Google Created A Video Intelligence API That Analyzes And Logs Video Content For Search

What Happened
Google has added a new powerful AI-powered cloud service to its growing arsenal. The search giant unveiled a Video Intelligence API at its Cloud Next conference, which uses machine learning technology to analyze video content, down to the objects or actions shown in a scene, logs those data, and makes that information searchable for users. This API should be particularly useful for media companies and brands looking to leverage digital video to deliver their messaging, as it allows them to easily categorize and manage their video content for targeting and personalization purposes.

What Brands Need To Do
While similar technologies exist for both image and speech recognition, this API from Google is the first of its kind to bring AI-powered cognitive analytics to videos. 87% of online marketers now rely on video content to reach their audience, and people are watching over 500 million hours of videos on YouTube alone every day. In order to stand out from the crowd, brands should work with content creators and media companies to figure out what kind of video content is resonating with their target audience, and learn to leverage the AI-powered solution to supercharge the process and deliver more personalized content.


Source: VentureBeat

Facebook Launches Mid-Roll Ads In Live Videos, Start Testing In Non-Live Videos

What Happened
In a bid to further monetize its growing video content, Facebook has opened mid-roll ads to more Live videos, extending the ability for certain Pages and Profiles to insert mid-roll video ads, which it dubs “ad breaks,” into their Facebook Live broadcasts. Facebook first started testing mid-roll ads in Live videos in August. This means more broadcasters can show 15-second ads within their livestreams while receiving part of the ad revenue.

The company also announced it has officially started testing mid-roll ads in non-Live videos, including the ones uploaded by users. Facebook says ad breaks will only be available after the first four minutes of playback, with additional ad breaks available after every five minutes.

What Brands Need To Do
With Facebook users watching 100 million hours of video every day, the site is quickly evolving beyond a mere social network into an online video destination. Earlier this month, the company announced it is building an OTT streaming app for viewing its video content, following a series of initiatives focused on improving its video products. As Facebook continues to add new video ad products to its increasingly video-heavy social platforms, brands may consider adjusting their video budgets accordingly to reach today’s mobile consumers in a more targeted, effective way


Source: Marketing Land

Media trail - Skippable ads

Media Trial Report: MAGNA and IPG Media Lab Turbocharge Skippable Pre-Roll Campaign

MAGNA, the intelligence, investment and innovation unit within IPG Mediabrands, and IPG Media Lab, its creative technology arm, today announced the results of a scientific media trial that analyzed audience behaviors around ad skipping and identified critical steps to help advertisers maximize the impact of their skippable video ad campaigns.

The report, entitled Turbo Charging Your Skippable Pre-Roll Campaign, used experimental design to replicate online video experiences in order to measure attention, emotional response, and impact on traditional brand metrics for skippable pre-roll ads. The study involved over 11,000 consumers and 23 types of ads along 8 different industry verticals to reach widespread conclusions for the advertising industry as a whole.


Click here to download the full report.


Why Lush Cosmetics Wants To Launch Its Own Video Channel

What Happened
Lush Cosmetics has big plans for its branded content. The U.K.-based cosmetics brand hosted a two-day creative showcase last week that featured a number of new product launches. Unlike previous showcases, this time Lush employed seven film crews to capture the chat show-style event and turn them into video content for Lush’s new app and online player. The brand is also planning to launch its very own 24/7 video channel in “early 2017” as a hub for its branded video content.

What Brands Should Do
As digital video consumption continues to increase, brands need to seize the opportunity to develop interesting and engaging branded video content that can capture consumer attention. One noteworthy strategy in Lush’s aggressive plan for branded video is diversifying its content beyond product demos and makeup tutorials to include relevant topics that its customers care about, such as animal testing. With more and more consumers opting for time-shifted viewing enabled by streaming services, it should also aid content discovery if brands have the resources to create their own channels or apps on OTT platforms such as Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon TV to reach more viewers.

To learn more about how brands can develop a content strategy for reaching their audience via the OTT streaming services, check out the Appified TV section of our Outlook 2016.


Source: Digiday

Header image courtesy of Lush Cosmetics’ livestream

YouTube Adds Call-To-Action Format To TrueView Ads, Tests New “Community” Tab

What Happened
This week, YouTube added two new features that brands need to look out for. To begin with, the Google-owned video platform added a new call-to-action format for its TrueView video ads, allowing brand advertisers to display a customizable call-to-action banner at the bottom of a video during or at the end of playback. Google says it will be testing this format throughout the year, aiming to make it available globally soon.

On Tuesday, YouTube started testing a Community tab, a Facebook News Feed-esque social feed where content creators can share text, images, GIFs, and even live videos with their subscribers. Viewers can vote “thumbs up or down” and comment on those updates, in addition to choosing to receive push notifications for posts from their favorite YouTubers. Community features are only available to a select group of content creators at the moment.

What Brands Need To Do
With competitors such as Facebook and Twitter ramping up their video products, YouTube is also improving theirs to maintain its appeal to digital advertisers. The TrueView ad format grants brands some flexibility to customize call-to-action messages so as to best suit their needs. The Community social features, on the other hand, could offer brands a valuable fan engagement tool on YouTube once it becomes more widely available, allowing them to engage with subscribers with a variety of content.


