My wife and I are foodies. Some of our favorite places are “farm-to-table” that specialize in artfully prepared, locally grown, Southern cuisine. Nothing pretentious mind you- just simple, GMO-free, and seasonal. We even like to shop the weekend farmer’s market in our town square to pick up just-picked produce that we know had a short distance to travel and likely only passed through a few hands to get to us. To us, it just tastes better. Maybe it is in knowing it’s how it’s supposed to be—and interestingly enough—doesn’t cost more. I suppose shortening the supply-chain works for all parties.
Which brings me to the point: could video media inventory be “farm-to-table” of sorts? Why have we been ok with video inventory passing through multiple parties, intermediaries and opaque routes if we knew there was a way to source it as directly as possible? Wouldn’t it be nice to know exactly where your supply came from and how it got you? Ads.txt and app-ads.txt are a great start.
I often hear from agencies and advertisers rightfully confused about OTT, connected TV and all the hyperbole being peddled. I can empathize with that challenge. It’s no doubt they’re all working hard to ensure they are getting the safest, highest quality video inventory, and that most of their budgets are going to the producer of that inventory, not the distribution of that inventory. It’s a daunting task and the differences in choices along the supply path are more significant than most buyers know. Because of all the contaminated supply we now must employ verification tags just to be sure what we bought is what we thought we were buying (think about that). The complexity of the ecosystem has spawned even more complexity that siphon more from working media and, perhaps more importantly, trust from buyers. Are these eggs really GMO free? Is this lettuce pesticide free? How do I really know? No fun.
Paradoxically, the lowest-CPM often serves as the measure for efficiency. A hundred times out of a hundred cheap ends up being the most expensive choice, especially when campaign metrics factor in the waste of IVT, spoofed domains and other contaminants to the supply. Would you rather buy a $8/lb steak than a $5/lb fatty steak on sale if once you got home you had to trim half of it off? As for outright fraud, when I read about it being even more an issue with video and OTT they’re not off the mark. No doubt bad guys are going to go where CPMs are highest. Mixing metaphors here: Ever see a counterfeit Timex? Nope. They fake the pricey watches. And would you ever show off a $500 Rolex to your friends? Again, nope.
There is a simpler way we sell, buy, and artfully-prepare for customers. Brand safety, transparency, control, heck, just the experience is better with a similar, optimized supply path to video inventory. It is possible to simplify the supply chain and produce supply that ensures customers are buying what they had intended, without it costing them anything more. Wouldn’t you rather have farm-to-table supply if you had the choice?
This article was written by Geoff Halsema, senior director, demand facilitation at SpotX.