Last week, myself along with a few others from our UK team were lucky enough to visit a surprisingly sunny Amsterdam for Digiday’s Video Summit Europe. Publishers from throughout Europe came together to discuss their current video strategy including what’s working and the difficulties they face. With GDPR, of course, being the hottest topic of the summit, Digiday produced a great event and here are some of the takeaways.

GDPR, So Far

As we are now a few weeks into the new GDPR era, publishers are now seeing how their businesses have been affected by the changes. Since the start of the regulation, a majority of publishers have seen a drop in programmatic rates by 20% to 40%. On a positive note, publishers have also seen a 10% to 20% increase in rates in geographic areas outside of the EU. There were a number of different approaches discussed to manage GDPR in the European Economic Area (EEA) with some publishers going to the extent of turning ads off completely. Many advertisers are shifting their focus to contextual targeting to combat the drop in available 3rd party data. A number of publishers are also implementing contextual video players on page to help drive spend and increase views.

Growing Audiences using Multiple Platforms

Publishers focusing on their video growth strategy are trying to find the balance between video views and high engagement. Using multiple platforms to spread content seems to be the way forward. Some platforms produce high views but lack engagement, whereas others produce high engagement with a lower view count. Using a combination of multiple platforms seems to provide the strongest well-balanced results for publishers. Many publishers are now fixated on growing their own YouTube channel. YouTube allows publishers to embed video in their own environment rather than users only being able to view video content on external social platforms like Snapchat.

Video Reach

When publishers work with advertisers, one of the most important factors for them is reach. An often burning question is “How many eyeballs will see my content?” With in-house branded content being expensive to create, it is vital for publishers to ensure they are turning around a profit. Sudden algorithm changes on social platforms can result in substantials drops overnight. Some publishers are even turning to syndication platforms to get the reach that they need, this however begins to eat into publisher profit.

In summary, Video Summit Europe was an excellent opportunity for publishers to hone in on their intentions for video. With GDPR being such a focal point, it was great to learn how media companies are dealing with the new changes. Discussing concepts including the investments publishers are making in video reveals that video will continue to be prominent and visible force of the ad tech ecosystem.

By: Stefan Small | Director of European Publisher Partnerships at 33Across