Industry Insights
Gauging Interest: EngageBDR on OutStream Mobile Video Advertising


Sydney Goldman
Manager, Marketing and Communications



For those of us that aren’t familiar with Engage: BDR, please tell us a little more about your offering and audience.

engage:BDR specializes in publisher-direct, premium Display and Video placements across all devices. We pride ourselves on a very high level of service in house- leading to the most efficient results and ease for our clients. Our years in the space have allowed us to build expertise and tech to support premium campaigns looking to hit meaningful KPIs.


According to Quantcast, you’ve been clocked at 505MM monthly uniques across desktop and mobile devices. Does being the #1 ranked network by this measurement firm help with advertiser adoption?

answer: Yes, it does! Reach is dynamic and based on our demand, so it goes up and down, but the capability is the important part. That same month, we were measured by comScore as reaching 97% of all US internet users. We have a pretty strong data program here, which is a really special combination. This essentially means we have the reach to make sure you can speak to your entire audience, as we can reach all (or very, very many) of them, without wasting impressions on irrelevant users, and this is very valuable to our clients.


It was touted a few years back that the advent of programmatic, ad exchanges, and the self-serve model would mean the death of the ad network, but obviously that was not the case as many of the big players are still thriving. What do you see as the future of the ad network business?

We certainly see many ad networks falling away these days as the industry moves towards an emphasis on quality- whether through emphasis on viewability, the cleansing of major demand platforms like AppNexus and Liverail, or the work of TAG. Companies that survive and thrive will be no more than one hop away from the publisher, and ensuring the media they are offering is very premium. There is no more tolerance for impressions being resold several times, and advertisers now have better tools to ensure quality- a positive step for the entire industry.


Key trends of late have been native advertising, mobile video, and programmatic. What are your thoughts on each of these topics?

We certainly see each of these trends growing in the coming year. Programmatic, of course, has been around for a while and is now less of a trend and more of an industry backbone. We see that continuing to grow, but with some course correction. There will be major cleanup with an emphasis on direct supply and demand. Native will be benefitted by the inclusion in new RTB standards, so that more people have a common definition to transact upon, and volume will grow. Lastly, video consumption on mobile devices is skyrocketing, and brands are eager to keep pace. Successful mobile video advertisers will take into account users’ state of mind when creating a targeting strategy.


There’s been a lot of talk recently about header bidding, in which ad networks would bid against each other instead of an ad call being sequential waterfall setup. Have you had conversations with publishers about this, and has this affected your business in any way?

Yes, we think this is a great step for the industry. It will help reduce latency, making ads more effective and placements more high-quality, and contribute to a better end-user experience.


You recently launched your exclusive OutStream ad units in June of this year. Can you share any eCPM or fill rates that your publisher partners have been seeing by category?

We are seeing eCPMs on OutStream placements in line with pre-roll, InStream eCPMs. This makes sense, as we created the units to provide additional scale in the limited Video space. Advertisers are telling us they like the units because of their high viewability and smooth interaction with content.


What are some innovations happening in mobile and video right now that you are excited about?

Outstream is really compelling in the video space. It’s entirely symbiotic- it creates scale in the video space, where high-quality supply is extremely limited, and it helps publishers create additional streams of revenue to support their ability to provide premium content. The industry is seeing high CTR on outstream units- something that makes everyone happy. 


Have you had the opportunity to work with any advertisers through private marketplaces? If so, how was that experience for you?

We have a pretty large channel business and sell through many of the major platforms, heavily utilizing Private Marketplaces and soon supporting DealID through openRTB 2.3. This is a great tool- it allows us high-touch contact with our buyers, and more control over the quality of ads running on our inventory. Because we are working directly with publishers, we offer a lot of publisher-facing creative and quality control, and this is a wonderful instrument in that arena.


There’s been an explosion in the number of network & platform options available for marketers to choose from over the last few years, making it difficult to choose with company to form a relationship with. What advice would you give to marketers looking to find the right long-term partner for their campaign needs?

I think the most key thing for a marketer is to have clear goals. There are a ton of companies out there, and within that, several high-quality companies, but specializations vary. If you know what will spell success for you, you can best vet which partner will be a valuable relationship- leading to consistent, long-term partnerships that benefit all parties.


Lastly, what do you see as the future of online video and mobile video advertising?

Looking ahead, we think personalization will be really big. We already see demand for this, although the technology to power this in a scalable way is still a ways off. Being able to tailor your message to an exact user, as well as the situation they are in, will be an incredibly powerful tool for marketers. 



Founded in 2009, engage:BDR is a leading cross-device Video and Display advertising solution provider. We were one of the first publisher-direct online media companies to develop performance-focused solutions for Display marketers, and have channeled that success into a full, omni-channel tech stack serving both publishers and advertisers. Known for our expert team and vast reach, we have been ranked #1 across the entire Display ad ecosystem by comScore, with 97% penetration of the United States, and have recently climbed through the Top 20 Video entities.

In 2014, we began our pivot to move from 85% Display ad revenues to 85% Video revenues- a shift closely mirroring the growth in user consumption of the medium as well as marketer interest in it. In 2015, we achieved this goal. Today, engage:BDR offers premium, exclusive, and incremental Video ad units and monetization solutions for media owners and direct, top-tier publishers. We have pioneered OutStream ad formats with premium partners on both the publisher and advertiser side, with hundreds of publishers now monetizing their non-Video content through the units. We auction an average of 5 BN daily Video opportunities across our RTB ecosystem, First-Impression Marketplace, and are currently inviting advertiser-direct demand partners (DSPs) to join via openRTB integrations.

engage:BDR is very actively involved in the AdTech and MarTech industries. We are contributing members of the private Anti-Malware and Anti-Fraud Working Groups, under the IAB/TAG umbrella, and spearheaded writing of the mission statement for the Anti-Fraud Group. Additionally, we produce and publish trade-focused and thought-leading content across most major publications in our space, with the aim of contributing best practices and learnings to help the industry continue to evolve and create sustainability. engage:BDR is yearly third-party audited by BPA Worldwide and certified against all relevant IAB, 3MS, and QAG standards.

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