TrialPay started offering Facebook Credits or virtual goods for watching video ads last year. Now, the company is teaming up with video ad/analytics platform TubeMogul to bring real-time bidding to social video for the first time.
“It’s the flip of the Hulu model or TV model. Normally, I don’t want to watch advertising, but I put up with it so I can actually get my content,” said TrialPay CEO and co-founder Alex Rampell. “But, in our world of social gaming and very low-cost digital content, I want more advertising because as I engage with the ad to learn more about the brand, I am actually rewarded . . . in a virtual currency that I care about.”
Facebook has about 200 million social game players every month and Rampell asserts that demand for video is growing from various brands. “[With] TubeMogul . . . we’re able to reach all of these users when they’re playing a game and figure out the inventory we show them,” Rampell said.
One of the major goals of this partnership is to make campaigns on Facebook scalable, adding better targeting and more visibility to which platforms and games they are going to. “Social video, to date, has been a complete black box,” said TubeMogul CEO and co-founder Brett Wilson. “What we did is we made that inventory real-time biddable, which makes it transparent.”
TubeMogul’s dashboard will allow advertisers to choose from about 200 games on Facebook and target super specific audiences using both first- and third-party data. This allows advertisers to see exactly where their ads are running and performance metrics for their campaigns.
Rampell explained that unlike companies that serve pre-roll video elsewhere on the Web, TrialPay doesn’t charge advertisers on a CPM basis. Also, the ads are only seen by those who self-select into the process—presumably those with an actual interest in the content, an intent to buy and are engaged in the content.
A survey conducted by KN Dimestore, TrialPay and TubeMogul’s private beta revealed that the in-game ads lifted several brand metrics. According to the companies, brand favorability was about 14 percent higher among those exposed to the social video ads, with awareness up about 22 percent. Also, purchase intent increased 4 percent and message association was about 16 percent higher.
While average completion rates for the social video units vary by category and length, videos 60 seconds or longer see completions at about 86 percent and longer videos average 61 percent.