Extreme Reach Recognized as One of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies

inc1Earlier this month, Extreme Reach was named to the 2015 Inc. 5000 List, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Extreme Reach achieved a rank of #426, with a three-year growth rate of 1,117 percent. This puts Extreme Reach at #9 among the fastest-growing private companies in the Boston metro area, and #52 in the Advertising / Marketing industry.

This also represents the second time that Extreme Reach has cracked the Inc. 500, achieving a rank of #171 in 2013. This year’s inclusion is particularly impressive given the company five-fold growth in revenue and consistently strong year-over-year growth since its’ application to the 2013 Inc 500.

The 2015 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2011 to 2014. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2011, have generated at least $100,000 in revenue in 2011, and have generated no less than $2 million in 2014. Additionally, companies have to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent.

Extreme Reach Acquires Talent Partners

On June 15, 2015, Extreme Reach completed the acquisition of Talent Partners, a leading provider of business affairs solutions for advertisers and agencies for nearly five decades. Extreme Reach acquired Talent Partners from The Carlyle Group, a well-known global asset management firm, which will retain an ownership position in the combined company.

The deal represents a unique opportunity to move the industry forward, bringing talent and rights innovation to everyone involved in video advertising. This move is particularly important for digital video advertising, where more than a third of all ads do not follow legal contracts for talent and rights.

Thanks to our advanced cloud-based platform, Extreme Reach is able to automate manual processes and provide information on every aspect of talent and rights for clients. With our expertise and fully integrated platform, clients can improve compliance and gain greater control of where and when their ads are running across all video media, ensure payment is accurate and timely and get everything they need in one place, with one login.

Read more on the benefits of the acquisition in our press release.

March Madness 2015 Brand Effectiveness Study

The annual NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament has grown into the second most popular multi-program sporting event for advertisers, behind only the NFL playoffs. Last year’s March Madness tournament garnered 21.3M viewers (second only to the Super Bowl). TV advertising spend is projected to be $1.13 billion, up 10% from last year, a record for the month-long event.

March Madness is also very supportive of the changing viewing habits of sports fans. The tournament is offered on multiple digital devices including tablets, laptops and desktops. In 2014, Turner Sports produced March Madness Live and reported 70 million live video streams were recorded for the duration of the tournament.

In this study, Extreme Reach Research has compiled data intelligence that illustrates which brands within dominant verticals ran the most effective March Madness ads. These insights are based on brand lift data using proprietary Extreme Reach brand effectiveness research technology.

The 87th Academy Awards Brand Lift Study

The 87th Academy Awards commanded close to $2 million for a 30-second TV spot and reached a US television audience of 36M+. The Oscars have now become a spectacle for Hollywood, its fans and advertisers alike, offering a grand opportunity for brands to speak to a mass audience. Which brands won the night and came home with the advertising gold? Our Brand Effectiveness Study has all the answers.

In this study, we’ve compiled insights that illustrate which brands ran the most effective Oscar ads based on brand lift data.

Three Steps for Converging Digital Video and TV Advertising, Today

Evolving is Key to Success as TV and Digital Video Advertising Grow Together

Article_1_Callout_A (1)Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re well aware that Digital Video has become one of the fastest growing channels for both media consumption and marketing budgets. In November, Nielsen reported that the audience for online video was expanding by a whopping 60% per month (Nielsen Total Audience Report). Last September, eMarketer predicted that Digital Video ad spend for 2014 would be 56% greater than 2013. If you assume that the extraordinary rise of Digital Video means TV’s days are numbered, your assumption would be incorrect. TV isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, TV ad revenues are growing significantly too. In 2014, US TV advertising was on a trajectory to grow 3.3% (more than $2 billion) to $68.54 billion. The point is both are growing, and it’s important for marketers to understand that they’re not just growing, they’re growing together. TV is becoming more like Digital and Digital Video is becoming more like TV every day.

