SendtoNews Aims to Guarantee Brand Safety for Advertisers

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Publishers like Facebook and YouTube often cause consternation for advertisers over brand safety—while advertisers may wish to control the content surrounding their ad placements, they often do not know exactly what content an ad will be juxtaposed against.

Content delivery and advertising company SendtoNews promises to change that state of affairs with its service. “We’re completely brand safe,” said CEO Matthew Watson.

SendtoNews delivers video sports content from leagues like the PGA, MLB, NBA, and NFL. It provides those videos to local sports sites, while at the same time placing ads beside the video content. The company is ranked second in sports video views, averaging about 150 million impressions a month and about 600,000 unique views, behind ESPN.

“Our advertiser’s KPIs are fantastic… We’re 70%-plus viewability (and) 70-plus percent video completion rate,” Watson said, adding that his company “can give advertisers the scale they want, where they want.”

STN guarantees local fan engagement through its partnerships with local newspapers for sports content, Watson said. “If you’re in Denver and you’re going to the Denver Post and you’re looking up the Denver Broncos team, you know you’re an engaged local fan,” he said.

Watson says his company’s advertising service is as easy to use as Facebook. STN can team up with local publishers to help advertisers take over a sports page by surrounding a video with brand marketing.

For example, the Minnesota Star Tribune sells a package that gives advertisers pre-roll content and an overlay companion ad against Minnesota sports teams, while at the same time, STN provides the video content for the Tribune.

Primarily national advertisers use STN’s service.

“We often get big national advertisers that might be chains or car dealers,” in large part because of brand safety and the increased engagement guaranteed by local fans on a sports site to view their local sports team, Watson said.

“That passion and level of engagement enhances the halo effect for the advertiser, who is associating themselves with that local publisher and content,” he said.

Watson plans to grow his company further in the realm of sports. STN is beginning to look at expanding into other types of content. “We will be launching into a new content vertical in the near future,” he said. “It will likely be the business and tech vertical … (which is) also a brand-safe environment.”

Anna Kramer is a staff writer at Street Fight.