Much has been written about advertising placed in inappropriate, controversial or objectionable YouTube video content. But there are companies that are employing advanced technology to help to provide a level of confidence in message delivery placement. OpenSlate, a social video analytics company, focuses on measuring the nature and quality of content. They recently formed a partnership with GroupM to help safely monitor clients’ ad messages on YouTube.
I sat down with OpenSlate CEO Mike Henry and asked him about the details of that partnership and other initiatives for his company:
Charlene Weisler: Tell me about OpenSlate’s recent partnership with GroupM.
Mike Henry: We’ve partnered with GroupM to help ensure that their clients’ ads are only running in content that those clients deem appropriate. Our technology will provide a more robust and also more customized filtering of ad-supported content on YouTube. We’ll also deliver more granular contextual reporting so that they can get smarter about where their ads run on YouTube and how content impacts performance.
Weisler: What data is made available and how will that be used in the business?
Henry: Contextual targeting and analytics include YouTube video-level data about quality (our SlateScore -- a propriety metric from 1-1000), content and audience data. OpenSlate has a unique focus on producing actionable data about the vast body of content on YouTube and how it should or shouldn’t be used by advertisers. Our contextual targeting and reporting data will be made available to GroupM for use in current and future campaigns.
Weisler: What about other announced initiatives? Can you talk a bit about how your data is being used and how your company adds value?
Henry: We work with hundreds of advertisers and dozens of the biggest agencies as well as MCNs. In the past year, our data has been used to power thousands of campaigns in the U.S. and 20 other global markets. Most recently, we announced $7 million in funding from North Base Media and welcomed two adtech veterans -- JoAnna Foyle and Brian Quinn -- to our executive team as COO and President, respectively. The company is poised to grow exponentially in business, engineering, data science and client management in the U.S. and abroad.
Weisler: How has your examination of YouTube data evolved to better assist in choosing safe video content?
Henry: About six years ago we started by thinking about what good content looks like online when it doesn’t look like a TV show. The scale of YouTube demands a data-driven solution, so we started building various quality and brand safety algorithms to figure that out. We now have years of historical performance data which helps predict what content channels will likely produce and the likelihood of being brand safe in the future. Using this intel we can help advertisers decide where they don’t want to be, but also where they do want to be.
Weisler: What advice would you give an advertiser who is interested in advertising on YouTube?
Henry: If advertisers are looking to reach Millennials and Gen Z there’s no doubt YouTube is where their ads need to be running. But with more than 300 million ad-supported videos on YouTube, advertisers can be selective about where their messages run. Data and analytics about the intersection of content and audience will help advertisers lean in to the best videos for their message.
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