Article_1_Bar-ChartIt’s time to step back and look at TV and Digital Video advertising together. Now is the time for TV advertisers to integrate, or expand the use of, Digital Video in their video advertising strategies. Internet-connected devices are no longer just for marketing experiments. They’re absolutely a necessary part of an impactful video marketing mix  and must be treated as such by any marketer who wants to connect with consumers where they actually watch video. The time has come to plan, execute and measure a single video strategy across all screens.

So how exactly do you stop treating Digital Video as if it’s the same as other Digital media (it’s not) and begin integrating it with traditional TV strategies and operational workflows?

Here are three steps marketers and agencies can take that will get things moving in the right direction, today:

Step 1 – Tear Down the Walls
Media agencies have been working in silos for decades. Broadcast teams rarely communicate with their Digital counterparts and, for the most part, that made sense—until very recently. For several years, the content and ads consumed online were very different from those consumed on television. The resulting media strategies, operational execution and measurement have been very specific to their respective environments. Different objectives and metrics meant different approaches.

The lines have blurred for consumers’ video media consumption, and marketing organizations must follow suit. It’s time to get the Broadcast and Digital Video teams in the same room. There will be immediate benefits—such as significant savings in operational costs and time — as well as massive long-term positive impacts across entire agencies, holding groups and the marketing departments of brand advertisers themselves.

Step 2 – Simplify Workflows
Article_1_Callout_BWhile some advertisers and Digital media vendors may occasionally use or recommend custom video creative or native formats for specific placements or screens, the fact remains that 9 out of 10 video ads that appear in Digital environments are originally created for and air on TV. It’s simply not cost-effective to produce unique creative for every screen or media outlet, so this will likely continue to be the case. Digital Video Ad Operations teams should work in lockstep with Broadcast Traffic and Operations teams to ensure the fastest, smoothest possible workflow and the highest possible video quality 100% of the time on every screen. There’s only one master version of each video ad that comes from post-production. Consider synchronizing your Ad Ops teams around that creative and utilize smart technologies that enable them to work together in a single streamlined workflow. You can do this today.

Step 3 – Measure Everything
According to a study conducted by Nielsen, media campaigns that include both TV and Digital Video are more effective than media plans that only include one or the other. The study cites increased ROI that can be quantified with at least four key brand lift metrics: general recall, brand recall, message recall and likeability. The sequence in which a campaign’s creative is viewed makes a difference, too. Being exposed to an ad creative in a Digital environment first enhances the impact of the TV exposure and vice versa. In short, the most effective video campaigns are not focused on Digital or TV, they’re focused on both. So, advertisers should measure everything and communicate so everyone involved understands the campaign’s goals and that the appropriate tools are used to achieve and measure them.Article_1_Callout_C

There will, of course, be challenges as video advertising converges. Brand marketers and agency leaders must invest in the education of their employees to ensure that they understand new technologies and systems. The inertia that has been created by the traditional approach to media planning, buying and measurement must be overcome. Media buyers and sellers must create and maintain new standards. As always, consumer behavior lights the way that our industry must follow. We must evolve to ensure we are constantly maximizing ROI as we follow the consumer down their path.

Written by Avi Brown, Chief Digital Officer at Extreme Reach

Publisher VPAID Compliance Will Deliver Better ROI for Advertisers (and that’s good for Publishers)

As Digital Investment Increases, so Does the Need for Improved Metrics

Out of the billions of Digital Video impressions that we measure each year, about 1 in 4 are stuffed inside of display banners, muted, or presented below the fold. These impressions represent millions of wasted dollars across our industry. In some cases, even with huge media vendors, certain video campaigns have fallen victim to the practice of in-banner serving, which runs directly against advertiser and agency plans, due to the lack of VPAID (Video Player Ad-Serving Interface Definition) adoption. Campaigns under-deliver as a result of missing or inaccurate data that could have otherwise affected a change in strategy. The reality is that the media has failed the advertiser.

