How Network N ramped up their video solutions for gamers across a network of sites

The Challenge

Network N was founded by James Binns and Tim Edwards (formerly of Future Publishing) in 2012 with the launch of PCGamesN—a site dedicated to all things PC gaming. They quickly grew to a global network of over 100 gaming sites reaching over 75 million people every month, with compelling solutions for their publishing partners and industry advertisers.

In 2020, they set a goal to roll out an effective video solution across their network of 150 publishing partners of different sizes with varying ad stack requirements. This was to serve two purposes, firstly the distribution of their weekly curated video ‘Most Wanted’ and additionally as a programmatic revenue solution. “We knew we needed a player that was robust, that could be easily rolled out across a range of sites with stability and security being key,” Rob Brett, Programmatic Lead at Network N said.

As well as a high quality and stable player Network N knew they had to develop their programmatic stack for digital video – they had the audience reach but didn’t have the right demand partners for video. Specifically, they needed a video solution that made it easy to sell first-party campaigns as well as programmatic media. They also knew they and their programmatic partners would benefit from video header bidding. Network N had previously run into issues implementing video header bidding due to their network’s complexity.

Silhouette of a city skyline with a sunset backdrop. Tall buildings and structures are visible against the vibrant sky, resembling a network of sites interconnected across the horizon.

We identified and were aware that JW Player had a premium product and was fit for the task.

Rob Brett | Programmatic Lead | Network N

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You have to test which SSPs work for you. We were able to easily plumb in different demand sources through JW Player to optimize ad yield across our sites.

Rob Brett | Programmatic Lead | Network N

The Solution

Network N chose JW Player as their video platform for playback, streaming, and monetization across their network and distribution of their curated videos for gamers. Then rolled out this solution to power their digital video strategy across PCGamesN and their partner gaming publishing sites.

They focused on viewer experience, using built-in customization tools within JW Player to optimize how the video player appears to their audiences. As well as plugging in the right demand partners to realize the value of their video viewership.

Using Player Bidding from JW Player they were able to not only quickly launch header bidding across their network, but also test which demand partners drove the best ad yield from the built-in SSP partners and their first-party demand sources. Ensuring they had transparency and efficiency at the heart of their programmatic video offering through leveraging the latest programmatic technology built into JW Player.

The Result

Network N transformed their digital video business within one year. Through a combination of driving audience engagement with premium video content, integrating 9 video SSPs, and optimizing their monetization with the Yield Optimization team at JW Player they were able to exceed their business goals. Within one year they increase their video ad yield (effective CPM) by 60% and grow their ad revenue from video by 25%.

The Result

60 % Increase in Ad Yield (eCPM)
40 M+ Monthly video plays
25 % Growth in ad revenue

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