Virool Just Launched a Programmatic Marketplace for Vertical Video Advertising

Aims to take the format beyond Facebook and Snapchat

Virool, a programmatic video advertising platform, has created a programmatic marketplace vertical video ads. Virool
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There’s now an advertising marketplace specifically for vertical video.

Virool, a programmatic video platform based in San Francisco, has created a vertical video marketplace for programmatic ads that lets brands and agencies buy space with publishers using the increasingly popular format. Through a partnership with BidSwitch, brands can directly connect to 150 demand-side platforms and trading desks such as Google and AOL, said Virool CEO Alex Debelov.

Brands such as Burberry, Lexus and Delta have already started buying ad space through the vertical video exchange, which Virool said is providing an average cost per impression of around $15. According to Virool, ads are guaranteed 100 percent viewability, with ads pausing if less than 50 percent of the pixels are in view. (That metric is on par with Media Rating Council standards.) The news comes nearly a year after Virool first launched vertical video for publishers when it debuted the format with ads from Chinese drone-maker DJI.

Debelov said a lot of the companies it’s worked with in the past year have been asking for vertical video compatibility. He said mobile engagement on average has been seven or eight seconds, while desktop formats have led to engagement as long as a minute.

“I always think of vertical video ads if Vine were still alive,” Debelov said. “The desktop would be like the YouTube of video ads, where you create longer-form content.”

Like everywhere else, mobile is increasingly playing a bigger role for Virool and now makes up 60 percent of the company’s total inventory. Overall inventory has doubled in the past year for the company, with vertical largely leading the way. Debelov said some advertisers have approached Virool about vertical but then expanded to other formats as well.

Native video and vertical have been major contributors to new revenue growth over the past year for the Canadian publisher Groupe V Media, which has seen more than 60 percent of traffic to its site coming from mobile, according to Catherine Gougeon, Groupe V Media’s digital general manager.

While Virool may be the first to roll out a vertical marketplace, others have also been pushing forward with the format. Teads, which Dutch telecom Altice acquired in March for $308 million, has also increasingly pushed into the vertical video space along with bigger players like Snapchat—which is widely credited with making vertical video popular—and Instagram.

According to Eric Chen, head of publisher development at Virool, there has been such a shortage of preroll video that publishers have been looking for a new way to drive revenue from outstream video that appears within text articles.

“The way to look at it is that with outstream, we can target contextually with behavior and different qualities that a viewer would match,” Chen said.

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.