Honeycomb, which officially launches in the UK today, has been developed to make the video advertising delivery process simple and intuitive – taking assets from advertiser to broadcaster and publisher in a faster and more efficient way.
Eliminating the inevitable errors that arise with manual intervention, and consequentially a large portion of the associated costs, Honeycomb connects the knowledge, data, experience and insights of the ad industry to create a vastly more automated process.
Led by James Carpenter and Richard Carter – the founders of Adstream, one of the largest global companies in the ad distribution space, Honeycomb is well-placed to understand the issues around the existing legacy systems.
“As those that have worked within distribution systems will know,” says James Carpenter “the current model is founded and priced upon the archaic method of physically transporting a tape from advertiser to broadcast station. This leads to multiple versions, multiple touchpoints, and ultimately multiple errors – and with so many parts to the chain, the cost is massively disproportionate to the reality of delivering digital assets.
“By revolutionising the model advertisers can spend their budgets on the more important task of creating great advertising and getting it to exactly the right audiences.”
The new data-driven platform is designed with the future of programmatic TV and video in mind. Operating more like a community, Honeycomb works with users and partners towards its goal of ‘zero-waste video advertising’. The thinking behind this new data-rich system is that once TV evolves to replicate the buying and content scheduling models of online advertising, Honeycomb will be able to identify and supply the data, with the delivery speed needed, for converged programmatic TV.
Richard Carter comments: “Since we started developing Honeycomb in 2014, we’ve been selecting the best people from both the ad distribution business, and the online video technology sector, and asking them to get involved in something entirely new. Our team also includes some incredible advertising talent - with post production and agency experience running through their veins. Tapping into this deep experience and combining it with insights drawn from extensive research amongst our future customers, we’ve managed to create an offering that makes sense across all geographic markets. It’s a pretty exciting time to be in this business.”
Designed and constructed from the ground up, Honeycomb’s unique technology utilises best-of-breed components for quality control, transcoding, storage, and delivery of advertising creative material.
Carpenter comments: “We had the luxury of being able to literally take a blank sheet of paper and ask, ‘what does the industry need the system to look like to manage the future of programmatic TV and video?’
“Driven by our vision of zero waste video advertising, we have reimagined the whole process. The result is an offering that not only improves the experience of the people in the industry now, but also serves the industry as it moves towards an inevitable future. When the industry thinks about programmatic video fulfilment, it will think of Honeycomb.”
Chief Technology Officer, Chris Young, explains another important improvement on the old model: "Honeycomb is built and operated in constant collaboration using the most modern methods and tools. Building a shared understanding of the business needs and opportunities, we deliver against these little and often using a Lean/Kanban model of continuous flow. While some systems update their software twice a year, we’re able to do it several times a day in direct response to what our users need.”
Honeycomb also boasts an intuitive and easy user-experience, allowing the many contributors in the delivery journey to access and update the assets in real time. “It can operate similarly to Google Drive” says Carpenter, “in that you are updating one central piece of content and all the relevant parties can see the updates and changes in real time. This eliminates the need for multiple versions, which has historically led to confusion and error in the final approved assets.”
Honeycomb has been operational since Summer 2015, when they partnered with one of the UK’s leading broadcasters to operate the syndication of content, implanting Honeycomb within their existing systems.
“We started with broadcasters because it is at their point at the end of the supply chain where all of the data is crystallised and compiled” adds Carter. “And to have had one of the UK’s largest broadcasters on board for the last year is a true testament to Honeycomb’s efficiency and ability to deliver.”