2024 Digital Video Strategy: Navigating IAB Reclassification & Cookie Deprecation

2024 is poised to be a pivotal year for publishers regarding their online video strategy and the broader impact on digital video revenue.

In the past three years, three significant changes have been looming, frequently discussed among publishers and advertisers. However, 2024 marks the year these changes converge and begin to be enforced more rigorously by major buyers and Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs). These changes include:

  1. The IAB Video Reclassification (announced in 2022)
  2. Third-Party Cookie Deprecation (announced by Google in 2020)
  3. The emergence of the Jounce Media SPO Report

These topics were widely discussed in 2023, but 2024 is when we expect DSPs to take definitive action, especially with Google advancing its privacy sandbox initiatives. This blog aims to guide you through these changes, helping you adjust your Online Video (OLV) strategy to not just sustain but also enhance your CPMs and fill rates as a significant portion of OLV inventory faces new classification challenges.

The focus in 2024 will be on contextually relevant video content. Delivering such content to advertisers and DSPs positions you well for success.

IAB Video Reclassification

The IAB video reclassification will see major DSPs enforce stricter rules, pushing down rates and fill rates for video experiences considered low-quality, particularly in the out-stream category. The classification includes:

  • In-stream (5-10% of inventory)
  • Out-stream – Accompanying Content (approx. 40% of inventory)
  • Out-stream Standalone
  • Out-stream Interstitial

The last two categories make up about half of the inventory. The distinction between out-stream and instream lies in sound activation, contextual relevance and user engagement. Publishers are encouraged to focus on finding video solutions that deliver on a combination of all three distinctions to be classified as in-stream. Failing that, a new premium category has been announced – accompanying content.

As highlighted by AdExchanger, accompanying content, while technically out-stream, is more valuable when properly signaled in the bid stream compared to other out-stream categories.

Third-Party Cookie Deprecation

With Google’s proactive testing of their new privacy sandbox on a small percentage of Chrome users, it’s clear that the era of cookie deprecation is upon us. This makes creating contextually relevant content even more crucial, not only for compliance with IAB reclassification but also for enabling brands to target specific audiences (e.g., sports fans, cooking enthusiasts) through high-quality video content in relevant articles.

Epsilon and AdWeek emphasized back in 2021 the importance of contextual targeting, a strategy 54% of brands are interested in. It offers a cost-effective way to quickly scale contextually relevant video strategies to protect and increase your CPMs post-cookie deprecation.

The Rise of the Jounce SPO Report

Jounce Media, is one of a few, who have carved out a role as a helpful addition for those on the demand side. In mid 2023, agencies announced their partnership with Jounce aimed to refine their ad supply chain, prioritizing:

  • Rebroadcasting: Eliminating unnecessary intermediaries between marketers and publishers.
  • Cheap Reach: Direct supply chains that often result in non-viewable ad placements.
  • Made For Advertising: Direct supply chains leading to aggressive advertising experiences.
  • Premium: Direct supply chains associated with inventory capable of significantly influencing consumer purchase decisions.

A focus on creating contextually relevant experiences that prioritize user experience can elevate your inventory to the premium category, enhancing both viewability and engagement.

Evaluate your OLV strategy: Do you have the content library and tools to distribute relevant content effectively? Can you maintain contextually relevant video content across all pages in a post-cookie landscape? Is your video strategy sustainable for monetization, or are you at risk of revenue declines in the next 12 months? Do you have an SPO strategy to avoid being categorized as Cheap Reach or MFA?

Ready to elevate your digital video strategy? Connect with our experts! Dive deeper into how you can leverage the pivotal changes of 2024 to your advantage. Contact us now to explore tailored strategies that enhance your CPMs, optimize fill rates, and ensure your content remains king in the dynamic digital landscape.

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