Verizon Media brings premium, unified demand to publishers with OTT Smart Auction

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The header bidding-like solution is specifically for premium OTT publishers that deliver longform on-demand or live streaming video

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BASKING RIDGE, N.J. - Today, Verizon Media announced the launch of OTT Smart Auction, a header bidding-like solution for over-the-top (OTT) publishers. OTT Smart Auction is a server-to-server container integration that enables OTT programmatic demand to compete with reserved demand in a real-time, unified auction in a publisher’s ad server. 

Ad-supported longform video is a rapidly growing market that’s expected to double in the next three years. However, the process for monetizing this inventory is still dated, with overreliance on reserved sales and inefficient ad-serving waterfalls that deliver repetitive ads and a poor user experience.

Enter Verizon Media’s OTT Smart Auction. OTT Smart Auction was created specifically to meet the needs of premium video publishers that deliver longform on-demand or live streaming content through connected TV (CTV) or mobile apps. This includes broadcasters, cable networks, digital multichannel video programming distributors (DMVPDs), and more. By introducing header bidding-like functionality, OTT Smart Auction provides a host of benefits, including:

The most efficient path to unique Verizon Media demand. OTT Smart Auction passes ID information directly to the Verizon Media demand side platform (DSP), maximizing user match rates and allowing Verizon Media advertisers to more efficiently find their audience on inventory monetized through Verizon Media’s supply side platform (SSP).

Increase revenue by selling inventory at its true value. OTT Smart Auction conducts a real-time, unified auction enabling programmatic demand to compete with reserved bids within the publisher’s ad server. This helps publishers fill each ad opportunity with the highest bid, regardless of the source of demand.

Improved transparency into auction activity. The traditional waterfall limits bidding activity, and publishers lose valuable insight into their auction dynamics. OTT Smart Auction gives publishers greater transparency into bidding data so they can gain a better understanding of the value of their inventory.

OTT Smart Auction is built from the ground-up using Prebid Server. Prebid is a trusted, open source codebase that enables anyone to contribute and review code, helping publishers conduct demand agnostic auctions with no preferential treatment. Prebid also features the largest demand ecosystem, ensuring all advertisers can bid on supply with minimal incremental development.

Deliver linear TV-like ad experiences. OTT Smart Auction is optimized for delivering ads on longform content, with support for advanced ad podding including competitive separation, ad deduplication and support for frequency capping. This allows publishers to better sequence how they deliver their ads for maximum revenue and minimal consumer frustration, while also giving advertisers better access and opportunities to target premium supply.

“Verizon Media uniquely understands the needs and challenges of large-scale video publishers,” said Iván Markman, Chief Business Officer, Verizon Media. “We’re the only player to offer an end-to-end video solution, from streaming, delivery and security, to programmatic. We’re also unique in that we don’t directly produce premium long form content but rather focus on enabling the ecosystem whether via distribution or our platform capabilities. That’s critical when selecting a partner for OTT monetization.”

OTT Smart Auction is also the first solution to be integrated with Verizon Media Platform’s Smartplay Prebid solution. Verizon Media Platform powers websites, apps and OTT video services for many of the world's largest publishers, media companies and enterprises. Smartplay Prebid is a server-side integration that exposes inventory directly to OTT Smart Auction and utilizes Smartplay’s server-side ad insertion (SSAI) capability to provide a seamless transition between content and ads on any device or platform.

“As an end-to-end, full-stack technology partner, we can uniquely support publishers and advertisers in unlocking the full value of premium longform and on-demand OTT video,” said Markman. “We’ve brought together all the pieces you need, whether you’re a publisher or an advertiser, in one integrated platform, ensuring seller and buyer optimization and efficiency.”

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