Article_2_Callout_AThe solution to this issue is simple. Publishers and media vendors should adopt and support the VPAID standard. The benefits for advertisers would be immediate with stronger and more actionable analytics including brand lift, brand safety and brand effectiveness. Issues like viewability and unsafe impressions can also be addressed with VPAID compliance. For publishers, it creates a trusted and accountable environment, where advertisers can see their creative flourish, with transparency and clarity. Until recently, the technology didn’t exist to detect this kind of misrepresentation. Now that it does, there is no reason not to leverage the VPAID standard to hold media vendors more accountable, especially when the technology saves you much more than it costs to use.

The VPAID Advantage
The best way to guarantee measurability and transparency is to use third-party measurement and demand VPAID support from your media vendors. VPAID, introduced at the end of 2008 (and now on Version 2.0) is the IAB’s most effective standard for how video players and video ads talk to each other. VPAID enables a rich, interactive in-stream ad experience and the ability to fully measure your ads. As an advertiser, you decide with your media dollars, and choosing to enlist media partners that support VPAID ensures that you get  to see the whole picture. Savvy media Article_2_Callout_Bbuyers are even writing into their insertion orders that they will not pay for impressions deemed in-banner, too small, or below certain viewability thresholds by third-party measurement.

Enlightenment Through Metrics
It’s not just about holding the media vendors accountable—it’s about helping them do better. Third-party measurement is used by advertisers to provide a feedback loop to media vendors so they can optimize away from poorly performing placements and domains, and deliver better inventory. Our clients often see 100%+ improvement in key metrics like viewability, player size and completion rate with the help of the daily automated reports we provide to media vendors.

Advanced measurement solutions are at their best when used to measure video ads in VPAID-supported environments. Advertisers can take full advantage of the added transparency that comes with VPAID to truly measure the ROI from their media investments, including viewability and brand safety. It even enables brand effectiveness studies through interactive surveys that can be served within the videoplayer. And thanks to VPAID, the response rates are orders of magnitude higher than typical in-banner surveys.

The Takeaway
With VPAID support and video measurement solutions like Extreme Reach, you can quickly and easily identify what is working, contractually protect yourself from undesirable inventory and hit your targets with precision like never before. Strategic and data-leaning advertisers will benefit significantly by creating a new dialogue with their chosen online publishers about the importance of VPAID compliance. VPAID adoption by reputable publishers and media vendors is essential for establishing a Digital ecosystem in which all parties are ROI winners.

To dramatically improve the ROI from your Digital Video campaigns, be sure to use measurement solutions that take advantage of all of the VPAID measurement capabilities, work with publishers and media vendors that support VPAID and encourage non-compliant media vendors to adopt the VPAID standard.

Ryan Pamplin, Vice President and Digital Evangelist of Extreme Reach. 

Internet Talent & Rights Rules Aren’t the Same as TV

Business Affairs Expertise Isn’t Just for TV Anymore

As more and more video ad campaigns run across multiple screens, the management of commercial talent contracts and payment, and of rights in general, is becoming more complex and often quite costly.

It’s time for agencies and brands to consider a new, unified approach to managing talent and rights for all video advertising, not just Broadcast and Cable TV.

TV Evolved
The advertising industry is constantly transforming to catch up with technology and consumer behavior. Nowhere is this more evident today than in the recent evolution of TV. TV audiences,  TV content and TV commercials have all expanded beyond Broadcast and Cable to a new world of Digital viewing options. Advertisers and agencies are now realizing that they too must bridge the gap between TV and Digital Video advertising when it comes to commercial talent contracts, payment and compliance. But even some of the most forward-thinking agencies still see Business Affairs—particularly commercial talent and rights management— as a classic television model and department. As a result, the terms of talent contracts are mysterious territory for Digital Video ad teams and agencies and Business Affairs teams are often left out of the loop on Digital campaigns. Today, that is a problem.

