Michael Foster

When looking to buy ads on online video content, many advertisers perceive a huge gap between professional, premium content on Hulu or major network sites like NBC and CBS and the user-generated content that has made YouTube so massive. In reality that gap is much smaller than most advertisers realize.

With OpenSlate, Outrigger Media is helping advertisers see and understand that there is much more to YouTube than user-generated content. Mike Henry, CEO of Outrigger Media, says that OpenSlate can help advertisers understand the huge amount of content that stands somewhere in-between user-generated and major studio video. "We operate between viral videos and stuff coming from NBC and CBS. There is real action between these two, and no one is looking at this content to recognize its quality or its value to advertisers," Henry told me. "While quality is subjective, it can be measured and that's what OpenSlate is doing."

By looking at individual YouTube channels and measuring engagement, momentum, influence and scale, OpenSlate produces a SlateScore, a kind of ranking that tells the value of an online video publisher's content.

The highest rated YouTube channel at the moment is sxephil, also known as Philip DeFranco (SlateScore 801), a name that probably doesn't come up much in board meetings at NBC or Fox, but with over 20 million monthly views, DeFranco has an impressive reach despite CPM costs that are a fraction of American Idol, which had almost 22 million views last season.

"By setting out to be the definitive source of actionable information about content, we see the value that others don't see," Henry said, pointing to another example: The Young Turks, a relatively unknown but regular news source. "We've looked at dozens of metrics and The Young Turks scores similarly to CBS but nobody knows who they are. Still, they create great content and they're religious about it, so they have a strong, robust and growing audience engaged in their stuff and they deserve their score. But they'll probably trade at a third of the CPM that CBS can charge," Henry told me.

"Advertisers looking for a great value buy on high quality content can look at a channel's SlateScore and find great value in YouTube video content."

OpenSlate is set to be the definitive source of online video metrics, and the site already covers over 12,000 channels. The site is expanding to cover 45,000 channels on YouTube and other sites within the next two weeks. "We're going to be covering 90 percent of the inventory on YouTube," Henry told me. "With OpenSlate, we make the value of content actionable to advertisers," he added. "Advertisers and agencies can use OpenSlate to organize planning lists of content based on a combination of metadata and SlateScores." For instance, advertisers looking to support a campaign by L'Oreal or Macy's might want to look at OpenSlate's beauty category when deciding which YouTube channels to target for an online video ad campaign.

At this year's ad:tech, advertisers will discuss video Wednesday morning in two sessions starting at 10:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. with speakers from Giant Media, Definition 6, The Opportunity Management Company, Mindshare, CBS, Season and Best Buy.

This article is part of Allvoices’ series on ad:tech, the largest digital marketing and technology conferences and expositions. Check out allvoices.com/adtech for more of Allvoices’ ad:tech New York event coverage. This series is supported by ad:tech.