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BrightRoll’s Mitchell: Video’s Future Hinges on More Quality Inventory Coming Online

Vincent Flood 20 August, 2014 

Andy MitchellA few months ago Andy Mitchell joined BrightRoll as Managing Director for Europe at BrightRoll, a video ad technology platform, with a mandate to drive the adoption of programmatic video in the region, while expanding the European team headquartered in London. Here Andy discusses what’s on the road map for BrightRoll, where the company is seeing the most growth in terms of supply, and the markets BrightRoll will be focusing most heavily on.

What will your main focus be at BrightRoll over the next 12 months?

Over the next 12 months, we will focus exclusively on improving the technologies we’ve built to automate and improve digital video advertising for brands, agencies and technology partners. Today we operate the industry’s single largest digital video marketplace and unified programmatic platform. This gives us unique and powerful insights into the selling and buying behaviours within the digital video ad ecosystem.

As such, a few key areas of focus include: programmatic growth in Europe; mobile measurement and targeting; the convergence of TV and digital; and inventory quality.

IHS, IAB Europe’s research partner, claims programmatic video ad buying across the “big five” European markets (UK, France, Spain, Germany and Italy) will grow an average of 77 percent a year to an estimated €627 million by 2017. To support this projected growth, we are making investments to expand our European operations. We also recently launched a data centre in Amsterdam to support the growing demand among RTB buyers in the region.

A core part of this growth is occurring in mobile ad spend. Around half of the campaigns that run on our platform now have a mobile component. However, there are challenges that prohibit the widespread adoption of mobile advertising, including a standard currency for measuring reach and improving audience targeting capabilities. With this in mind, we have been working with vendors like Nielsen OCR and comScore vCE to pave the way for mobile measurement, and with the IAB to create an MRAID industry standard for mobile video measurement (similar to mobile to what VPAID is for web).

We’re also rolling-out a diverse suite of audience targeting capabilities through mobile data from partners such as BlueKai and eXelate that will enable advertisers to target their campaign audiences on both desktop and mobile, including smartphones and tablets.

On top of this, TV has become a huge point of discussion and it will soon be crucial for any major platform in the video advertising world to allow buyers and sellers to transact against inventory across screens, including traditional linear TV. That said, we’re focusing our efforts on helping advertisers and agencies plan, purchase, and report on TV and video advertising in a simplified, cohesive manner.

Of course, all of this will be undermined if the inventory quality isn’t there. Advertisements that are not seen by human audiences cannot make an impression. Video advertisers expect the ads they pay for to be served to human traffic, and be viewable, transparent, and brand safe. As savvy brands and agencies increasingly rely on programmatic video advertising tools to more efficiently reach audiences at scale, they are recognising the need for their buying platforms to empower them to plan, target, and optimise their campaigns against specific advertising quality metrics. We take this responsibility seriously and are working with the IAB and the wider industry to lead efforts to combat fraud.

Where is BrightRoll currently seeing the most growth coming from in terms of supply?

We’re seeing huge growth through a few central channels – the largest coming through direct publisher relationships, which makes up about 75 percent of our inventory. The other 25 percent stems from open exchanges (e.g. Google AdX). Currently, we work with 25 of the top 50 publishers – many of which participate in our private marketplace – and we continue to grow that part of our business.

Which of the European markets will BrightRoll be focusing most heavily on?

Generally speaking, we are focused on building the team and making strategic hires, most recently demonstrated by our newly appointed COO and VP of Global Marketing. We are continually onboarding new international inventory sources and expanding our technology infrastructure globally (as shown through our recent data center investment in Europe). We’re increasing our presence across Europe, not only in the more obvious larger markets, but in technically advanced markets in the region as well.


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