Industry Insights
The Cross-Platform Video Revolution with Paul Talbot, CRO of Boulder Video

Paul Talbot
Boulder Video



For those of us that aren’t familiar with Boulder Video, please tell us a little more about your company and core offering. 

Boulder Video is a buyer and seller of premium Mobile and Desktop Video inventory. Our suite of products includes the following:

- Robust Ad Server and RTB – ORCA – – Our low margins make the platform a big money maker for Publishers and Buyers
– Unique Outstream Ad Units for Mobile and Desktop enable Publishers to earn incremental revenue
– We also provide Factoring services for publishers receiving slow pay dates from buyers


According to eMarketer, both digital video content consumption and advertising are expected to grow pretty tremendously over the next few years. Does this corroborate with the data you are seeing internally, and are there any general numbers you can share with the audience you are seeing?

We agree with eMarketer wholeheartedly. Our data shows that 35% of the current display inventory will be converted to Outstream Units by mid – 2017.


Digital Video monetizes at a much higher eCPM than regular display banner ads. What would you say the average eCPM or yield is for digital video, across different verticals? (estimate would be fine)

That is going to encompass quite a range. Let me focus on our niche.

Desktop  Outstream Units:

- Male Demo – $5-10 CPMs- High Fill
- Female Demo – $6.50 – 11- High Fill

Mobile Web/InApp Units:

– $3-9 – 30-55% Fill

Our unit examples can be seen at


How do you typically work with publishers? Do you typically license relevant video content to them, and do a revshare on the monetization of this video content? Who is primarily responsible for selling these ads – the publisher,, or both parties?

We work with publishers in a variety of ways, but primarily we give them one of our proprietary players loaded with our huge demand stack. We have units that provide incremental revenue for Mobile and Desktop. We give the publishers the choice of selling their own ads, or turning the task over to us. Our server costs are low to ensure our Publishers receive the value they deserve.


What are your thoughts on outstream video ad units? What about mobile video, as it pertains to the consumption of content, as well as advertising?

We have taken the time to create our own outsream units for Mobile and Desktop as well as premium content. The outstream unit will insure that we don’t have a Google/Facebook Oligopoly.

Mobile Video is performing quite well for us. The one negative has been that the fill rate has not been up to desktop rates as of yet. The counter to that is that our Mobile Video Units only emerge if there is a sold ad.


Are there some core differences, like higher brand lift, price, and effectiveness of in-stream video ad units as compared to in-banner video? Why do you think advertisers heavily prefer in-stream video ad units?

The main issue with In-Banner units is the remaining stigma attached to them from the ‘ Israeli Appnexus‘ strategy, which involved well-known Israeli Ad Networks inserting video ads into banner spaces without the Publisher being aware of it. That was shut down, but the scar remains.


Why do you think some publishers still use auto-play in-banner video ad units (many times below the fold with audio automatically turned on)? Do you think there will be a point where ad blocking will become so prominent with consumers that it will force publishers to take user experience into consideration and remove such ads?

It makes no sense for Publishers to use those units. I would chalk it up to a lack of awareness of alternative options available.

Ad blocking is already opening up the conversation around user experience. The bad side is that the Ad Blocking companies seem to be angling to extort from the publishers. There is also technology out there that makes third party cookies appear as first party cookies, so if a company wants to get around ad blocking they will. For the mass majority of the public, folks that care will try and block ads, and for those who don’t or don’t care about the information they are giving out, then they will continue to provide the metadata whole-heartily.

Ad Blocking for me is a subject that I am passionate about, and even though I am working to grow a successful ad tech company, and my background is in digital content creation, I block as many ads as I can on my desktop and mobile device; re-targeting I believe is invasive and creepy. I have sat in focus groups for Facebook and other companies as a videographer in the past, and listening to consumers talk about re-targeting and not understanding– it is disappointing.


A segue into the next question – how do you think digital video ads (both pre-roll and in-banner video) will be affected by ad blocking? How do you think this entire ad blocking issue will play out?

Ad blocking will affect us all. The immediate hit will be to 2nd and 3rd tier publishers. The Digital Video fraud issue is getting better every day due to powerful tools like Double Verify and Forensiq.


Ad fraud is pretty rampant on regular display ad units, especially in exchanges. How bad is the ad fraud issue for digital video ads?

As stated before, fraud is becoming less of an issue every day, due to tools available. Though companies are pushing the boundaries all the time to make money, so as technology evolves and Mobile ads become more important as they already are folks will be using fraud until they can’t anymore to help them succeed in making the all might dollar.


What are your thoughts on the quality of video content being uploaded to major social platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, & Twitter? Do you think that these social platforms will eventually be able to successfully monetize this video content, with potentially pre-roll ads?

I had this interesting conversation with a brand recently and they work with an agency to make there creatives and also place them through a company like ours. I tried to express to the contact that we could save them 15% or more on an ad spend budget by cutting out the middle man. Their response was we have the budget so we don’t care. In a world were most people that operate ad spend budget don’t care about the bottom line and they just have this money to spend they will always see there ROI as long as they can get their message out there to whom ever they want to get their message too.



Boulder Video Media offers effective solutions to create scalable lead generation campaigns all bound by client-led success metrics. We thrive to deliver high volume traffic to clients through accountable and measurable results.As a digital agency, our success can only be measured by how happy our clients are. And that is what gives us the passion we breathe and live by.

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