As brands increasingly look to execute holistic campaigns across all forms of video, be it TV or digital, ad tech companies like VideoAmp aim to meet this demand, offering cross-screen planning, activation and measurement. Here Luis Manrique, VideoAmp’s new VP of products, discusses how his company uses data from online audiences for linear TV planning, and what he sees as the challenges facing addressable TV advertising.
VideoAmp uses digital audiences to plan linear TV – how do you do it?
As announced in August when we raised our Series B round of $21.4 million, we are building what we call a complete “TV operating system for Advertising” in order to change the way that advertisers and content owners plan, buy, package and measure the success of all video & TV advertising investment.
To achieve this, many applications will be created over time to cover the full value chain across the planning, buying and measurement of advertising, including the requisite functions of budget allocation, campaign execution and optimization, attribution, etc.
In terms of data, this requires a holistic approach, careful aggregation across key partners and – of course of primary importance – consumer privacy protection. Following established privacy protection guidelines, already, we have been able to connect TV data from 35 million U.S. set-top boxes with rich digital audience data in a single platform. Our goal is to enable brands and their agencies to plan, buy, and measure performance across all digital video and linear TV screens.
In practical terms, this is done through our linear planning platform, which is in early, private beta testing with one of the world’s largest holding companies, a close partner.
What has your partnership with Mediaocean added to your product?
Mediaocean is both a strategic technology partner to VideoAmp and an investor in the company, so we are working extremely closely with them on a number of fronts.
Mediaocean has decades of experience of capturing the planning strategies and tactics of the world’s largest advertisers, which learnings are extremely helpful to us as a platform for activation. We are thrilled to be working with them.
What are the main challenges facing addressable TV advertising today?
There is still a great deal of confusion about how best to reach target audiences and meet campaign goals across all screens and devices. Virtually everyone in the industry needs a lot more education about how these audiences are best planned against, purchased and measured.
We are at an inflection point today. Tribal TV knowledge is being forced into the digital world, while digital planners being forced to think about cross-screen and learn about linear TV. Each of these buys meanwhile takes place across a different platform with different data assets
This fragmentation continues to create complexity, and frankly, it is on us as technologists to make it easier with unified platforms instead of siloed one-off solutions.
How is the Ads.txt initiative going to affect the video advertising ecosystem?
Ads.txt is top of mind because it is the first effort to control the percentage of fraud vs. legitimate traffic *even* when buying in the best possible marketplaces and exchanges.
The impact? Buyers are losing some scale, but they really didn’t want to buy that inventory anyway. The facts are that Ads.txt is just getting everyone in line with reality / re-adjusting expectations.
It is long overdue – as buyers have the right to be confident that they are buying legitimate inventory – but likely insufficient over time. We need to raise the table stakes a little bit higher
What do you think will be the defining trend in video advertising in 2018?
No-one ever gets fired for buying linear TV, but you can mess up on buying YouTube and the industry is still combating fraud on many fronts. This effort requires a degree of self-regulation, so stay tuned for more clean-up efforts and vigilance to come.
How is VideoAmp looking to evolve over the coming years?
The entire industry has focused on executing well on the basics of buying programmatically, and advertisers can now spend both efficiently and effectively. That progress enables us to focus on the future.
More sophisticated cross-screen and cross-channel planning and execution must be informed by data from a variety of sources. And the integration of those various data assets into the planning process requires a new infrastructure. This will also enable the cross-screen and cross-channel measurement that will prove the efficacy of advanced planning and buying methodologies.
We are excited to put these aggregated data assets to work in TV extension and TV tune-in campaigns that span impressions across both the open web as well as the walled gardens.