Unless you are living in a cave and watching shadows on the wall for your storytelling entertainment, you know that there is a firehose of entertainment sources coming at you. If you are a brand, you face a bewildering array of advertising choices. Elusive is the brass ring of full transparency on the effectiveness of an ad spend, but various technologies are alleviating the age old conundrum (“I know half my ad spend is wasted, I just don’t know which half”).
How does a brand compete in an environment where consumers have an 8.25 second digital attention span and spend over 5 hours/day watching video? I had a chat with Allon Caidar, CEO of the San Diego-based TVPage to discuss his company’s solution.
Caidar is astute in his assessment when he asserts, “The main challenge for merchants today is how to generate the double digit growth they need to compete in a highly competitive online marketplace.” As consumers gravitate to their mobile device for a greater portion of their waking hours, they are consuming video where they are also conducting commerce. But Caidar points out “merchants have no effective way to capitalize on the powerful, untapped video medium. TVPage solves this problem, empowering merchants to source, publish and monetize video at scale.”
Before revealing his company’s unique selling proposition, Caidar described the genesis of TVPage. He founded the company six years ago after being in the broadcast space with Opticon. NBC and ESPN were customers, and Caidar was in the midst of bringing a video-centric mindset to online advertising. Macromedia (now Adobe) built Flash, then YouTube revolutionized online video. Facebook is now the #1 destination on the web (and heading to 70% video content) and YouTube is 100% video, proof that video is king. Hence, the world is rapidly driving toward a video-centric web. Caidar notes that 68% percent of YouTube users use the platform to make a buying decision.
How best to cater to this new reality?
“An interactive video experience was the core idea for TVPage,” recalls Caidar. Matching the ideal product to the video is the goal. His company uses machine learning to find the ideal video to match the product. That delivers a holistic experience across the customer’s website. TVPage empowers merchants to source, publish and monetize video at scale. The videos are from third party creators, influencers of from TVPage. Known third parties can be invited to contribute and push their content into the TVPage ecosystem.
The special sauce that Caidar’s team has developed includes the ability of the recommendation engine to learn dynamically, placing the ads with increasing optimization.
I asked about the snowballing concern of advertisers seeing their ads plunked next to less than ideal video content. Caidar advised that ad placement moderation is done by the client or TVPage.
The TVPage business model not surprisingly is subscription-based, rooted in cost per view.
Caidar concluded our chat with a bold but reasonable claim, “the TVPage Video Commerce Cloud sets the standard for how consumers interact and shop with video across all digital media properties.”