Audiences are welcoming the idea of contextual adverts, says JW Player co-founder & head of strategic partnerships Brian Rifkin.

JWPlayer Brian Rifkin

Brian Rifkin

A recent forecast by eMarketer found that marketers will spend $29.2 billion on programmatic video this year, which accounts for almost half of all U.S. programmatic display ad spending.

But as Europe and states like California adopt privacy policies that limit the opportunity to reach consumers in a relevant and impactful way, the huge potential of digital video should not be lost. While many marketers have become entranced by hyper-targeted ads based upon user-level behaviour, we cannot lose sight of what has worked for marketers and media companies for decades – contextual advertising.

A colleague of mine recently equated contextual advertising to the music industry stalwart of vinyl records. It [still represents] the best sound quality, and while it has been superseded by the ease of services like Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud, it continues to be the medium of choice for audiophiles across the globe.

Similarly, we’ve seen both advertisers and media companies beginning to bring back the “retro” contextual advertising craze due to a combination of brand safety and access to premium content – creating a better user experience for audiences.

Despite consumers becoming hyper-aware that their data is being sold to the highest bidder, we’ve seen audiences welcoming the idea of seeing a GM ad when they’re watching a car video, or being served Gatorade ads while watching a football game. While it may seem counter-intuitive, brand safety and relevance to content via contextual advertising deliver a better experience for audiences and more ad revenue for media companies.

At JW Player, we work with some of the world’s leading media companies and every day we are asked how to maximise our clients’ digital video advertising revenue. Many times the answer is simple – make your stack simpler.

Earlier this year we looked to simplify that process for media companies by directly connecting advertising and our video technology. Video Player Bidding brings advertising from partners EMX, Pubmatic, Telaria and SpotX to our amazing media clients, which has reduced latency and boosted ad yields.

What we’ve found over the last few months is that by using Video Player Bidding and simplifying the technical workflows we’ve been able to help our clients reduce latency, increase their advertising fill, and generate higher CPMs.

While the industry tries to navigate the complex, fast-paced innovations in ad-tech, we’ve officially reached a point where the best thing for both marketers and media companies is playing the classics.

So stick with the proven classics – vinyl records and contextual advertising.

Brian Rifkin is co-founder & head of strategic partnerships at JW Player

JW Player is exhibiting at IBC2019 on Stand 14.G16