Interview with John Ferber, Founder of Video Affiliate Network

Posted on4 CommentsCategoriesGeneral Discussion, Interviews

Five days ago Nielsen reported a 10.5% year-over-year growth in the number of online video viewers — “from 127.6 million unique viewers in February 2009 to 141 million in February 2010.”

Two days ago I’ve found out about the birth of a new affiliate network — a video-centered network, founded by John Ferber,  the co-founder of Advertising.com.

So, I reached out to John to interview him on this new venture of his; and here is the interview:

John Ferber GP: Over the weekend I’ve learned from a friend about the Video Performance Network which was launched about 3 months ago. She was really excited about starting to work with you, saying that your stive is “to establish an ethical video affiliate network.” Could you please tell me more about VPN?

JF: The Video Performance Network is fairly self explanatory in it’s name — we focus on the video advertising format and servicing advertisers whose campaign focus is ROI based. We provide high revenue earning potential for the sites that have video placements available yet have been turned down by other video networks who deem their sites not prime candidates for Brand Advertisers who prefer to only buy on premium, known (non-UGC) content… We have more than 60 campaigns for our publishers all providing high quality and multiple format video creative solutions.

GP: The stats on the popularity of online video is simply mind-blowing. An average US Internet user watches 182 videos a month, and 82% of US Internet users are doing it. Seems that you have certainly chosen the  right niche. What other information can you share with advertisers and publishers on online video, and especially the conversion rates that it tends to generate? How do video creatives compare to banners or text links?

JF: On a generalized basis, video creatives get a higher click through and overall conversion rate than any other creative format. This is primarily driven by the fact that video creatives include Sight, Sound & Motion, whereas most banner ads for instance only have sight, and maybe motion, a text link only has sight, etc… The combination of all three major components of Sight, Sound, and Motion create a more effective advertising format. We have seen click through rates that are 10-50x greater than a typical banner and conversion rates upto 10x greater through video creatives.

GP: I see that the majority of online video is currently being served through (and watched on) sites like YouTube (which alone serves 1 Billion videos a day). Do you allow affiliates (and advertisers) to use videos from YouTube, Viddler, and others, or is having a raw file a must?

JF: We are very open, we provide video creatives in every major file format as well as IAB standard. We have 15 second videos, 30 second videos, Auto-Initiated Play, Auto Initiated Sound, User Initiated Sound, etc for all of our clients campaigns. Our publishers are free to use them as they see fit, and it’s within the service guidelines of any third party services… We are creating new videos on a daily basis — many times to a publishers specifications/request.  If a publisher can use our playerless videos, or even allow multiple videos to be served up in the same placement and optimized based on revenue, great!  If they require a raw format such as FLV or MP4, or if they want to serve the videos themselves, we can accommodate that as well.

GP: I see that you’re using HasOffers as your affiliate tracking platform. What made you pick them from all the other platforms available on the market?

JF: We felt their feature set and overall quality of the platform and their customer service combined with cost made them the best choice for our affiliate tracking platform provider.

GP: You’re calling yourself a “CPA network”, a term that has quite a bit of negative popularity attached to it. What do you put into these words; and how else apart from being video-centered do you differ from other CPA networks out there?

JF: The A stands for Action, and we are all about that, our advertisers pay us for something. More than just an impression, whether it is a click, or a lead submit, etc. While we recognize that may have some negative connotation, we feel that we are providing a strong value to the publishers who have video advertising inventory out there but are unable to attract brand advertisers to it because of perceived quality or other types of concerns. The fact is that branded advertisers are only buying 5-10 percent of the total video advertising inventory available and as such we provide a valuable solution to the other 90 percent of the publishers out there to maximize their revenues from the fastest growing source of content online. Many of our publishers earn equal to or more on an effective CPM basis than those on a premium network.

GP: Thank you for your time, John.

4 thoughts on “Interview with John Ferber, Founder of Video Affiliate Network

  1. Hi
    I find this interview very interesting and what’s more it is a kind of inspiration for me….Do you think it would be a good idea to send a newsletter to affiliates/partners where instead of a simple text they will be send a short video advertising main features of a given product?
    In my opinion it saves their time and it’s seems to be more interesting.

  2. Piotr, thank you for your comment.

    Sending affiliates a video may not be a good idea (it may be just me, but I digest text emails better than “video emails”), whereas offering them a way to upload clickable and trackable videos (“advertising main features of a given product”) to display on their websites would definitely be of great help to conversions.

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