ADOTAS — DeskSite has just launched a digital video entertainment network that offers advertisers a viable alternative to broadcast television and ad-supported cable. The company announced it has partnered with several NFL teams to combine premium HD video content with precise ad targeting that allows brands to customize campaigns by gender and age. DeskSite’s new video entertainment network helps marketers achieve great scale, to get their ads in front of highly engaged and relevant audiences.
The company was founded by leaders in the fields of advertising, sports, film and television including Sid Ganis, Joe Pytka, Leigh Steinberg, Peter Farrelly, Mark Handler and CEO Richard Gillam.
“With only about half a million active subscribers, our reach is not yet comparable to broadcast television,” said Gillam. “However, given that we officially launched in just October of this year, combined with the addition of NBA and NHL teams in 2014 to our growing roster of NFL teams, we expect to see our network’s reach exceed 5 million active viewers within the next 18 months. Of course, where we really shine is in viewership.”
According to Gillam, while Hulu averages about four hours per month, per viewer, DeskSite consistently exceeds 12 hours per month, per viewer during the NFL regular season, providing advertisers with an incredible amount of available inventory exactly when they need it most: during the end-of-year push in Q4.
“We partner with each NFL team individually, in order to customize each DeskSite around that particular team’s needs and priorities, and, of course, their individual look & feel,” added Gillam. “Our internal goal is to complete deals with at least 25 NFL teams by next year’s kickoff; and, with 11 of the most popular NFL teams already launched, we’re on track to meet that goal. From a viewer perspective, we’d like to see at least 10 million NFL ‘Super Fans’ aggregated across 32 NFL team DeskSites within 36 months or less. Most importantly, we want to help NFL teams reach, embrace, support, and monetize their exploding female fan base – and, with our new age & gender-specific platform, we can help them achieve this macro goal.”
Here’s how it works. DeskSite utilizes pre-roll alongside associated post-roll banner ads, running single-spot pods and ads that only play when clicked. Pre-roll gives the company the ability to target by exact age and gender with instantaneous playback in HD without buffering, stalling or dropping. The company claims it can control exact reach and frequency. For example, within the Patriots DeskSite, a 17-year-old male will see a trailer for the new Adam Sandler movie, a 17-year-old female will see a new product from Maybelline, a 35-year-old female will see an ad for the latest minivan, etc., but then all viewers will see the same exclusive interview with Tom Brady.
Gillam doesn’t intend its services to flat out replace broadcast television. Instead, from a fan’s perspective, DeskSite aims to complement broadcast television on game days, then fill in the 6-day gap in-between games.
Also unlike Hulu, DeskSite allows brands to target not only by exact age and gender, but advertisers can control exact reach, frequency per viewer, single-spot pods (Hulu averages 3-5 ads per pod), and offers 10% ad loads vs. Hulu’s 17%+ (for premium content).
“There is no question that Hulu is the absolute epitome of great online video advertising – and with 12-20 million unique monthly viewers, it’s the only online property with premium content that legitimately offers broadcast-level reach,” stated Gillam. “However, Hulu is still just a website, and thus cannot explicitly separate its viewers into targetable micro-groups – meaning no specific age or gender targeting, and no reach or frequency control…ever, thanks to soaring cookie-blocking & deletion rates. Also, Hulu uses multi-spot pods, and runs 50% more ad minutes (per hour) than we do. More clutter means less impact.”