IDG's Tech Network sees video boom
By Matthew Schwartz
Online video is surging at IDG TechNetwork. Since May 2010, video streams delivered via IDG's Tech Video Network (TVN) have grown to 100 million streams a month. Now, IDG is looking to scale its online video business. In July IDG Network reached deals with Brightcove and LiveRail to manage, track and measure the network's growing inventory of online video and online video ads.
Brightcove and IDG TechNetwork signed an extension to a prior contract licensing the Brightcove Video Cloud online video platform. And in an effort to address the significant boost in video ad volume, IDG has signed a new agreement to use LiveRail's video ad management system.
As part of the agreements, LiveRail's technology has been integrated into Brightcove's system. Brightcove streams TVN's video content/programming, while LiveRail provides the platform to run the pre-roll ads packaged with the video content.
LiveRail provides demographic, geographic and behavioral data on users viewing the video content. Post impression, LiveRail analyzes the performance of an ad, noting whether the user clicked, paused or muted the ad, said Mark Trefgarne, CEO of LiveRail, whose other publishing clients include Mansueto Ventures' Fast Company and Inc.
“This gives publishers and their advertisers valuable insights into the performance of their campaigns when delivered to different users and sites, which can then be used to inform future media purchase, targeting and optimization decisions,” Trefgarne said. “And, of course, to calculate revenue [and] billing data for the publisher.”
Online video content is now delivered by IDG's TVN through 36 websites, including DeviceMag.com, QuickPWN.com and TechSupport Forums.com. (IDG's TechNetwork claims more than 460 websites targeting business, consumer and gaming technologies.)
TVN hopes to “aggressively grow” the number of websites that can deliver online video content and online video advertising, said Dedric Choi, VP-product development of IDG TechNetwork.
From April to May of this year revenue for TVN grew “ninefold,” and from May to June, revenue nearly doubled, according to IDG, which does not break out revenues for its business units.
Choi said that despite the growing use of online video by consumer marketers, there is an online video void in the b-to-b marketplace.
“Marketers across the board are looking for online video as an additional channel for their digital marketing efforts, in contrast to TV [buys],” he said. “Our main marketer, main advertising clients tend to be b-to-b enterprise technology clients; and, quite honestly, there's just not a lot of video opportunity out there for them in a contextual way that speaks to the audiences they're looking for.”
Video advertising is growing faster than all other online ad formats, and this year online video will surpass such rich media as Flash ads in terms of ad spending, according to eMarketer. U.S. online video ad spending is expected to grow 52%, to $2.16 billion, up from $1.42 billion last year, when the video ad market grew 40%.
“When you know that there's a real volume of consumption among your target audience the incentive to take the medium seriously and invest significant budget in online video has grown exponentially in recent years,” Trefgarne said.
He added: “Video content can explore topics in a way that traditional tech media just can't do. It opens up new reader and viewer opportunities that traditional tech may not deliver.”