Source: AdWeek

YouTube To Get More NFL Content Including Full-Length Games

What Happened
The National Football League has struck a multiyear renewal of their partnership with YouTube to expand the content they provide YouTube with, including, for the first time ever, full-length games. Under the expanded deal, the NFL will post a total of 96 games to its official YouTube channel, and it will increase the number of in-game highlight clips it uploads to YouTube. That being said, YouTube will not be getting live NFL game simulcasts, the rights of which the NFL has awarded to Twitter.

What Brands Need To Do
With consumers increasingly migrating from consuming media content on TV sets to streaming on their mobile devices, it makes sense that the NFL is following the eyeballs and putting more content on YouTube. Last week, YouTube reported that it now reaches more audience in the coveted 18-49 demo than the top 10 TV shows combined during primetime. For brands, this means it is time to consider reallocating their ad spending between digital and TV, and leverage YouTube’s massive audience to reach more online consumers.


Source: Variety


Why Spotify Is Making 12 Original Video Series

What Happened
Leading music streaming service Spotify is diving deeper into video content with the announcement of 12 music-centered shows coming to its platform. The slate of original content includes Spotify’s first scripted show “Ultimate/Ultimate,” a mockumentary series about the electronic dance music scene produced by Tim Robbins, as well as several reality series shows, live performance shows, and documentaries. The original programming will be available for all users in U.S., U.K., Sweden, and Germany at initial rollout.

Why Brands Should Care
Spotify first added video content to its service in January this year when it packaged short-form videos from media partners such as BBC, ABC, and ESPN into category-specific playlists. With the original video content, Spotify is making a stronger push. Out of the 100 million global users Spotify currently has, only 30 million are paid subscribers, meaning about 70 million Spotify users are on the ad-supported, free tier. Spotify already introduced video ads to its service in 2014, allowing non-paying users to watch a video spot in exchange for 30 minutes of uninterrupted listening. Although there is currently no detail on how Spotify plans to monetize the original video content, it is safe to assume that it would soon be open to ads.


Source: The Verge

Amazon To Take On YouTube With Amazon Video Direct

What Happened
Amazon is opening up its video streaming platform with the launch of Amazon Video Direct program, which aims to attract content creators to upload their videos to Amazon for better audience reach and monetization. The program offers creators several options to monetize their videos, including making them free and ad-supported, making them available to rent or own, and collecting royalties based on the hours streamed. Larger-scale video producers can also choose to package their content and offer it as an add-on subscription to Amazon Prime Video.

What Brands Need To Do
With this initiative, Amazon is making a strong play for more video content, especially user-generated and independent content, which puts it in direct competition with digital video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo. For brands, Amazon Video Direct opens a door for them to get their branded content onto Amazon’s video platform to reach the streaming audience. Since some videos will be ad-supported, brands can also work with content creators to find compatible videos to run ads with so as to reach their target audiences.

To read more on how brands can take advantage of the ongoing shift in content distribution toward streaming platforms, please check out the Appified TV section in our Outlook 2016.


Source: TechCrunch

YouTube Introduces Six-Second Pre-Roll Ads

What Happened
YouTube introduced a new ad unit today as it aims to improve the effectiveness of its mobile video ads. Aptly named Bumper ads, this new ad product is an unskippable pre-roll ad with a capped length of six seconds. YouTube will start rolling it out to advertisers through Google’s AdWords in the coming weeks. This new ad unit will appear before YouTube videos consumed on mobile devices only. In related news, YouTube also updated its iOS and Android apps today to offer users bigger thumbnail previews and improved recommendations powered by machine learning.

What Brands Need To Do
At a time where consumer attention spans are becoming shorter than ever, it is important for brand advertisers to engage viewers in an efficient, to-the-point manner. This new ad product from YouTube offers brands a chance to prune away the unnecessary details and distill their messages to capture viewer attention more effectively. Twitter’s social video platform Vine also enforces a six-second limit on its videos, and brands can certainly learn a thing or two from the way popular Vine creators construct fun, engaging content within six seconds. Brands may also deploy this new ad format as a complement to their existing video ads, devising a YouTube campaign centered on a standard-length video and using the brief Bumper ads to reach more viewers.


Source: AdWeek

Facebook Keeps Focus On Video With New Search Engine

What Happened
Following the launch of a dedicated live video discovery hub on its mobile app on Wednesday, Facebook continues to build out its video products with the addition of a video search engine. In addition, users will now also see Live Videos under the Trends panel in search. Over the last few months, Facebook has been suggesting that content creators tag their videos with keywords in preparation for this new feature.

What Brands Need To Do
Digital video ad spend in the US is on the rise, with eMarketer expecting it to reach $9.84 billion and represent 19.6 percent of total digital ad spending this year and reach $16.69 billion by 2020. By integrating video search into the search bar, Facebook is making it easier for users to discover and consume original video content on its platform, which can also help brands get more eyeballs on their pre-roll ads or branded videos. As Facebook continues to improve its video ad products, brand advertisers should also consider reevaluating their media mix and reallocating the video ad spending.

Remember to check back next week for our coverage of Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference for updates.


Source: TechCrunch

Header image courtesy of  Facebook Newsroom