videoplazaYesterday Videoplaza, a Swedish startup focusing on video advertising solutions, announced that the four of the largest print publishers in Denmark, Berlingske Media , Ekstra Bladet, Jyllands Posten and Børsen and 4 big advertisers, De Gule Sider, Nordisk Film, Nykredit and SAS, have come together to kickstart the online video advertising market in Denmark. (Read the story in VideoPlaza blog here).

Online video advertising has been coming for years, but has never really arrived. At least not yet. Similarly it’s not an overstatment to say that most of the content creators, namely news medias, are fighthing what many see as a losing battle to stay alive. Videoplaza has taken a small step closer to solving their biggest problem, how to make money with content online, by monetising online videos through prerolls, overlays and companion banners. However, Videoplaza founder and CEO, Sorosh Tavakoli, admits it’s not as easy as it might look. Actually it’s damn hard. Here’s a story he shared with us:

videoplazaThe story behind
It all started when we decided that Sweden wasn’t our home market, it was the Nordics. We looked around at Norway, Finland and Denmark and quickly realised that Denmark would be a huge challenge for us. Nobody (almost) ran prerolls, hence the knowledge in the market was low both from sellers and buyers and none had taken the leadership and invested in establishing these new formats. We couldn’t even get meetings booked.

This is when we got in contact with Tim Frank Andersen and his Brandzation, now our exclusive partner in Denmark. They came up with the kickstart idea saying ”if there is no market for this, let’s create it!”.

The publishers were quite clear that they couldn’t cover the big costs of producing, managing and distributing video with the extra display revenues they created. There needed to be something else. The problem was that nobody wanted to take the lead and invest in launching new formats into the market, something that is understandable. But what if we did it all together?

After a number of meetings and brainstorming sessions, we finally had the sales managers of the four largest print publishers in Denmark around the table. And today they are all going live with 4 of the largest advertisers in Denmark finally moving to a profitable video product.

Our role
We have contributed to the project in two ways – technology and online video expertise. Having run more than 100 campaigns for publishers in different countries, we have have a good feeling for what works. The publishers are also of course using our product Monetizer, to manage, serve and track the ads.

The kickstart project
The kickstart project will run for 3 months and include 3 iterations. We will use prerolls, overlay banners and companion banners. Every month we will try different setups and do research around it. We are also looking at the effects of the advertising together with Gallup. The purpose is to go beyond the click and look at what happens in the head from a brand lift perspective.

We hope this project will get the market started. It’s not just about chosing the same technology, it’s also about setting a standard for trading and to really dig deep to understand more about the final value created for the end client, the advertisers.

Good luck to Sorosh and the Videoplaza team trying to save the newspaper industry by monetizing online video. They’ll need it.