Venture Investing in Digital Media and Big Data

Genesis Media Teams Up With Moat To Push More Viewable Video Impressions

Genesis Media is the latest to dish up video ad impressions guaranteed on viewability, the company revealed Tuesday. Genesis Media’s new cost-per-viewable-impression, enabled through a partnership with Moat, accounts for the Media Rating Council’s standard for video viewability (50% of a player be in-view for two consecutive seconds) and an additional Genesis guarantee that ads will not play unless they are 100% in-view.Mark Yackanich, CEO of Genesis Media, claims the company’s engine – the Genesis Attention Platform – accounts for user behavior as well as webpage attributes. Publishers can also use a tool called Page Attention Rank to determine how a reader interacted with a URL or individual content components.

Subsequently, Genesis’ platform is designed to determine whether a page is appropriate for higher-impact ad units, like those that are expandable in-article, in-feed or embedded in photo galleries.

“Our platform decides whether we will render a billboard, and where an ad would ultimately be inserted,” said Yackanich, noting its compatibility with exchanges, demand and supply-side platforms. 

Genesis is among several video companies like Teads and Virool that are pushing outstream video formats, which render outside of the video container. Because these formats expand supply beyond pre-roll or post-roll units, Yackanich claims they’re attractive because of their ability to mesh natively with publishers’ content.

However, viewability-guaranteed or not, without proper optimization, buyers and sellers can encounter difficulties.

“If you just nail one of these experiences to a webpage, it won’t consistently perform the second you put it live on a site,” he acknowledged. “If you’re a publisher, if you aren’t careful about how you target content pages as well as optimize around audience, you will create suppression within the site. Conversely, if you’re a brand, you need to ensure you’re receiving the right view-through and engagement rates.”

Brands increasingly request improved viewability measures and engagement metrics. Without open, third-party measurement and visibility into where ads are placed, major marketers like Kellogg have reduced video ad expenditures.

“Marketers feel that simply having a video on-screen for two seconds muted is not the definition of success,” said Jonah Goodhart, CEO of Moat. “One of the challenges, frankly, for both YouTube or Facebook, is neither of them allow third-party measurement. It comes at a premium to buy [Google’s] TrueView, and all it verifies is that you didn’t click the skip button.”

David Cohen, chief investment officer for Universal McCann, said it’s not outlandish to hit only a 20%-30% viewability mark in programmatic video, which obviously complicates conversations with blue-chip brand clients.

“It’s hard to have a conversation with marketers to tell them that 50% or 70% of what you’ve been doing is totally wasted and hasn’t been in front of a human being,” he told AdExchanger. “It would be awfully wonderful if we ultimately had [verification] built into the ad-serving solution so there weren’t all of these bespoke solutions where it’s one tag after another.”