TechBytes with Neal Sinno, GM and VP Operations, Playbuzz

Neal Sinno

Neal Sinno
GM and VP Operations, Playbuzz

Modern marketing technologies are created with two strategic aspects at their core — first, to deliver unprecedented customer experiences; and then, manage the performance and validity of the CX performance based on audience conversions. Video monetization products catapult marketers and advertisers to achieve both, in a programmatic ecosystem. To understand how should app-marketers and mobile advertising platforms make better use of Video Monetization and news streaming technologies, we spoke to Neal Sinno, GM and VP Operations, at Playbuzz.

Tell us about your role at Playbuzz and the team and technology you handle.

As GM of North America at Playbuzz, I lead our US operations including Business Development and Account Management. Our primary goal is to build new relationships – and maintain existing ones – with publishers who value driving audience engagement via interactive editorial, as well as innovative monetization solutions that uphold a positive UX.

Our portfolio of publishing partners includes MLB, HuffPost, BBC, Sky News and more, all of whom devote percentages of their editorial creation to Playbuzz’s storytelling tools to cover topics ranging from sports to politics.

The Playbuzz platform enables editorial teams such as those at the aforementioned to craft interactive articles that compel users to engage, and thus result in reader loyalty and longer dwell times. In fact, our data shows that incorporating interactive storytelling tools into content can boost dwell time by 20%, and the higher the dwell time, the better the monetization opportunities.

What is your Stream product? How do these ads justify media buying budgets in a programmatic ecosystem?

Stream is our new video player that enables publishers to create their own video content on our platform using the Playbuzz Video tool and then monetize that content. Publishers enjoy the ability to not only quickly create, distribute and monetize with Stream, but also the incremental revenue that comes along with implementing the product.

How should app-marketers and mobile advertising platforms make better use of Video Monetization and news streaming technologies?  

Video monetization products like Stream allow both publishers and advertisers of all sizes to create new revenue streams – a luxury that’s more crucial than ever in an everchanging industry that finds itself in constant Facebook and Google duopoly turmoil.

The Stream video content publishers create on the Playbuzz platform can be used to cross-promote new editorial and products – while also acting as the mechanism for driving additional revenue earned via the ads shown before, during, and after, the content player.

For advertisers, the creation of new video content enables them to reach their target audience in a manner that users don’t need to tolerate as ads are relevant and give control to users with features like sticky mode and autoplay control.

How do you compare the benefits of native versus programmatic advertising?  Which technology would be most beneficial for B2B marketing teams looking for brand safety, transparency and optimized ROI in 2018?

Programmatic advertising enables you to reach the most eyeballs at the lowest price – but it’s not necessarily the best avenue to create a meaningful dialogue.

Native advertising is more of a curated approach – smaller scale but greater opportunities to package campaigns in a visual-first, interactive manner that feels more natural to users. These types of ads, which can feature engagement at their core, is where teams should be investing as studies show that 79% claim interactive content enhances retention of brand messaging when combined with traditional marketing tactics.

If done correctly, both methods offer safety, transparency and viewability for brands. At Playbuzz, we are proponents of native methods as they enable you to be more selective with placements of campaigns that align with the brand’s intended experience and expectations.

Our native ad offerings – which include branded, interactive narratives and branded elements – have yielded results well above industry standards based on their engagement-first approach, including:

  • 97%+ in-item viewability confirmed by MOAT
  • 2-4 minute average session times (as compared to the 15-second industry average)
  • An average CTR of 4.6+%
  • An average 86% brand lift, as reported by Nielsen.

How do media monetization technologies work? How is Playbuzz different from other content monetization platforms? 

Playbuzz is a storytelling platform that promotes the creation of content – editorial and commercial – that aligns with users’ consumption habits. At our core, we believe that ads should be thoughtfully placed, positioned and delivered to users as part of a larger story. Lead with your editorial, and then bake in monetization that is contextual.

Products like Stream enable you to do just that, as it is first and foremost a content player with a monetization layer simply added in. Premium publishers like ESPN and CBS utilize this tool to add video to their editorial while simultaneously delivering ads in a way that is intuitive to users whilst not harming their reading experience.

What are your predictions for B2B storytelling and marketing tools in 2018? How would these technologies enable businesses to draw better sales revenues?

In the era of FOMO and Snapchat, publishers must rely on new storytelling techniques to harness fleeting attention spans. This means that they will start utilizing more third-party tools that allow for personalization, customization, and interactivity.

The same thought process must be applied to monetization. We can no longer expect users to click on dull, static ads and not be turned off. And with the EU’s GDPR deadline approaching, and Google and Facebook consistently changing their algorithms to promote a positive user experience, publishers must experiment with new video and interactive monetization opportunities or risk becoming irrelevant.

Thanks for chatting with us, Neal.
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