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TubeMogul, a real-time media buying platform for video advertising, went live with new partnerships today that enable clients to seamlessly buy targeted video ads on connected TV applications. These applications are similar to smartphone applications, but are accessed via Internet-connected TVs or other Internet-enabled set-top devices.
Internet-connected TVs, long associated with niche "cable cutters," are rapidly entering the mainstream with growth in online streaming via set-top boxes, gaming consoles and newer TVs that have built-in application marketplaces. Based on current trends, market research firm DisplaySearch predicts that 123 million Internet-connected TV units will be shipped annually worldwide by 2014. In addition, over 60% of connected households in the U.S. will use a TV app at least once a week, according to research from In-Stat.
"The audience has clearly stated that it wants to watch its favorite shows on whatever screen is handy - everything from the smallest smart phones to the biggest smart TVs. Advertisers that can figure out how to easily reach customers across all of those platforms have a huge advantage," said Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3 and new media pioneer. "TubeMogul's new service provides that easy and targeted access, with publishers still in control, into this gold-mine of audience opportunity."
By partnering with top publishers, developers and exchanges in the space, including AdRise and Flingo.tv, TubeMogul offers real-time buying of 15 and 30-second video ads across hundreds of top television applications. Content publishers available via TubeMogul's platform include traditional broadcasters like CBS, Fox and The WB as well as online media companies like College Humor, Howcast and Revision3. These applications are available on Internet TV's from LG, Samsung and others as well as set-top devices and gaming consoles such as Boxee, Google TV, Sony PlayStation, Roku, Tivo and Nintendo Wii. The viewing experience is similar to a web-based pre-roll ad, with ads appearing before or during content. As always, marketers are in total control over context, hand-selecting which applications to advertise on.
"Global targeting and measurement across many screens means more possibilities for branding than were ever before possible," says Rick Bashkoff, VP, Partnerships & Network Development at Howcast, which will be among the advertisers participating. "It will be exciting to see not only what top brands and their agencies do with that data and but also how it benefits premium content development for distribution across all channels."
The results deliver the branding power of television with digital advertising's unique ability to customize, target and optimize - all managed via TubeMogul's easy-to-use interface. By buying from a single platform, brand marketers and trading desks can not only set frequency targets across multiple screens, but also target and buy only certain viewers across devices by using third-party data or their own data. This creates seemingly endless possibilities, such as targeting viewers in the market for a truck and then customizing the ad creative based on the device. TubeMogul's measurement comes built-in, so marketers can quantify impact and optimize in real-time by ad placement and publisher.
"Everyone talks about moving TV dollars online, but what is really happening is the experiences are merging and cable companies are slowly losing their grip on content distribution," said Brett Wilson, CEO of TubeMogul. "With these integrations, TubeMogul is giving advertisers an easy way to target across all devices in a context where publishers are still in control."