New Innovators: Vidiro
Web tool helps media buyers target YouTube users
Dublin-based tech start-up Vidiro co-founders Simon Factor and Kevin Magee
Having paid for online advertising campaigns, the last thing companies want is web-surfers hitting the “skip” button instead of viewing their ads. Skips are a major headache for digital marketeers everywhere, but Dublin-based tech start-up Vidiro believes it has the solution. It’s called Ad Radar and it enables media buyers to run better-targeted campaigns on YouTube that ensure hits rather than misses for ad views.
“Our video and audience analytics platform tracks the top 2.5 million YouTube channels to understand what’s hot right now in any given niche,” explains company co-founder Simon Factor.
“Finding the influencers on social media platforms is step one. How you use that knowledge is step two. Addressing online video audiences by aligning your campaign with their interests stops them skipping your ads. If the ads slot seamlessly into the reader experience advertising isn’t seen as intrusive – it becomes part of the experience.”
Factor and fellow co-founder Kevin Magee are founding industry members of the National Centre for Applied Data Analytics Research at UCD.
“We met there and as we discussed some of the challenges we had faced in the utilisation and application of analytics we discovered a mutual interest,” Factor says.
The X Factor
The partners set up Vidiro in 2013 and in 2014 the company won a UK competition to build a YouTube analytics system to help The X Factor television show find promising talent on YouTube.
“What was to become our first product, Talent Radar, worked really well and we jokingly called it the Justin Bieber algorithm,” Factor says. “We realised that if we could find budding pop stars we could find influencers in any category from cooking to fashion, fitness or sport.”
In the past, TV programming and advertising success have been measured by audience share – a method that has not transferred well to the online environment. However, with online video advertising here to stay and growing rapidly, advertisers need a relevant and accurate performance measurement tool.
“Multichannel networks typically aggregate video content to sell packaged audiences to advertisers on YouTube, mimicking how TV audiences are sold. But the online world is very fragmented, has multiple operators in the value chain, lacks transparency and can be difficult to navigate,” Factor says.
“Our solution offers a quick way to evaluate performance, scale and structure in a way that is familiar to advertisers used to TV ratings systems. It is also delivering completion rates well above the standard geographic and demographic targeting.
“We applied our Ad Radar to place ads against the best-performing You Tube video content and achieved an 80 per cent completion rate and our clients paid less than two cent for each 30 seconds of targeted audience view time.”
Factor and Magee have previous start-up experience, with the latter a former director of engineering for global eLearning firm Smartforce. Factor’s background is in audio visual and digital media and he founded Moving Media Studios in 2003. Vidiro is headquartered at NexusUCD and employs six people.
The company’s products are aimed at anyone advertising on YouTube but its key markets are London and New York.
Rather than looking for investors the partners used their own funds to launch their business with help from the Enterprise Ireland competitive start-up fund and its UK equivalent, IC Tomorrow. Start-up costs were in excess of €200,000 and the business is now revenue-generating.
“We purposely avoided the VC route and chose to bootstrap the business which, made it much harder in some ways but at the same time far more satisfying. Our belief is that we can partner with investors to scale our business now that we have a base to work from,” Factor says.