One Commercial. Every Screen.
Article_3_Callout_AMore than 90% of the video ads that run online also run on TV. In fact, most of those ads start out as Broadcast TV commercials. The use of those ads online is sometimes a secondary concern and in some cases, repurposing a spot can be unplanned, with little communication. For years, TV advertisers worked with TV agencies (both creative and media) on their Broadcast campaigns and worked with a different digital agency (or a separate Digital team) for planning and buying Digital media. Digital video budgets and inventory were scarce, so most advertisers would just have their Digital team get a TV ad from their TV people and send it to a couple of websites to serve it up. But Digital Video has grown up. And although it’s grown up in a Digital family, it’s matured into a completely TV-like experience: “TV” commercials are now presented in TV-like ad breaks to Digital audiences who view Digital Video an extension of TV. However,  it’s very important to understand that a commercial running on both Broadcast and online media will have different payment and compliance requirements that must be considered for each.

Different Screens. Different Rules.
It’s a mistake to assume that commercial talent contracts and licenses for rights necessarily include use on digital screens. This is rarely the case, especially with licensed rights. Separate payment to union performers for Internet, and sometimes Industrial, usage must be made to secure the rights for those media types. TV, Internet, Industrial and other Usage rates for Union Commercials are distinctly defined in the SAG AFTRA Commercial Contract, whereas Non-Union ads are based on negotiated fees.

In addition, the duration of permitted use online is different than the typical 13-week  cycles long-established for network, Cable and other Broadcast use too. It’s important to understand the differences between the length of time an ad can run on TV vs. online media, in order to ensure that the use of the commercial remains within the various durations outlined in the actors’ contracts. Sometimes it’s tricky to know for sure that a particular ad is  no longer running. Tracking where and when an ad ran on Digital media, for the purposes of talent payment and compliance, can be an additional concern as well. This is frequently the case because Internet talent and rights lack the maturity and infrastructure of TV and often  the digital data is handled separately by a Digital team. These data disconnects frequently delay, hinder or further separate the availability of Digital data for Business Affairs. As a result, Talent Managers are at the mercy of late or incomplete reporting of uses.

There are similar issues involved when securing the rights to use licensed music and images  in commercials that may run on the Internet. As Digital Video ads have become more visible, the “Internet” terms of these talent and rights contracts have become more enforceable. So, it’s prudent to plan for compliance upfront rather than ask for forgiveness if an ad runs where it wasn’t permitted.

Manage Risk. Control Costs.
According to SAG/AFTRA (the commercial actor’s union), when a commercial featuring union talent runs online without paying Internet usage, the infraction may warrant a late fine of up to $90, plus wages due, per performer.  The late penalty of $90 per performer is small compared to the standard usage fees of $3,000. However, late fees for a cast of 10 or more performers get expensive, quickly. In more severe cases where the commercial has been released, the costs can be Article_3_Callout_Bdramatically higher, and the headaches of contracting new terms  for each actor can be major. And now, talent has quite a bit more leverage and the power to negotiate higher usage fees. In addition, willful use of music, images or footage online without a license that covers Internet use is copyright infringement, which can be a very expensive matter if litigated. And damages can include attorney fees and/or statutory damages.

