Marketers Need True Contextual Targeting and Brand Safety for Video – Here’s What JW Player has planned for 2020

Blog 3 min read | Feb 3, 2020 | JW Player


Advertisers have long recognized the value of aligning their ads to relevant content in brand safe environments. For video, this is even more critical given the compelling nature of that medium. However, having your creative being shown alongside inappropriate content on a social media platform or website not only limits Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) but can have a negative impact on your brand. 

More recently the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and other industry updates have shifted the landscape, leading to brands re-focusing on contextual targeting to deliver relevant advertising to consumers to achieve campaign goals.

Unfortunately, marketers’ efforts have been held back by one major hurdle: the technology for digital video advertising has not yet caught up to where it needs to be. In 2020, JW Player will be working with Oracle Data Cloud to solve this challenge with a solution that combines Oracle’s industry-leading, machine-learning video context product with JW Player’s Video Intelligence used by over 12,000 media brands.

Here’s a look at where things stand today, and what we’re planning to achieve in the next year:

Contextual targeting
Has risen to the forefront, a result of both GDPR and declining cookie functionality within several major web browsers. But while marketers are successfully aligning display ads to the content on the page, there is a gap for video content, which can vary in meaning from the text on the page. Too often, this is costing advertisers valuable video ad impressions, a decrease in relevancy and the potential for unsuitable inventory. 

“I think there are a lot of missed opportunities,” said Michael Schwalb, Co-GM of Advertising at JW Player. “If you’re an advertiser and you’re looking to reach someone who’s a cooking enthusiast, and their cooking video happens to live on the New York Times, you’re not going to reach that person because you’re leveraging only the text content on the page.”

And even when brands do have the technology to contextually target video content, this process is being done manually through private marketplace (PMP) deals. While this is a start, the inability to analyze video content at scale is a major barrier to mass adoption.

Brand safety
Is no longer a nice-to-have addition for high-end brands, but essential table stakes for anyone doing business in digital advertising. With major agency holding companies adding executives and managers tasked solely with protecting brands’ reputations online, there’s no doubt that brand safety will be a central focus for marketers in 2020.

However, many advertisers struggle with brand safety solutions that are imprecise and inaccurate for video. Rather than helping marketers sort out which content is suitable for each of their brands, these tools wind up blocking entire categories that frequently contain quality inventory and are not entirely fail-safe.

“Less accurate technology kills scale, and advertisers are finding that poor technology is forcing them to adopt overly broad standards like avoiding all news, rather than limiting their ads to appropriate news content,” said Kurt Kratchman, GVP, Product Development at Oracle Data Cloud. “That type of heavy-handed blocking is hurting publishers, and it’s unwarranted. There’s great news content, but you have to be careful and be sure that your solution is accurate.” 

JW Player is working with Oracle Data Cloud
On an exciting new collaboration for 2020, one that will allow us to deliver contextually relevant, brand-safe video advertising at scale. “We’re bringing together our technologies to offer solutions that don’t exist currently in the programmatic open web,” Kratchman said. “It’s critical for brands to be able to buy video inventory at scale and trust the accuracy from both a brand-safety perspective and a positive contextual targeting perspective. It’s going to move the needle within the market.”

Video rather than page level targeting
Is what makes these solutions different is the insight into the video content itself. JW Player powers over half of the top digital media sites, and in partnership with Oracle is able to provide unique contextual targeting to video content at scale. 

Contact JW Player today to find out more about how we can help you improve your digital video advertising.