This Health Website Is Charging Advertisers Up to $4 Per Video View

HealthiNation is focused on targeted content

The health site creates content that's relevant to pharma brands. - Credit by HealthiNation
Headshot of Christopher Heine

HealthiNation only has around 1 million monthly users for its proprietary web properties, but its other numbers would more than likely impress folks from the digital advertising world. For instance, via content distribution partner CNN, the New York-based web publisher claims to regularly reach 25 million viewers.

What’s more, pharmaceutical advertisers, according to HealthiNation CEO Michael O’Donnell, pay up to $4 per video view on the site because the content is, he contends, highly relevant to their brands. It’s common for consumer-facing publishers to charge $3 or $4 for every thousand video impressions. At any rate, marketers like Opdivo, Breo and Myrbetriq are running campaigns where their pre-roll ads and accompanying banners run against clips about fitness, nutrition, lifestyle, food and various ailments. In terms of the latter, diabetes and psoriasis are good examples.

“Here’s what to do to not get it, here’s what to do if you’ve been recently diagnosed with it, here’s what you need to know if you are getting treated for it over the long term,” said Lauren Gelman, editor in chief at HealthiNation, describing some of video content. Gelman has been in her role for a couple of months and is in the process of overhauling the publisher’s content strategy to involve a mix of lifestyle content and health-related videos.

The new series her team revealed at its NewFront presentation today, which was held at the Helen Mills Theater on West 26th Street in New York, included Flow, a yoga-focused program that will entail 60 episodes that last 10 minutes apiece, Right Side of the Bed, which is about getting better sleep and To Eat With Love, about Mediterranean cooking.

“We are planning a 300 percent increase in content production year over year,” Gelman said before the 12-year-old site’s presentation, which drew a few dozen attendees. “We are also looking to do more on Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Live.”

On stage, O’Donnell suggested that his platform gets viewers consent before showing pre-roll ads. “It’s essentially an opt-in to watch your pre-roll,” he said.

Speaking with Adweek, O’Donnell said HealthiNation’s videos are getting 80 percent viewability rates, five percent click-through rates and 78 percent completion rates.

“We have thousands of videos, and they are safe,” he said, clearly calling out brand safety—a common NewFronts theme this year due to YouTube’s recent troubles—as a strength that he can sell. “They are often being watched by patients with real hope. They have everything from allergies to late-stage cancer. They use the site before they go to the doctor’s office.”

While his site’s current audience of 1 million viewers makes the ad buy certainly more about relevancy rather than scale, O’Donnell envisions offering big traffic numbers down the road.

“Our goal is to get to 40 million by 2018,” he said.

This was the second year in row that HealthiNation presented at the Interactive Advertising Bureau-led conference.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.