Today’s Burning Question: Video Startups Set for IPOs?

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ADOTAS — Today we solicited emailed responses from industry leaders to the following Burning Question:

“What is your reaction to Bloomberg’s report that Tremor Video, YuMe and Adap.tv are on course for initial public offerings this year?”

Here’s how they responded:

“The news of potential IPOs within the online video advertising industry is further validation that the market is growing at a rapid pace. Consumers continue to spend an increasing amount of time watching online video content and media companies are realizing the value of featuring more video content on their sites. Online video advertising spend is projected to hit $4.6 billion in 2014 and we feel strongly that programmatic and RTB will be a stronger driver of that growth. Our recent study with Forrester shows RTB and programmatic will account for 25% of online video advertising spend in 2014 and that number will only rise as publishers become more comfortable with automating the sales process. At SpotXchange, the traction we’re seeing within our own marketplace has been phenomenal – we’ve experienced a 10X increase in global RTB impressions and are enabling over 400 million auctions per day. We’re bullish on helping publishers move more of their business into programmatic and think the use of private marketplaces will help bring even more inventory into the industry.” — Mike Shehan, CEO of SpotXchange.

“It’s not a surprising move, and one that will help move the entire online ad industry forward.  Online advertising is maturing, and getting more complex, targeted and sophisticated, and a move toward IPO is a signal that there will be new investments made in the appropriate technology and systems that are required to facilitate the growing increase in demand.  Online advertising is no longer the cheap second cousin in a marketing directors arsenal – it’s a legitimate, highly successful outlet for increasing brand exposure, and these IPO by key industry players are a testament to that.” — Jay Miletsky, CEO and founder of MyPod Studios.

“We are not at all surprised by Bloomberg’s report on the 2013 IPO-track for several high-profile players in the video space.  We are seeing tremendous growth in advertiser demand for video impressions and are investing heavily in our Woven Originals branded content division to meet that demand.  Online video has clearly reached a tipping point and we believe this explosive growth will continue to scale rapidly as consumers access more content via mobile devices and overall consumption patterns shift.  The market size of online video and channel-shift in advertising spend, conspire to make conditions right for IPO.  I think we will also see a fair amount of market consolidation. The fact of the matter is that consumers have more choices to access better content than ever before, where and when they want it, and the companies that are going to win in this space will need to be able to distribute — not just create — the content users want to view.  This is something we are acutely focused on and have built the distribution pipeline for the content we create. — Alex Boyce, Chief Strategy Officer, Woven Digital.

“Video is growing fast and the rise of video on mobile devices is only accelerating video consumption. Video is the first true multi-platform ad format, and so it is not surprising that video companies are developing plans to IPO.  At DataXu, we are excited about  the prospects of video as we are one of the leading platforms offering advertising solutions across multiple channels including video.  We see more & more advertisers planning their buys cross-channel and we believe that true value for advertisers will be created as a combination of multiple channels working in-sync for a specific campaign objective.” — Mukund Ramachandran, General Manager, Video, DataXu.

“There have been rumors of IPOs in the AdTech space for some time. For investors who have pushed substantial capital into companies but see limited private market M&A opportunities, the public markets are the only clear path for liquidity. The concern of course is that this encourages companies to drive towards IPO for the wrong reasons: coming to market too early or without sufficiently strong, sustainable growth. A weak response from the market to the initial IPOs would risk tarnishing many of the stronger, more technology-focused companies, eliminating their ability to IPO later. However, the opposite may also prove to be true. Many of this initial round of companies do have compelling, interesting stories to tell and a strong response in the markets would have a hugely positive impact on our entire space.” — LiveRail CEO Mark Trefgarne.

“I think this is great news for anyone in the video space.  There’s no clearer validation that digital video is at the heart of the media future and more importantly, that it includes multiple players within the ecosystem —  all who share the promise of capturing a growing market.  What will be interesting to see is how this capitalization will drive innovation in the space.  Consumers are adopting new devices at a rapid clip, and as content continues to migrate to a VOD world, it creates challenges and opportunities for marketers to capitalize on this emerging trend.  However, as all of us in the space know, until things like workflow and measurement are synthesized with the right partner across all video — Linear TV, PC, Tablet, Mobile and OTT — these audiences cannot be effectively reached and this momentum will fall short of its promise.” — Mike Caprio, VP of Video, Broadcast & Connected Devices, VideoFusion at DG.

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