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With Outstream, YuMe evolves beyond in-stream video ads

YuMe, the multiscreen advertising company, has had a busy year.

In June, the company launched in China in order to capitalize on the country’s growing connected TV and OTT market. YuMe has built its reputation as a leader in video advertising (whether on TVs, desktops, or mobile devices), and the move made perfect sense.

But YuMe’s ambitions extend beyond in-stream video, and so in October they announced the launch of Outstream, a solution that enables publishers to monetize non-video content. The product will help solidify the company as a robust end-to-end platform.

Outstream ad formats benefit markets by only playing when visible and they benefit publishers by allowing them to further monetize editorial content; additional video ad inventory becomes available via the implementation of a YuMe JavaScript tag. The inventory can be bought and sold direct or programmatically.

For more on YuMe’s evolution, we spoke with Jayant Kadambi, YuMe’s Co-founder and CEO.

Found Remote: Why is Outstream an important part of YuMe’s evolution and why is the platform important for the industry?

Jayant Kadambi: Our full-stack programmatic video marketplace solution was launched earlier this Summer and leverages the expertise we have as one of the first entrants to the video arena 10 years ago. What had allowed us to enter the marketplace now in a more sophisticated, targeted way, is our ability to integrate first-party audience data and third-party data sources with our own DMP, in combination with our own SSP and DSP offerings. This allows us to provide our clients with more flexible and accurate audience targeting capabilities. Having an end-to-end platform allows us to solve the unique problems (i.e. ad blocking, viewability, TOGI and audience targeting) of digital advertising. Our SDK has strong adoption that allows us in a proactive manner to address these issues while providing more fine-tuned data capabilities.

The impact from the industry perspective is that audience is the most valuable currency out there. In fact, we’re seeing the ad tech industry going through a significant shift. We’re witnessing the birth of ad tech 2.0, focused not on the blunt instruments of programmatic buying and selling, but on a far more sophisticated ability to generate and deliver insights into audience behaviors, preferences and psychographics. Combine this with the soaring demand for video: according to eMarketer, US programmatic digital video ad spending will grow 212 percent to $2.18 billion this year, making up 28 percent of total digital video ad spending. It’s clear that being able to provide the most sophisticated and integrated tools to reach a desired audience is key. We view our solution as ‘smarter programmatic.’

FR: How can TV networks leverage their platform?

Kadambi: Traditional television remains a mainstay of video consumption, but multi-screen as we know it is gaining significant ground. While the convergence of traditional TV and connected TV (CTV) is happening, TV as a whole remains a key component of any successful brand campaign. That said, multiple touch points, reaching consumers throughout their day, is the name of the game, and knowing how to reach them across screens is critical.

One of the tools we’ve developed to help solve for this is through our partnership with Strata, a leader in media buying and selling software. This partnership enables us to conduct true programmatic TV, as we offer agencies and local TV buyers the ability to buy our digital video inventory together with local TV buys, all on one automated platform. This is a great audience extension tool, and it allows brand advertisers to reach very specific audiences cost effectively without being reliant on either TV or digital channels alone.

FR: YuMe, in its early days, built various TV devices. What were they and how did they shape the company to where it is now?

Kadambi: The first YuMe product was what we’d now call a set-top box. It connected to the then cutting-edge DSL cables being installed in homes, and it allowed you to stream video from the web onto your TV. It’s very much like an earlier version of the Apple TV or Roku. The main challenge for us to start was with content licensing, and we focused largely on the international rights to movies and film. Through our work we were able to see the opportunity for digital video advertising and the change in consumption patterns. The important thing we learned from this period is really the technology behind delivering high quality video over the web. We were one of the earliest in the market, and it has given us an advantage in delivering video ever since. We always focused on the consumer experience and need, and created technology to meet those needs, which has enabled us to seamlessly build our products and business.

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Adam Flomenbaum

Adam Flomenbaum is a global leading expert on social television, over the top platforms, TV Everywhere, and content marketing. Flomenbaum has written for Dime Magazine and Brooklyn’s Finest (ESPN TrueHoop). In January 2014, he began contributing to LostRemote, a leading social TV blog, and was named editor in October 2014.

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