Brightcove PLAY 21: How’s Your Ad Health? Recap

In case you missed the “How is your Ad Health?” session with Watching That’s Founder and CEO Cameron Church at Brightcove PLAY 21, you can watch it again here.

What is not in the recording is the Ask Me Anything live Q&A session.  So we thought we’d recap it for you below!

How is your Ad Health?

Here are some of the most popular questions from the LIVE Q&A and Cameron’s responses:

What is a good fill rate? What should a mostly programmatic business be aiming for?

Generally speaking any thing above 75% is good, heading on to great.  

However, fill rate is just one measure of success and shouldn’t be considered in isolation.  Indeed you also need to think through what’s the right definition of fill rate for your business.  

If you deploy house ads, for example, then you will want your fill rate to be a measure of the monetised impressions.  

Or if you serve long form content with many ad breaks you’ll want to look at fill rate at the individual ad slot / avail level as well as at the higher orders of ad break and overall content stream. 

Another key consideration for determining a good fill rate is understanding your profitability threshold.  All businesses need to make more money than they spend so with this bottom up approach you need to figure out how much revenue you need to be making and then apply that to your volume of inventory to determine your minimum required fill rate level. 

What do you think are the major challenges ahead for 2022?

The biggest challenge for OTT businesses in 2022 is one of distribution. The audience is continuing to fragment across platform, device and time of day. 

Media businesses looking to service this “Everywhere Viewer” will need to maintain their control and oversight of their content and inventory as the play out and distribution landscape continues to complicate.  

In a Brightcove Play presentation by Jon Steinberg about Cheddar, he shows a very impactful visual about the state of the distribution landscape and it will only get more complex from here. 

Those that put in place the control and monitoring systems and procedures now will be well prepared for 2022 with their resources properly armed.

What are your top 3 tips for optimising yields and revenue this Q4?

We have a posted a blog about this topic but here is some further thinking:

  1. Dive into partner level analysis.  Just hosting the “Everyone’s invited” unified auction party is not enough.  There are plenty of freeloaders out there and so you need to set up the velvet rope and door staff to your auction party.  Understanding who is giving you the biggest returns in terms of both CPMs and Fill lets you select the guest list.  Those that are just hanging out by the free (data) buffet should be removed.  
  2. Make sure your direct demand is working in partnership with the programmatic supply.  Don’t leave it up to the Ad Server to figure this out – it only has a localised view and doesn’t know enough about what’s going on to make the bigger decisions.  For example, if you have a large peak in audience during prime time then you can run your programmatic in the earlier part of the day and leave direct for the prime time.  This will maximise fill when it comes to frequency capping and audience sharing across the SSP network.  (if you don’t even know how your audience shapes over a 24 hour period then you seriously need to get that solved!)
  3. Set up and run a daily reporting cadence.  Every day brings new challenges and opportunities.  Running at a weekly cadence means you are already behind.  Think about your Rev Ops reporting like you do your physical health.  If you could work out every day for 20min what positive results would you reap from that?   The same goes with operational reporting.  Get ‘insights fit’ by doing daily reporting checks.