As more and more brands pull their ads from YouTube and estimates of the final cost to Google get revised upwards daily, we speak with one Irish company who are using their proprietary tech to not only help brands stay safe but also increase the return on their spend.

VIDIRO Analytics specialises in the discovery, development, and targeting of niche audiences for its clients. The company was co-founded by Simon Factor and Kevin Magee and is headquartered at NexusUCD, the Industry Partnership Centre at University College Dublin (UCD).

The company has been an active participant in Big Data research in Ireland for many years and is a founder member company of the industry-led Centre for Applied Data Analytics Research (CeADAR) which is also headquartered at NexusUCD.

To find out more about what has caused this boycott and to find out what brands can do to avoid it, we spoke to Simon Factor, CEO of VIDIRO Analytics:

For people who may be unfamiliar with the situation, can you give us some of the background as to why so many companies have now pulled their ads from YouTube?

The YouTube boycott has been triggered by the placement of an ad against some contentious video material. Other brands have found similar issues and are dissatisfied that their brand’s ads are being displayed against video content that is inconsistent with their preferred or targeted demographic.

In the digital world, ad buyers bid in an auction for their advertising spot. But the owner of the video being advertised against, gets a % cut of the ad revenue, so does Google. This is called content monetisation.

So brands are upset because
– Their brand is being damaged by being portrayed against video content that they don’t aspire to and;
– Their brand advertising cost is being redirected via content monetisation to hate speech, terrorists and other what many would see as abhorrent organisations and/or people

In this scenario, however, the issues that have caused the boycott are not new. Wrapped into this boycott are other issues relating to industry practices that exist within and are also external to YouTube.

They are industry wide issues relating to: ad buying transparency, fraudulent and/or dubious third party practices; appropriateness and relevancy of ad targeting; content monetisation; and in a larger sense issues relating to censorship, free speech and editorial control. Clearly, a complex set of challenges.

How have Google addressed the issue so far?

Google say they are working on a solution right now but with 400 hours of video uploaded every minute to YouTube, it’s no easy task. In the short term they may have to curtail the amount of video on offer for advertising and possibly introduce a manual system for content checks as they develop and refine high precision methods of automated content checking.

How can VIDIRO help brands in this situation?

Vidiros’s approach is fundamentally different to the rest of the industry. Vidiro has engineered a way to identify content that is relevant to a brand’s target consumer. We can identify very narrow niche audiences that meet a brand advertisers criteria – we call these Nano Segments. And the great thing is we can run ad campaigns in virtual real-time to take advantage of the newest, trending or most relevant content. This is what we term Adaptive Programmatic Ad Buying – and it is very successful.

What technology do you use to scan the content and how can you be sure it will be suitable for clients?

We have several pieces of proprietary tech that utilise AI, Machine Learning and in-house developed algorithms.

Unlike the industry standard which uses data driven tracking (for example, cookies) to collect information about people’s web activity, Vidiro focuses just on the content.

The industry standard is a collective compilation of historical data based on past internet behaviour.

Vidiro’s tech actually doesn’t care about that – it focuses on the content being consumed right now. Set against a brand’s parameters for advertising, we can find the video inventory most relevant to them and exclude ones that aren’t appropriate.

What other indicators do you monitor to enhance the performance outcome of the advertising?

The real key to success is good media planning at the outset of any campaign and we offer a service for this to ad buyers and ad agencies.

Our method is very effective because it is based on the advertising concept used in vanity fair – you get this seamless transition between ads and articles in that magazine. So our approach does the same, we find content and place ads against relevant content. In this way we consider the context of the material. This results not just in brand safe content but higher impact, better value ad campaigns. We won an award for a campaign we just ran for a high profile travel site which generated a 1500% (15X) increase in the amount of people who clicked on the video ad.

What advice would you give to brands who are concerned about this?

It’s back to basics here.

First, recognise that not every consumer of your product is going to actually match your idealised consumer. Decide how far from your ideal consumer you are willing to deviate from.

Decide on the relevancy and appropriateness of the content you want to advertise against. What is appropriate content for one brand may be completely unsuitable for another.
Having considered your target consumer and relevancy, now think of the type of content you actually want to use.

Contact your ad buyers and ask for clarity on your existing campaign. Ask them how they determine which video inventory they are placing your ads against.
Establish clearly what the direct ad spend has been on the campaign and evaluate the results.

And if you aren’t happy with the results, you can always call Vidiro to find out more.

Simon Factor and Kevin Magee, co-founders, VIDIRO Analytics

What’s the best way for them to find out more about the services VIDIRO offer?

For further information contact myself at [email protected] or Keith Johnson, Commercial Director at [email protected]. You can also visit our website here:

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