YuMe launched in California in 2004, and now has more than 300 employees working across the world, with development offices in India and sales and business development offices in New York, London, Chicago, LA and now Paris. The company has expanded from online video to mobile, and in Europe, this is where their business is focused.
Last week, YuMe revealed that it delivered 1.2bn video ad impressions in the UK between September and March, with their video ad revenue growing by 580 per cent in the UK over the last year. YuMe offers advertisers interstitials, in-app and pre-roll video on mobile websites. It works with Audi, McDonalds, Intel, HP and Sky, among more than 80 brands it has launched campaigns for.
We caught up with YuMe’s senior VP marketing, Ed Haslam, at the recent Guardian Mobile Business Summit, to find out more about the trends in mobile video advertising. “In mobile, there is not as much pure pre-roll video inventory as there is rich media and pre-roll,” he told us. “Publishers were doing exclusive video deals and we entered from the side in Europe in this growth area. Publishers are realising exclusives don’t serve them well. Many also don’t have the reach that brands wants so YuMe brings them together and makes it look like one audience.
Brands move towards engagement
“Brands seem happy with what we’re delivering. Each brand measures in their own way: a click, an ‘engagement’, others will ask us to report on completion rate – was the player skipped out of?
“But we are increasingly offering post-campaign surveys to measure in-mobile brand uplift – the way brands traditionally measure performance – focused on brand recall and purchase intent. ‘Do you remember this brand?’
“If it’s a large enough campaign, we’ll pay for the research, but brands often want to pay for it themselves with providers like Nielsen, so they can compare multiple ad suppliers’ performance against each other. Although sometimes it’s just a pure branding campaign.”
Smartphone vs tablet
We asked Haslam about the ideal length of a mobile video ad. “In mobile, we find that 15 seconds works better than 30 second pre-rolls,” he told us. “Attention is a little shorter, although that’s not true on tablets, where users check out and consume content.”
Haslam also said that advertisers are treating smartphones and tablets as separate devices, and that YuMe does too. “Each has its own rate card and different creative ad units, even if they use the same source video. Video is a combination of sight, sound and motion – it is when hopes and dreams come – it is more emotional, more engaging than a banner. And we are seeing agencies look for alternative ways in digital. It is actually running into the TV creative group; it is often their assets that we’re using.
15 per cent of business in 2013
Although the company has been in the video advertising business for almost a decade, Haslam concedes that the mobile version is still early and experimental. He told us: “It was less than 5 per cent of our total business last year, it will be 10 per cent of our business this year and we expect 15 per cent next year. In the US, we see 100m monthly uniques. Our biggest spenders are entertainment, FMCG and auto, which is really reflecting TV and mobile advertising.
“As some people say: ‘TV is dead – long live TV.'”