Byravee Iyer
May 27, 2015

As video options multiply, YouTube remains best place for ad dollars: Rightster CEO

SINGAPORE - Although Facebook is making a big play for video spend, and emerging vehicles like Periscope show potential, Patrick Walker, CEO of multichannel network Rightster, argued strongly at last week's All The Matters conference that YouTube remains the best destination for ad dollars.

Patrick Walker
Patrick Walker

There are so many video platforms emerging and at the end of the day it comes down to storytelling, Walker said. “Another month, another player, where do you spend your ad dollars? It’s expanding very quickly.”

He noted that the 2012 television upfronts had only a handful of digital companies, whereas this year 33 companies presented at 'NewFronts', a series of sales presentations to convince marketers to spend on digital video. “There is a massive transition in the consumer side, and the money is coming,” he said.

Arguing in favour of YouTube, Walker recounted how when YouTube first launched it brought back an emotive and participatory element that television lacked. It was also authentic, measurable, shareable and social. But there were challenges including lawuits, brand safety, and monetisation. “YouTube actually fixed all those problems,” he said.

Today, YouTube is still the king of content and does stuff Facebook hasn’t even thought of doing, he stated, including protecting users against damaging content, rights management and monetisation. 

Walker sees potential in live-streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat because of their emotive, real-time, measurable, authentic and ephemeral qualities. However, these apps too will need to address rights issues, brand safety and monetisation. He suggests Spotify with its new video platform and 25 billion hours of music streamed could be a potential gamechanger.

Walker compared the evolution of online video to the transition from radio to television in the 1950s. Marketers would simply slap images onto radio ads—the same way they repurpose television ads for online.

Unsurprisingly for an MNC operator, Walker reiterated the superiority of online video. “TV’s challenge is that isn’t intimate, immediate, participatory or authentic," he said. "You could spend a million dollars but couldn’t tell how many people it reaches or who’s paying attention.” 


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