The ad-blocking discourse has centered around a push and pull between consumer wants and monetisation needs, with many industry pundits positioning the two as mutually exclusive. The rise of ad blockers and the technology challenges associated with delivering quality content have left the economics of publishing ad-supported video strained. The media organisations that will succeed in this shifting environment are the ones taking on new levels of accountability to deliver better user experiences, transforming the value exchange between viewers and publishers.
One publisher building a powerful and profitable Ad-Supported Video On Demand (AVOD) business while putting viewer experience front and center is MediaWorks, New Zealand's largest independent broadcaster. The organisation reaches 96 percent of the local population with an extensive portfolio of leading news and entertainment brands, live and on-demand video platforms, and broadcasting across three television and 10 radio stations nationwide.
MediaWorks has experienced massive growth in online video — it’s the number one premium video publisher in New Zealand with over 55 million streams a month across the network. MediaWorks’ primary objectives are to provide relevant content, deliver top quality video experiences, and ensure results for advertisers. However, the broadcaster was running into two business-critical, but common, problems. Not only were many of MediaWorks’ viewers using ad blockers, but its legacy infrastructure couldn’t support its video growth plans.
To solve these challenges, MediaWorks made the strategic decision to partner with Brightcove to revamp its AVOD business, using server-side ad insertion (SSAI) to monetise content and optimise viewing experiences for millions of Kiwis. The results are impressive — through SSAI, MediaWorks was able to increase total ad inventory by 35 percent.
Defeating ad blockers with TV-like experiences
When MediaWorks determined that 25 percent of its total user base were deploying ad blockers, with usage much higher across the younger demographics, the team knew it was time to take action. With Brightcove SSAI, ads are stitched seamlessly into MediaWorks’ content on the server before being streamed to any device, even to mobile apps. Not only does this eliminate buffering, pausing, and stuttering transitions between program video and ads to create a quality, TV-like experience, but it also mitigates the impact of ad blockers, enabling MediaWorks to reach its key audiences with premium content.
The high-quality viewing experience from SSAI is one of the ways Brightcove has helped MediaWorks increase total ad inventory by 35 percent. The organisation experienced a 14 percent lift in time spent viewing videos, opening up more monetisation opportunities across MediaWorks’ base.
Before Brightcove, integrating and maintaining different players with diverse ad logic across MediaWorks’ 14 different apps and endpoints was proving incredibly expensive. By implementing SSAI, MediaWorks was able to consolidate to one stream and one player, saving months of development time and hundreds of thousands of dollars. This freed up MediaWorks resources to work on initiatives that differentiate the broadcaster and improve user experience, rather than building commodity tools or making architectural decisions.
MediaWorks is a valuable case study on how to get the delicate balance of consumer experience and monetisation right. The broadcaster differentiates itself by offering relevant on-demand content and a high-quality viewing experience to its audience, while also providing great results for advertisers.
To learn more on MediaWorks’ migration to Brightcove, read the full case study here.