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Videoplaza Releases Karbon 2, Arming Media Owners with Data
Advertisers often have more information about online video metrics than the content owners. Videoplaza aims to change that.

Media owners need to “arm themselves” with the same data as buyers or risk losing revenues, warns ad management platform Videoplaza.

The company is responding to what it sees as shifting trends towards audience-based advertising trading, and aims to put media owners back in greater control of their audiences.

“Advertisers increasingly have more data about the audience than the media owner and are moving towards programmatic buying, something media owners need to avoid at all costs,” says Videoplaza chief commercial officer Rags Gupta. To solve that, Videoplaza is launching Karbon 2, an aggregation of data network, audience management, and reporting tools.

“We don't pretend to solve all the issues, but we absolutely encourage media owners to implement a data strategy that links their ad system to their data,” says Gupta. “It's something they must invest in, otherwise they risk disintermediation by advertisers who can use data to buy media audiences by extracting information from media owner sites via cookies.”

Gupta added: “If media owners are not also selling based on data and audience demographics, then they will lose money, lose CPM, and lose the ability to protect their audiences from the buy-side.”

Rags GuptaKarbon 2 builds on the Karbon IPTV ad management platform launched last year.

“We heard from more and more media owners about the problems they were having with respect to data-driven advertising,” Gupta explained. “Many had begun to combine registration and other types of data into an asset for themselves, but faced the problem of then making the strategy actionable and monetizable. To do that you need a tight integration with the ad management and ad serving platform, which is what we decided to enable.”

Videoplaza invested “heavily in a data engine” in support of the introduction of the Karbon Data Alliance, a network of partners including Nugg.Ad, Bluekai, Eyeota, and Enreach, providing access to regional audience data, analysis, and segmentation.

Nugg.Ad is strong in Germany, with a presence in France. Enreach has its base in Scandinavia.

Although Videoplaza says it can serve U.S. audiences (Bluekai is based in California), it does not have a strong presence there as yet.

“[Having an office in North America] is definitely a question we are asking ourselves,” Gupta says.

“Specifically designed for video, Karbon 2 is a really flexible way of incorporating first- and third-party data sources that a media owner can use and offer to advertisers to target different segments of audience across platforms,” Gupta says. “It will help broadcaster clients create data segments, linked to their ad serving system, to achieve CPM uplift.”

Karbon clients include French Groupe Tests, which owns and operates a range of magazines and online sites including RMC.fr, RMCSport.fr, and online news channel BFMTV.com; and Nordic publisher VG.

Videoplaza predicts that audience buying will be 30 percent of total IP video ad spend by 2015, equating to a value of €2 billion (U.S. $2.6 billion) in the U.S. and Europe.

“The media industry is experiencing a fundamental shift in the way digital advertising is bought, moving from the average to the individual, where buyers want to aim campaigns at highly relevant user segments," says Daniel Knapp, director of advertising research at IHS Screen Digest. "At the heart of such new forms of segmenting and assembling audiences is the proliferation of IP data. For media owners, formulating a clear data strategy is essential to capture this new demand and strengthen the role of the sell-side in a data-driven ecosystem.”

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