VidPay: Dead Simple Sponsored Video Ad Platform

Straight out of the “why didn’t they think about this before” department, comes VidPay whose entire premise can be summed up in a single sentence: A white label platform for sponsored video campaigns. There must be more, right? Wrong. VidPay is as dead simple to use as it is to comprehend. One more thing… It started generating revenue from minute one. What more could you ask for in a startup?

To appreciate my gushing enthusiasm over VidPay you must understand that one of the occupational hazards of writing for TechCrunch requires the deciphering of what startups actually do. Increasingly rare are startups like VidPay that offer straightforward value for its customers and have a CEO that knows how to intelligently communicate what the product actually does without overselling it or using tiring hyperbole. So let’s dive in:

The problem VidPay set out to solve is allowing small/mid-sized advertisers to promote their videos on sites such as Metacafe, Dailymotion and Vimeo. These sites usually don’t have dedicated sales teams to support such advertisers because they focus on larger, more budget-laden campaigns.

MetaCafe is VidPay’s pilot customer and through this partnership alone VidPay is serving ~50M sponsored video impressions per day, or ~1.4 billion per month. Current click-through rates are between 0.1% and 1%, depending on how many video ads are displayed in the sponsored video sections, and whether campaigns are targeted for specific keywords or not.

VidPay’s solution is a self-serve advertising platform for sponsored videos. It is similar in concept to YouTube’s “Promoted Videos” offering, differences being: 1) It allows campaigns to be built for multiple publishers (video sites), and 2) Its interface can be integrated right within the publisher site. The second point is important because it means that any video site can integrate a fully branded self-serve sponsored ad platform with zero investment, and begin reaping revenue it was previously unable to bring in.

For video sites, integrating VidPay functionality is a two step process. First, the video publishing site needs to send VidPay information such as visitor IP addresses, the category being visited, current item tags and the maximum number of sponsored videos to display. Second, the publisher site needs to receive a list of sponsored videos from VidPay and then display them of course. Completing these two steps should take no more than a few hours. Integrating the interface is optional and would require the use of an iFrame.

On each page view, the publisher site sends an HTTP request for sponsored videos to be displayed in pre-defined locations. VidPay returns the best-matching sponsored videos to display by taking into consideration the maximum cost-per-click, click-through rate and targeting parameters such as geo-location and language. The sponsored videos are all located within the publisher’s inventory so all traffic remains under its umbrella. Advertisers can choose the videos they want to promote manually, search for them through VidPay’s interface, or upload them to the publisher site right from the VidPay interface.