The Takeaway

  1. Evolve: Think of the role of Business Affairs as a true multi-screen discipline that extends beyond traditional TV. Establish a workflow that facilitates complete transparency, knowledge and control of all commercial usage rights across Broadcast, Cable and Internet.
  2. Gain Expertise: If you’re part of a Broadcast-centric Business Affairs team, round out your team with a trained expert on Digital advertising. Or, if you rely on other Digital teams or agencies, identify experts within those groups whom you can work with to establish a safe and efficient multi-screen workflow. If you’re on a Digital team and don’t have access to talent and rights details, connect with a knowledge-   able ally who does.
  3. Know Early: Rather than think of TV first and Internet as an afterthought, understand the various uses of each commercial before it’s even cast. Early transparency from square one will enable you to think more strategically, manage risk more effectively and keep costs in check.
  4. Lock It Down: If there is a chance that a Broadcast commercial may run online, report use, pay related fees in a timely manner to secure the rights to run on the Internet and lock down Internet licenses in music and footage agreements too. Be mindful of expiring rights to ensure compliance and you will eliminate significant unexpected costs and issues down the road.
  5. Track Usage: Take advantage of available tools that enable greater transparency and the automatic tracking of commercials and expirations across all screens and against contract terms. That way, you can be apprised of potential compliance issues, not just on traditional TV, but across every Digital screen as well.

Written by Courtney Allen, Director of Client Relations at Extreme Reach.

Super Bowl XILX Brand Effectiveness Study

This year, a 30-second TV commercial during the Super Bowl cost about $4.5 million. And with that hefty, record-setting price tag comes a question we hear every year: which ad did the best? Which brand made the greatest impact with their Super Bowl investment? We’d like to help answer those questions.

In this study, we’ve compiled insights that reveal which brands ran the most effective Super Bowl ads based on brand lift data. We’ve analyzed the responses from the audience as a whole and looked at specific demographic segments as well. Read through the study and be sure to let us know what you think!


Convergence Can Cut Workflow Steps in Half

The Digital Perspective: Solutions for TV and Digital Agency Ops

Whether you’re a media buyer or planner, work in Ad Ops or involved in digital video campaigns at any level, you’re likely aware that the digital workflow is much more complex than it needs to be. The digital workflow can be overly complicated because the digital work often requires files and information from TV teams outside of the digital work stream.

A recent Extreme Reach study revealed that 41% of TV traffickers source video ads for web distribution and help arrange special formats or transcodes for online use multiple times per month, while 21% of TV traffickers were asked to get these video files to the digital teams at least weekly. And the large majority of TV respondents expect to become much more involved in these digital tasks over the coming months.

When you step back and view the two separate workflows (TV and digital video) at once, it becomes clear that the very fact that they are separate makes each one more complicated. Digital needs and waits for creative, assistance and information from the TV team or agency. And more and more often, TV is involved in, or interrupted by, requests to support digital.

Your role may not give you the full scope of inefficiency because you may handle and experience only a portion of the process. But maybe some of these steps sound familiar:


Sourcing the video asset to traffic to media vendors once the plan is approved

Do you receive the video file from another creative agency? Does the brand sometimes provide it? In either case, where did they get it?

Receiving the creative file for use in the campaign

How is the file forwarded to you? Has it already been compressed and transcoded down to the lowest common format (but maybe not the best quality) accepted by the media vendors on the plan?

Tracking down publisher specs to convey to the creative team

Do you ever need a specific format for a specific vendor? Have you ever heard from the creative agency that there’s not enough budget left to produce a format, so you then scramble to figure out a quick workaround?

Maybe the vendor can provide a custom solution, but that may change the media spend or volume. If so, you may need to renegotiate the I/O and obtain client-approval, but you won’t necessarily receive the same metrics that you have for the rest of the campaign if ads are site-served.

Passing Excel sheets back and forth to reconcile campaign data from multiple sources

Do you use multiple vendors to measure different aspects of a campaign? Does it take extra time and effort to combine that into a logical, actionable report? Do you need to bring together separate TV and digital video data in order to understand ROI from cross-media buys?

It’s complicated, but you pull it all together the best you can. Your client is understanding but ultimately wishes the data was more consistent, cost less or was turned around faster to get the campaign launched across all properties.

Cross-media synergies and complexities like these are driving a change. Learn more…

TV and digital video are already interchangeable by the audience and tightly intertwined by big media. It’s become clear that the ad industry can benefit by integrating the two as well. Across the industry, we’re seeing a rapidly growing operational shift towards convergence. Some clients tell us that by converging TV and digital media and operations groups, workflow steps can be reduced by a full 50% because there is far less back and forth, redundancy and reconciliation. TV and digital convergence is enabling a single, smart operational workflow.

