Downing pointed out that many publishers are having a hard time making the transition from a print paradigm to more of a television paradigm. That is because today, 125 websites are driving 95 per cent of the US$9bn of revenue that online video is generating. “We are trying to democratise continent distribution by providing technology, content and expertise to allow a larger group of publishers to participate in the online video revenue opportunity,” he said.
How does it work? Tout works with large video content publishers like television stations who need to find new ways to distribute their content beyond their own web properties. “For large content creators, online advertising is the largest source of digital revenue but they have run out of space to carry more ads. Syndication is important for continued growth,’ he said.
Then Tout works with mid-tier publishers who do not have the in-house capabilities to create their own video content. These publishers make all the articles they publish available to the Tout platform where the text is scanned. The platform then identifies which videos are relevant for each targeted article and the video is seamlessly integrated into the story.
“In essence we are creating new video inventory where none has existed previously and by doing this, we are allowing text-based publishers to transition to video in an automated way. We scan millions and millions of articles each day and insert millions of relevant videos,” he said.
Downing offered an example where a publication writes an article about presidential candidate, Donald Trump at a campaign rally but doesn’t have a video to provide additional depth to the story. The Tout platform identifies a relevant video sourced from CNN and inserts it into the story. In this way, the company is helping smaller publishers who don’t have video capabilities to seamlessly blend in video.
Smaller publishers are also able to tap into a new revenue stream. This is especially attractive considering that the pre-roll advertising that is included with each video is commanding 6 to 8 times higher CPMs than display advertising.
According to Downing, this allows publishers to make money even though they did not create the video. Publisher clients on both ends of the transactions use Tout’s platform and tools at no cost because the advertising revenue is split between the content owner, Tout and the content publishers.
Pre-roll advertising can be dynamically selected by content owners based on a variety of factors. Content owners also have real time visibility into where video is placed and who is watching it.
The company is in the process of expanding beyond the US with the UK being the first port of call.
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