Shweta Kithani
Guest Article

Indian publishers enter a new era with programmatic native video

Our guest author explains how with some figures.

Native video advertising plays a pivotal role for publishers as an added revenue stream, but the format has been a rather nascent one for those in India - that is, until now. As smartphone and internet infiltration prompts a rise in video advertisements, an increasing number of brands have become invested in connecting with consumers through mobile and digital platforms. It is estimated that the online population in the country will reach 738 million by 2020, creating a great opportunity for brands to reach out to untapped audiences and a great opportunity for publishers to generate higher advertising revenue using programmatic native video. With no additional setup and effort, publishers now have a unique tool that will automatically deliver relevant and timely messages to the right audience, served through in-feed placements or as part of content streams.

Indian publishers enter a new era with programmatic native video

Shweta Kithani

Of the overall digital advertising spend, 20 per cent corresponds to online video. While many Indian publishers have constantly complained about lower RPM's, viewability and profit percentage, the implementation of programmatic video has yielded a major uplift in all those aspects that are drivers of profit. For some, revenue saw a 25 per cent increase once programmatic video was implemented. Today, roughly 75 per cent of video ads are programmatic and it is expected that a quarter of all digital media buying will be programmatic by 2020.

Video now exists on many different platforms and in many different formats. In markets such as China, France, Germany, and the United States, the number of regular online video viewers is skyrocketing.

We'll start this lesson by talking about how we got to where we are today; but before we jump in, let's take a quick look at what we're going to cover.

How does the process work and where does demand come from?

Programmatic has enabled advertisers to define the right client profile at the right moment and time that they would be interested in a particular ad. Rather than promote on publisher sites that offer little value for a brand's target audience - and decrease the return on advertising spend - advertisers can now pinpoint high-value clients at scale in moments that matter.

Programmatic media buying lets algorithms do all the work. It's not necessary to build direct relationships with buyers and sales teams. All it requires is to provide enough information to the algorithms to make snap, data-based decisions.

This process involves Demand Side Platforms (DSP's) such as DoubleClick, The Trade Desk and Appnexus, which allow media buyers to connect to a wide range of data exchanges through a central interface. These exchanges also interface with Supply Side Platforms (SSP's) such as Telaria and Vidazoo which easily automate and optimise the selling of advertising inventory. This media buying process is not only fully transparent, but it optimises campaigns much better by enabling real-time bidding and offering impressions to as many potential buyers as possible so publishers can maximise their revenue.

Considering GDPR, it's critical that these parties are carefully selected in consideration of content standards, quality assurance and transparency.

Attributes to be highlighted:

1. Video content is dominating as a viable method to improve the user experience and make audiences feel more engaged while generating additional income for publishers. According to a Cisco study, video content will comprise 80 per cent of the world's online consumption by 2019. With that, 66 per cent of all traffic will be derived from wireless and mobile devices. Furthermore, according to an Ericsson report, mobile video traffic will grow at a staggering rate of 55 per cent per year, at least until 2020. Frankly, there will never be a better time for publishers to grow from shifting user preferences and leveraging video into their inventory.

2. Video impressions are an opportunity for publishers to monetise their site traffic while delivering a superior user experience to their readers. Publishers want to adapt every page view or impression at the most ideal cost in order to monetise and this is where the fill-rate becomes important to find the ROI. Fill-rate encourages a publisher to see how their inventory is being used and meet demand. Getting the best fill-rate in order to better monetise and provide an improved user experience is simply a matter of following the best procedures - programmatic being one of them.


Programmatic native is the inevitable direction for the video advertising market, proven to help brands and publishers with better-performing ads. It's a format that has given brands the opportunity to work with trusted publishers and avoid wasted ad dollars while providing publishers with a larger pool of premium ad inventory and quality control for further revenues.

With a growing digital ad market in India, which is expected to be evaluated at INR 18,000 crores by 2020, programmatic video will bring great fortune to Indian publishers. Programmatic adoption will give superior results in performance, revenue and profits by leveraging the power of personal relevance to audiences.

By grasping video and benefiting from programmatic native, 2019 will be a ground-breaking year for digital publishers who decide to part of the future staple of ad distribution.

(The author is strategic account manager, Outbrain, a content distribution platform).