JW Player adds three ad partners to Video Player Bidding in quest for full fill rates

JW Player's partners are now SpotX, Telaria, EMX and PubMatic

Video software company JW Player has expanded its Video Player Bidding service with three new partners as it looks to provide publishers with more opportunity to monetize their video inventory programmatically.

Telaria, PubMatic and EMX all join the fold. JW Player launched the offering last February with SpotX as its exclusive partner.

The Video Player Bidding solution is a single-click, in-player tool that connects publishers and advertisers for header bidding.

Before the expansion, publishers needed to a have a relationship with both JW Player and SpotX – which is still a partner – to leverage the tool. JW Player co-founder Brian Rifkin said this expansion phase is about bringing in more demand, because “it’s hard to have one advertising source fill it all.”

“Not being able to get full fill rates…[is] something that speaks to the maturity of the online video ad market, meaning it's still growing,” said Rifkin, who is also head of strategic partnerships at JW Player. “We believe that with technology, we can help bridge that gap and really get a publisher to a point where they're doing everything and optimize like they should, and this is one of our steps to that.”

Tal Almany, senior director of advanced integrations at SpotX, said the addition of competing partners won’t impact the company’s day-to-day operations. Instead, the expanded offering will ideally see more publishers sign on for the service.

"As we move into the next phase of this partnership, we welcome the addition of new ad tech vendors, as we expect to see increased adoption of the platform. Thanks to our jumpstart with Video Player Bidding, we can now focus our efforts on advancing the offering for the next wave of industry innovation," he said.

More than 70 publishers use the tool, which serves more than 1bn ad requests per month. The product works across publishers’ owned-and-operated channels across mobile web and desktop. Rifkin added the company is developing the Video Player Bidding tool for in-app video, too.

Rifkin said the ultimate goal of growing the service and building out demand is to increase fill rates, as he sees too many videos that run without an ad.

“There are many ways to tackle the full fill problem," he said. "There's going to be more that we work on in the future. This is step one, bringing in more demand, but this a product that I think we're going to continue to enhance, and we'll do it by leveraging a lot of the data and incorporating our publisher's data, so it becomes more effective when they want to sell against it."

Brian Weigel, chief operating officer of EMX, said in a blog post that the expansion allows more partners to validate metrics such as player size, completion rates and location to guarantee alignment between advertisers and publishers.

“Our participation in this program allows us to continue to provide publishers with advanced monetization solutions to grow revenue responsibly and will empower our advertiser partners with greater insight into inventory performance," said Weigel.

“By creating a real-time feedback loop between our directly-integrated publishers and our advertising partners, EMX can continue to bridge the gap between both sides of our industry."

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