SAN FRANCISCO — Live TV news rebroadcaster Livestation has spent the last few years building up its portfolio of 49 partner channels. Now it is trying to strike a balance between those conventional linear news sources and a new line-up of ad formats.
“We have pre-roll advertising, we also have display advertising,” CEO Lippe Oosterhof tells Beet.TV in this video interview. ‘We are working on mid-roll insertion, which is tough to do on live content but we’re getting there.”
To make it work, London-based Livestation will have to retain the integrity of live TV news channels, whose output it re-streams online, whilst inserting new ads at opportune moments. But Oosterhof’s search for revenue doesn’t stop there.
“We’re also experimenting with native advertising,” he says. “We recently launched VOD next to the live content, and we have more and more sponsored content appearing there – which is a better user experience than old fashion advertising.
“We are a live platform so we are now working with agencies to create sponsored live content – if you announce a new phone, you can do that live on Livestation, in exchange for money. We think that’s the best way to bring video advertising to live content.”
The new ad additions illustrate the balance that Livestation was always going to have to strike between the commercial interests of the broadcasters on which it depends, many of which run their own ads, and its own revenue imperative.
The service’s popularity spikes during big news events, with average engagement now 47 minutes per session and mobile contributing 30 percent of visits. Watch the full video as Oosterhof discusses the effect of looming Middle East conflict.
We interviewed Oosterfhof last week at the Beet.TV networking party in San Francisco.