LiveRail, which is based in San Francisco, serves up 7 billion video ads each month and works with such companies as Major League Baseball, ABC Family, A&E Networks, Gannett, and Dailymotion. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but TechCrunch reports the sale totaled between $400 and $500 million.
With the acquisition of LiveRail, marketers will have access to premium video inventory, as well as data that helps them determine where to show their ads and make them more effective. “Publishers will benefit as well because more relevant ads will help them make the most out of every opportunity they have to show an ad,” said Brian Boland, Facebook’s vice president of ads product marketing and Atlas.
Facebook isn’t the only company to invest in video ad capabilities. Google recently announced its Google Partner Select program, which aims to make it easier for video publishers to sell their ad inventory to brands.
By revving up their video ad offerings, the companies are hoping to earn a share of ad revenue as online video traffic balloons. Cisco predicts by 2018, video traffic will be 79 percent of all consumer Internet traffic. Video-on-demand traffic is expected to double by 2018, the equivalent of 6 billion DVDs per month, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index.
LiveRail predicts that as video moves online, advertisers and video publishers will follow suit. Social media marketers are keen to ride the video wave: Nearly 75 percent plan to incorporate more original videos, and another third plan to increase their use of short-form video content like Vine even as they also focus on other website content, according to the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report.
The combination of LiveRail and Facebook is especially potent given the enormous amount of user data Facebook collects. LiveRail’s ad-targeting technology, combined with user data, could prove a boon to marketers hoping to boost user engagement through video ads.
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