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For many publishers, audiences’ steady gravitation towards video as preferred content has been changing how they have to approach their own business model. But one trend never changes—the longer a publisher has been around, the more content they have to manage. Internet Brands operates a vast portfolio of sites devoted to a diverse array of audiences. How could they cater to so many audiences with a video strategy that would be sustainable over the long run?

THE COMPANY

Internet Brands’ more than 200 sites serve 250 million visitors a month. These sites cover a wide range of topics, with sites for health, legal, travel, and automotive, including editorial sites, eCommerce, and community forums. In operation for more than 20 years, the company has kept up with seismic shifts in the ecosystem before. Their position in the Comscore 100 emphasizes their success to date.

INTERNET BRANDS BY THE NUMBER:

200
Sites
50
Visitors / Month

The Challenge

These sites have been primarily digital publishers, focused on written content. But in the past few years, the company has watched consumption patterns evolve, as video becomes increasingly central. To stay relevant, they knew sites would need to enhance their long-form articles by allowing audiences to consume video in the same place, or risk losing audience to video-based platforms.

At the same time, they had a huge number of sites to balance. It wasn’t just a matter of different audiences by vertical—within each vertical, different sites catered to different parts of the customer journey, from research to purchase to community. “Most solutions cater to one of the three stages,” says Judson Penumaka, General Manager, Programmatic Revenue and Strategy at Internet Brands. “We were looking for a scalable solution that could be customized to meet our unique needs”

Penumaka wanted to make each site video-forward, and in turn, more desirable to its individual audience—but without a significant capital outlay or overhead. “One way of delivering tailored solutions at scale is utilizing machine learning,” he says.

“Utilizing contextual data signals from the page and player, and the video platform’s ML modules to determine video recommendations is a faster and efficient way to scale than identifying manually.”

The Solution

With AnyClip, Penumaka had the contextual targeting solution he was looking for. In this first stage of deployment, the solution was rolled out across all applicable Internet Brands sites, both editorial and eCommerce. On any given content page, the video player automatically delivers a video experience that’s relevant to the page, so the right video is shown to the right user in the right context.

Internet Brands creates its own content and also syndicates additional content from AnyClip’s libraries. In general, the entry point is through Internet Brands, and then the feed is supplemented with additional relevant content to keep the viewer engaged as long as possible. “Visitors come to read and spend more time on the page to watch videos,” notes Penumaka. “Because we’re able to curate videos according to their interests.”

Internet Brands could now be even more relevant to their audiences in the future and give them an additional way to consume information. At the same time, it’s a more valuable business model, as Penumaka notes: “Visitors spend more time on site as content is tailored to individual interests, and CPMs for Video are significantly higher than display ads, resulting in a win-win for all.”

“Visitors spend more time on site as content is tailored to individual interests, and CPMs for Video are significantly higher than display ads, resulting in a win-win for all.”

WHY ANYCLIP

Scalability and customization for a broad portfolio were the two biggest goals Internet Brands had in seeking a partner. But they also wanted a platform based on data that would do this automatically, without them needing to re-engineer on their own. “AnyClip has built a platform that aligns with our interests and long-term priorities,” says Penumaka. “It is also quite different from other players in the market and had all the variables of interest.”

Results at a glance:

12
Engagement Rate
27
RPMX

The Results

“It’s a good bet for publishers to expand the ad product line from standard display to include video,” says Penumaka. “I’d recommend to publishers in general to seriously consider a solution like this—despite challenges that might be faced to get it done.”

Since the implementation, Internet Brands has been able to weight its content to be more video driven, without needing to seriously scale up overhead. As a result, they’ve been able to grow their overall revenues and revenue per session by a meaningful amount. RPMs have increased by 27% since starting with AnyClip.

“I really enjoy working with AnyClip,” Penumaka adds. “The partnership has been cooperative. The account team is diligent about our priorities; there’s trust and transparency built into this relationship.”

The first stage, to add video to sites in a way that would engage audiences and increase revenue without requiring extensive manual work, is complete. Next comes the ambitious second stage. As audiences consume more video, Internet Brands wants to change people’s expectations of their sites in an organic way that doesn’t make audiences feel like they need to make a choice between text and video.

“We have executed remarkably well on our first set of objectives; our success to date gives us the impetus and momentum to be ambitious for the road ahead,” says Penumaka.

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