Global Silicon Valley company buys local Volt Media

Global Silicon Valley company buys local Volt Media
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EXCLUSIVE: Global audience development and content monetisation firm, Alphabird, has acquired local video advertising network Volt Media as it moves to more effectively monetise video content.

Willie Pang, managing director of Alphabird Asia-Pacific, told B&T that the acquisition has “rounded out” the services Alphabird offers its clients with the Silicon Valley headquartered company now able to sell the ad space in its client’s videos.

“In the past we couldn’t provide those kinds of solutions but now we can help them do everything,” Pang said.

“We can distribute video, we can build them environments for that video to live in and now Volt allows us to sell that video out to agencies and advertisers.

“Alphabird is moving aggressively to offer premium publishers, leading agencies and global brands a full range of content, audience, monetisation and data optimisation solutions.”

Volt Media was established in 2011 and has since secured preferred video partner status with OMD, Cadreon and Ikon. The company said it was the first video ad network in Australia to be integrated as a private exchange within an agency trading desk.

Volt’s publishing clients include Dailymotion and Blip.

The acquisition is effective immediately with all of Volt’s staff to move into Alphabird’s Sydney office in Pyrmont.

Pang, the former chief executive of Ventures in Digital Media (ViDM) which was acquired by Alphabird last year, will oversee the integration of the two businesses.

The merge of the two companies has swelled Alphabird’s ranks to 30 with the company now on the lookout for larger offices.

Pang said further acquisitions are on the cards as Alphabird – which counts News, REA, Telstra and Ten as clients – looks build its proposition as a premium video ad sales network.

The 2013 goal for Alphabird, which also has offices in Los Angeles and New York, is to break into Asia.

“Our goal this year is to use Australia as a beach head because Australia is actually quite mature from an Asia Pacific market stand point,” Pang said.

“Our job is to try and take our learnings and establish ourselves in Australia and then in the near future we will be looking at Hong Kong and Singapore as the next expansion markets.”

The appetite for video content is currently insatiable, according to Pang.

“There is much more demand for it then there is supply. Folks can’t build and distribute video content fast enough,” he explained.

Except for the television network's re-purposed TV content “there is nothing else” currently for brands, according to Pang.

Australian marketers are currently being trumped by their American counterparts when it comes to the creating bespoke content that is engaging in a digital environment, asserted Pang.

“They are very focused on viral and video whereas marketers here are just starting to get their heads around it all,” he said.

“But in the US that’s the first priority. The concept of earned media is very real and tangible in the US.

“Here folks will kind of talk about it a little bit, ‘oh how many Facebook likes did you get’ or whatever, but the content isn’t built for that purpose specifically.”

When it comes to pre-roll ads Pang's preferred strategy is click-to-play.

“I really hate self refreshing auto play stuff – it really gives me the shits.”

“What brands are starting to realise, is that if you stick a 30-second pre-roll ad onto the start that adds no value to the content people will just never watch it, they never click on it so it is just  a waste of money.” 

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