AppNexus Breaks the Video Speed Barrier
Company cuts video advertising latency by up to a factor of 1,000; Develops technology to improve video user experience and deliver greater value to publishers
AppNexus, the world's leading independent ad tech company, today announced the development of new technology that cuts latency in video advertising by up to a factor of 1,000, from an average of five seconds to as little as five milliseconds. The announcement of the company’s anti-latency solution answers a critical problem in the digital advertising ecosystem and comes on the heels of its recent launch of an open outstream video marketplace.
“Today’s announcement is a transformative event for digital advertising,” said Eric Hoffert, SVP of Video Technology, AppNexus. “Latency is one of the greatest challenges facing the video advertising industry. On average, every incremental one-second buffering delay for video playback results in a six percent increase in abandonment rate. When a video fails to load immediately, end viewers don’t know whether there’s an issue with the publisher’s content or an issue with the ad. Both possibilities trigger user flight, a problem that is especially vexing for independent publishers who provide a diversity of rich, alternative content to the walled video gardens of Facebook and YouTube.”
In its Global Trust Study released in September 2015, AppNexus found that of the more than 1,200 advertisers, agencies, publishers, and advertising technology companies surveyed, the biggest concern surrounding programmatic video is user-experience. Specifically, close to 40 percent of publishers cited slow video load times as a principal concern. A study by Akamai and The University of Massachusetts, Amherst found that that 25 percent of video users abandon content after a delay of five seconds, 40 percent abandon after ten seconds, and 80 percent abandon after 20 seconds. Prior to developing its anti-latency technology, AppNexus ran internal tests with a set of publishers, which revealed an average five-second load time.
AppNexus’ technology combats latency for instream video by running client-side mediation in advance of video playback, introducing video ad caching, unwrapping VAST to confirm valid video creative, and configuring time-out settings that put video publishers in full control of the creatives running on their pages. This approach uses standardized HTML5 local storage for video ad caching to provide seamless delivery of video ads across desktop and mobile web. The company’s internal tests indicate that AppNexus retrieves video ads from cache 100x or faster—approximately 50 milliseconds or less—compared to an average video mediation process of five seconds. In select use cases, this can be up to 1000 times faster, depending on page load characteristics, user interaction with the browser, network bandwidth, and other factors. Additionally, the AppNexus Seller Tag enables integrated monetization of display, native, mobile, and video ads by streamlining many ad tags from various vendors for different content types into one simple tag. This process reduces latency by using only one network request for all placements and by running auctions in parallel in order to return results in a single response.
“We’re living in 2016, not 1996,” continued Hoffert. “Online video should be as seamless, fast, and fluid as television. Until the industry meets that objective, there is still work to be done. Our approach takes measured steps to improve the underlying functionality of how programmatic video works, rather than layering on additional functionality and complexity. But this is also a call to action. Every millisecond counts, and all industry actors need to work together to solve the latency problem and create a better video Internet.”
AppNexus will showcase its anti-latency video technology at its upcoming San Francisco Summit on March 22. AppNexus’ low latency video API is planned for general availability in Q2.
AppNexus is a technology company that provides trading solutions and powers marketplaces for Internet advertising. Its open, unified, and powerful programmatic platform empowers customers to more effectively buy and sell media, allowing them to innovate, differentiate, and transform their businesses. As the world's leading independent ad tech company, AppNexus is led by the pioneers of the web's original ad exchanges. Headquartered in New York City with 23 global offices, AppNexus employs more than 1000 of the brightest minds in advertising and technology who believe that advertising powers the Internet. For more information, follow us at @AppNexus or visit us at www.AppNexus.com