Video Ad Networks BrightRoll, YuMe Raise New Millions

As online video’s growth shows no sign of slowing down, broadband video ad network BrightRoll has raised a $30 million third round to extend its ad exchange and mobile offerings, two areas that are still small, but also rapidly attracting more marketer activity. Separately, YuMe, a video ad network that has turned its attention to connected TVs, has received a $12 million round from Samsung Ventures and Translink Capital, as it tries to pioneer the burgeoning broadband TV ad arena.
The two fundings come during a month of explosive activity in the video space.
Earlier this month video search engine and advertising firm Blinkx placed new shares representing 1.8 percent of the company to acquire Melville, NY-based search marketing firm Prime Visibility Media Group for $36 million. At the same time, the European video ad network Smartclip was acquired by video and content network Adconion, which wants to integrate Smartclip’s in-stream and connected-TV advertising formats in to its own offering.
Also in November, Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) bought Auditude, which operates a platform for managing online video ads.
It’s been said many times that online video is the fastest growing segment of internet advertising. This year, U.S. online video advertising revenues of around $2 billion, eMarketer says, while the total online ad market will be about $30 billion. Video is attractive to advertisers for obvious reasons: it tends to command more attention than text or audio alone, and therefore provides the kinds of engagement metrics that brand marketers value.
But video advertising’s rise, which has been gathering speed since the depths of the 2009 ad recession thanks to the growing penetration of broadband connections in general, is not growing unimpeded. For one thing, media buyers still complain of the lack of premium inventory as well as the lack of easily comparable measurements.
The extension of video to the ad exchange space could help spur even more spending by marketers in the space. BrightRoll certainly commands a lot of the spending going on in online video. The company claims to manage 2.25 billion video ads per month, or nearly 1 out of every 3 U.S. video ads served, citing data from comScore and BrightRoll internal reporting.
The app economy also shows a great deal of promise in opening up more premium video ad inventory. There too, BrightRoll has planted a flag early, as it claims its mobile network currently generates more than 250 million monthly pre-roll video impressions across 6,000 mobile apps and websites. Impressive numbers to be sure, but in terms of the overall online space, this is only the beginning and there’s room for competitors to move in and take a greater share of market.
Hence the huge funding round, which comes four years after BrightRoll raised a $5 million second round. This latest funding came from new investor Trident Capital, which led round, and was joined by existing backers True Ventures, Scale Venture Partners and Adams Street Partners, and Comerica Bank. Release
Last month, YuMe produced a study showing that major ad categories are ramping up their online video ad spending. For example, consumer packaged goods, the top category among YuMe’s 1,500 publisher sites, remained the top spender in Q3 with a 23 percent share of the market, up from 17 percent in Q2. More on the company’s funding in the release.