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First, this might be off topic, I'm not clear on how far this site goes into marketing concepts. If its off topic just leave a comment and I'll delete.

I'm preparing to release an app centered around video streaming which allows users to communicate (audio) and stream video between their devices (for example, videos stored on their device). I've been contacting video advertising providers with interests in publishing pre-roll video ads before videos streamed between users on this free app.

The first response I received explained that for reasons including "brand safety" they weren't interested in supplying ads to applications involving user generated content or social contact/messaging:

I don’t think this will work for us right now because there is no control over the video that’s being streamed. It opens us up to concerns about brand safety and running on user generated content. We also do not work with social or messaging apps.

In order to understand this concept and what it means for advertising opportunities with my app, I'm curious:

Why might an advertisement distributor not want to work with user generated content or social communications? What implications would it introduce for the advertiser in terms of brand safety or advertising effectiveness / returns.

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there is no control over the video that’s being streamed

and that's about it. In order to allow this, they would need an incredible amount of resources in order to control something with very small return. And they would need to do it constantly.

For example, let's say I add a very nice and informative video about science. Then, after a few seconds or minutes the video transforms into something else, like promoting sexual content, illegal activities or any kind of content they deem inappropriate.

As you may imagine, the amount of control and resources needed to control this is really massive. Granted, they could use robots to spider your content or whatever, but it's easier and safer to tell you they don't want your content. Risk 0.

On a side note, all advertising distributors have ridiculous requests, no exceptions, but this one is pretty reasonable

  • What do you mean control? Lets say you download a video on your computer from your camera. With my app you can stream that video to your friend's computer, watch the video in sync together, and talk about it while you do, but first a video ad is shown in the player. What needs to be controlled? The app serves as a service and the ad serves as a price for using the service, sure the advertiser has no idea what content comes after the ad, but then the ad has no value? It seems like the ad would still have value, even if it were played before a video about how to roll a joint. – 404success May 17 '16 at 16:48
  • I never said it has no value, I said its value isn't worth the cost. I'm just explaining the reason why they do this. If you want to complain, you should contact the advertiser – Devin May 17 '16 at 16:54
  • I wasn't "complaining" I was just asking what you meant by "control", was looking for elaboration on what you meant, like "control" as in if the video played after the advert was about marijuana or anything bad, that could hurt the brand - that wasn't clear to me from your answer; Why does the advertiser worry about what the user watches after they see the advert? – 404success May 17 '16 at 17:02
  • easy. Let's say I'm the advertising company and I show an ad for a church. Then your video is about anything against the advertiser values. I'll lose the advertiser AND I'll have to pay you for making me lose the advertiser. So, instead of dealing with all kind of issues, I simply reject videos. Again, 0 risk. – Devin May 17 '16 at 17:08
  • That makes sense now. – 404success May 17 '16 at 18:40

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