2.0.

A video partner should also monetize your inventory across multiple platforms such as desktop, mobile web, mobile app, and CTV. There is a plethora of video ad formats, such as pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll, in-Article, in-feed, native video, rewarded video, interstitial video, and more. Make sure your SSP supports the formats you work with and can source demand.

What’s Next?

PubMatic is committed to the success of our partners and we would welcome the chance to be your video monetization partner. To learn more about our video offerings and products, check out our solution pages or contact us.