Naren Nachiappan, managing director of online video ad network Jivox outlining the future of video in the online space in an exclusive talk with domain-b on the sidelines of IAMAI's fourth conference on digital marketing in Mumbai. Dhruv Tanwar reports
Web-based video advertising service Jivox aims to enable businesses to communicate their products and services to a micro-targeted audience in a more customised, relevant way than most traditional mass-advertising methods, internet banners and search engines. Headquartered in Jivox, in California's San Mateo, with offices in Bangalore and Delhi in India, Jivox is a little over a year old in the country. Its managing director, Naren Nachiappan says it has been a "great ride" so far. (view video)
"We came to India with the belief that it is an emerging market that has the potential to be much larger than the US market, and I think our progress over the past year is tangible proof of that," says Nachiappan. Jivox specialises in video technology that a lot of its customers are interested in for creating an "emotional appeal for their brands through video on the internet". Excerpts:
So, will Jivox challenge the prevailing, relatively unstructured agency model in online advertising? Not really, says Nachiappan, Jivox instead intends to work "in cooperation' with the agency folks." He says that rather than disrupt the existing agency model, Jivox seeks to complement it.
He says, "Video is the best possible medium for that, so we are here to assist both agencies and advertisers, and also publishers by enabling them with all the components of the video-playing technology, and the video-serving technology that is available with Jivox."
Where does online video fit in with conventional websites that still rely on text? Nachiappan says an increasing amount of video is now available on those websites too, giving the example of the CNN website, which now has a number of its stories posted online in video form, without the previously necessarily supporting text.
"The expectation is that the customer actually watches the video, and gets the news through that."
Asked if video content, being non-searchable on search engines, is harder to find online, Nachiappan said that the way to search for videos is to ensure that the right meta data tags associated with the video are available on the publisher's site. That, he says, will allow users to find the video using search on particular topics.
Nachiappan is bullish on the future of online advertising. "I think it's great. I think its explosive growth in India, and will parallel if not exceed the growth you see in other parts of the world."
He says the Indian online population wants to watch videos online, evidence of which can be found in the fact that You Tube is the sixth most heavily trafficked site in India, inspite of the fact that bandwidth is really not readily available, yet.
Nachiappan says that the population watching video online tends to be the young adult, who usually watch in the office and sometimes at home as well. However, given the availability of better bandwidth at the office, most video consumption tends to happen during working hours during the week.
Once bandwidth constraints are eased, it will become much more of a mainstream media, he predicts. "Every household will have the capability to watch video online, at different times of the day, and the audience will change as well, growing to include housewives," he says, and would even being a family medium during the evenings, the equivalent of what is now called prime time on television.
Will video online come to rival television, and does that transformation hinge on bandwidth? "Absolutely," says Nachiappan. "It already is in most countries overseas. The number of hours spent by people online is rapidly exceeding the number of hours they spend in front of a television. That same trend will also come to India."
"Bandwidth is an enabler, but what's driving it is content, and there is increasing amounts of content available in video form."
And, how does he view the potential impact of the planned WiMax rollout? "WiMax is another great enabler, being a technology that can be quickly rolled out, without digging up the streets, and traffic being diverted for months," he mused. "A few WiMax towers can cover an entire metropolitan area. With those technologies becoming available, the adoption is going to be even faster."
Therefore, his message to target customers is to budget for video in their media plans.
"You need to have video in your media plans", says Nachiappan to companies wishing to advertise online. "Its here today. The technology is here, the publishers are here, and your users and prospective buyers are also here, and online."