We recently sat down with Brendan Bourke, CMO of VideoElephant to chat about the hot topic of third party video content. VideoElephant helps publishers drive increased video ad revenues through accessing their library of 500,000 premium videos, with over 1,000 fresh videos added per day. Brendan shared some great insights and recommendations for publishers looking to get started with third party video content.
1) Over the last few months we’ve seen increased media coverage of third party video content, however the concept is still relatively new for a lot of publishers. How do you describe third party video content and the advantages it offers?
This recent coverage has stemmed from the fact that publishers are extremely keen to get into online video in order to increase ad revenues, or already use video but need more video inventory. Producing video in-house is time consuming and expensive which is where third party video comes in.
Video is referred to as ‘third party’ when it’s not produced in-house but is sourced from a specialist video content producer or aggregator. Examples of these producers range from the likes of National Geographic to IMG. Third party content is available across all genres and includes evergreen content as well as the latest news, sports and entertainment video.
There are numerous advantages of using third party video. As mentioned above, producing video content in-house is expensive, time consuming and difficult to scale. Using third party video minimizes cost and risk, and dramatically increases turnaround time.
When sourcing third party video via a video aggregator, the range and depth of content is vast so publishers are guaranteed a regular flow of premium, editorially appropriate content. In addition, if a publisher is currently producing in-house video or looking to do so in the future, the results generated will help inform future decisions around production.
The biggest advantage for many publishers is simply the increased revenue that they can earn from using third party video, as it opens up a new income stream while at the same time enhancing user engagement.
2) For publishers, content creation is one of their largest expenses but also one of their biggest differentiators. As a publisher that already produces video content, should they consider supplementing with third party video? How do you recommend they make that decision?
Generally speaking, supplementing existing video with third party content is worth strong consideration for any publisher. The decision comes down to two simple questions:
a) As a publisher, are you currently producing sufficient video volumes?
Publishers need to analyze the data – traffic numbers, current video views and revenue generated. For most publishers the result of this analysis is likely to show the potential to further exploit the video revenue opportunity. In order to make the decision to plug this gap by producing video in-house, a publisher needs to audit their resources to see if they can cost-effectively produce the required volumes of video content with the right production values. If as is often the case the answer is no, then third party video should be considered.
b) Can you source third party content that meets your editorial requirements?
The answer to this lies in the publisher’s ability to identify a video aggregator who can provide the appropriate mix of suitable content at scale. Once identified, third party content is the perfect option for many publishers.
3) What qualities do you advise publishers to look for in a content partner?
Here’s a summary of what all publishers should look for:
Pure-play content provider: Basically speaking, a partner who is all about great content and who’s decision making starts and ends with providing publishers with the best pure content solution.
Tech agnostic: Partners who bring a range of optional technical solutions to the table are ideal, as long as they don’t insist on a publisher using any specific solution.
Curation: Metadata and contextual technology are a great way of discovering content but a content partner should also deliver a human curation solution, a resource whose responsibility it is to know a publication and what will work for its unique audience.
Flexible delivery: How and when a publisher receives content is critical, particularly when the content is of a timely nature. A content partner should make content available via a range of delivery methods, including MRSS feeds, API and custom CMS integrations.
4) Once publishers have selected a content partner, what are some best practices and recommendations you can share around content selection?
Great content selection ultimately comes down to the curation process. To take advantage of the depth and choice of a library of content of any kind, you need a guide. Someone who can combine knowledge of the library and its producers with an acute sensitivity to what a publisher might be looking for. Great curation will ensure that the quality and the tone is something that suits a publication and that publishers are not simply using the same content as everyone else when there’s something they may not be aware of that suits their audience perfectly.
As content production continues to increase exponentially, technology can address a part of this challenge, but curation is becoming more and more important.
We’d like to extend a big thanks to VideoElephant for being a great partner and sharing some of their knowledge with us today. If you are interested in learning more about third party video content and the benefits it has to offer, check out our previous post “Boost Revenue by Integrating Premium Third-Party Content into Your Inventory.”