Media and Ad Ops teams, both TV and digital, benefit from a converged workflow because they can serve the client and the business better. Even if two different agencies work with the same client, for TV and digital respectively, they can still take a converged approach by leveraging new tools that allow the two to share creative and information that both may need, like commercial use permissions, start and expiration dates and campaign measurement data.

To learn more about video convergence, please click here.

Your Digital Video Ads Can and Should Look a Lot Better

The TV Perspective: When it comes to Video Quality, The Source Matters

The online media and advertising industries still have a long way to go to ensure a consistent TV-like viewing experience across all screens. With the growing adoption of Smart TV’s and OTT solutions, larger screens have to now be considered too. As a brand builder, protector and storyteller, you need to control every factor you can to ensure the best possible quality of your video ads. One step in particular can make a significant difference.

The TV industry has had organizations like SMPTE, NAB and Society of Broadcast Engineers for decades in order to protect and draw TV viewers by ensuring the highest quality viewer experience possible. The digital advertising industry doesn’t have organizations dedicated to online video quality. In short, there are no equivalent standards for online video. However, digital video has quickly become a popular alternative to TV for a huge portion of the viewing audience. And TV, with all of its meticulous quality oversight, has set a very high bar for the audience’s viewing expectations.

Without industry-defined video quality standards and practices, online video quality remains inconsistent and often poor, particularly when it comes to advertising. For brands, this can be a serious issue. Studies have shown that poor quality video often sparks a negative viewer response. According to one recent report* more than 2 in 5 online video views are of inferior quality.

In the broadcast world, most advertisers wouldn’t think of delivering a file that didn’t meet stringent industry-defined quality standards. There’s a well-established TV practice that ensures that ads clear the high broadcast bar: Brands and agencies go direct to the source, the post-production house that did the finishing work, to obtain the ad. The post-house has the highest-resolution master file and they can provide that pristine file digitally upon request. Starting with that crisp source file is one of the most effective steps you can take because that creative master remains in its purest, most watchable form. If your third-party ad platform supports broadcast quality MPEG or QuickTime files, you can immediately eliminate several quality-compromising steps that typically occur along an ad’s dark journey from production to digital audience.

One Key Step Toward a TV-Like Viewing Experience

Video quality is a significant issue for most marketers who include digital video in their advertising mix. If it’s important for you and the brand(s) you’re building, you will find it worthwhile to go right to the source, the video post house, to gain access to the creative master. Before you do this, however, make sure you know the Ad-ID of the specific creative you need. Ad-ID (or in some cases, an ISCI code) is a unique code number used to identify each specific creative. Each version of a single ad has a unique assigned code number. If you know the specific Ad-ID, you know you’re using the correct creative. This is important, because different versions may be different lengths, have different talent and rights permissions (like whether the ad is even permitted for internet use), specific contractual expiration dates, etc. Armed with the proper Ad-ID, contact the post-house that has the master file you’re looking for and grant their operations person permission to upload the broadcast master to your third-party ad platform. If your third-party ad platform supports broadcast standard files (not all do), you’ve just improved the way the vast majority of your digital audience experiences your brand and message.

There are several other steps you can take to improve and control the quality of your digital video ads, but this a great first step. The future offers even greater quality enhancements. With the implementation of new codec standards (H.265), perceived video quality should be able to increase even at the lowest of bitrates. But when you start with anything less than the video source file (creative master), you compromise the viewer experience from the beginning. Your ads shouldn’t take a lesser path for digital than with TV, and today, they don’t have to.

To learn more about video convergence, please click here.

*2014 Viewer Experience Report. Rep. Conviva, 31 Mar. 2014. Web. 3 Sept. 2014.


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