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What: Video advertising platform Innovid has secured US $30 million in the pre-IPO funding round.
Why it matters: The company will use the funds to advance its end further to end CTV platform as well as to expand its global presence.

 

Innovid, a New York-based video advertising platform, has secured a US $30-million investment in the pre-IPO funding round. The investment was made by the Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing Group.

The company intends to use the funds to advance its end further to end CTV platform as well as to expand its global presence. As of now, Innovid creates, delivers and measures video ads for brands like Toyota, Bank of America, L’Oreal, Campbell, GlaxoSmithKline, and others.

It works across connected and streaming devices such as Amazon Fire, Roku, Samsung TV, and Apple TV. The company recently launched OTT Composer, a self-service authoring tool to create and publish experiences for connected TV advertising.

The company has offices in Chicago, San Francisco, London, Sydney, Tel Aviv, New York, and Singapore.

Zvika Netter

“Innovid as of now is working on continuing to push the boundaries of what is possible with video advertising across all screens, especially on CTV,” said Zvika Netter, CEO and co-founder of Innovid. “Our technology platform is helping the new advertising models, which include addressable and interactive ads, that are ushering in a new era of personalization and relevancy for CTV viewers. With this funding, Innovid will further advance its end-to-end CTV platform, creating a more efficient workflow while solving industry measurement challenges and expanding its global footprint to meet the evolving needs of its international client base of brands, media and creative agencies, and publishers.”

“As an early entry in the field of CTV with some of the major established inventory supply partners, Innovid is well placed and positioned to capture some of the massive secular shift in CTV consumption,” said Hillel Moerman, head of Goldman Sachs Private Capital Investing group.

 

IPG Mediabrands and Innovid have launched a partnership and set of products that could make waves in the video advertising world. Innovid, a video marketing platform for advertisers to create, deliver, and measure video experiences on different devices, entered the expanded partnership with the global media holding arm of Interpublic Group that is home to several leading full-service agencies including UM, Initiative, MAGNA, Ansible, IPG Media Lab and Cadreon. The announcement was made at digital marketing conference dmexco 2016

Dynamic Messaging Key to All Brands’ Marketing

With the viewer experience in mind, Innovid has developed interactive TV-to-mobile (TV2M) technology that allows the viewer to input a mobile phone number with a remote control to receive extra content from the connected TV ad, such as a digital coupon or website address, via text or SMS.

Tal Chalozin, cofounder and CTO at Innovid
Tal Chalozin, cofounder and CTO at Innovid

“Dynamic messaging is expected and a must in all aspects of a brand’s marketing,” said Tal Chalozin, cofounder and CTO at Innovid.

Chalozin also highlighted that while interactive TV is nothing new, these types of products break down obstacles to increasing sosonalization and engagement at scale, emphasizing that “this is also the first time ever that any brand can cater stories to specific individuals with video.”

A New Approach to Video Advertising

The collaboration enables IPG Mediabrands’ clients to reach and engage audiences across multiple living room devices, and introduces technological innovations such as optimized UIs and TV-to-mobile integrations that fuel engagement, as well as unified analytics to deliver insight and analytics useful for developing and improving connected TV video ad campaigns.

“As audiences become more segmented across so many different devices, brands are thinking about ways to amplify messaging for greater reach and optimal engagement,” said Chad Stoller, EVP of global innovation at IPG Mediabrands. “Our collaboration with Innovid allows us to offer our clients unprecedented, cross-platform reach and a whole new way of thinking about video that values the viewer—rather than the consumer—as the most significant part of the equation, and we believe this shift will drive meaningful engagement.” IPG Mediabrands and Innovid also share clients, which makes the partnership a natural fit.

Maximizing Relevancy and Increasing Engagement for Hispanic Targeting Efforts

In terms of targeting the Hispanic community, Chalozin explained that the partnership helps marketers better target and engage this demographic through its ability to identify whether or not a user has visited a Spanish-language website like Univision or ESPN Deportes, information that can be used to “personalize the messaging and change the language of a video ad to Spanish, thereby making the content more relevant to the end viewer.”

Our collaboration with Innovid allows us to offer our clients unprecedented, cross-platform reach and a whole new way of thinking about video that values the viewer—rather than the consumer—as the most significant part of the equation.

Chalozin added that this new technology will be available to all of Innovid’s other clients and partners: “As we continue to innovate around connected TV with IPG Mediabrands, we will roll out even more products and capabilities for living room devices in the future.”

Tapping Third-Party Content Providers, Leveraging Geo-Location

Chalozin also confirmed that Innovid is working with retail brands like Lowe’s and Best Buy to “tap into third-party content providers and leverage geo-location data to dynamically serve personalized messages based on the offers available in the viewer’s geographic location.” The products also allow them to look at intent data and insert products into a video ad that the viewer may have left in a shopping cart.

“As television shifts to digital, viewers consuming video content on other devices should get the same seamless experience that they’ve come to know and love from television. At the same time, marketers need better solutions to reach viewers across screens and extract measurements while fostering true viewer engagement,” said Chalozin. “We’re excited to embark on this journey with IPG Mediabrands to focus more than ever before on the end viewer and continue to help every brand ‘build once and deliver everywhere.’”

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What: Brightcom (formerly known as Ybrant Digital), a global ad tech and multi-channel media company, announced today that Medula, a media company focused on U.S. Hispanic and Latin America markets, will lead and manage all of its programmatic digital advertising across its Owned & Operated properties.
Why It Matters: The partnership will help Brightcom in its effort to open itself up to global advertising partners for cross-country audiences and cross-screen ad sales strategies, and , and provide Brightcom with access to Medula’s Spanish language properties.

brightcom-lycos_v2Recent Census bureau data in the U.S. shows that the US-Hispanic population will make up 21% of the country’s population by 2030, and advertisers are racing to acquire the best set of tools to reach these powerful consumers.

As a part of that effort, Medula is now teaming up with Brightcom to take advantage of its multi-channel programmatic products, in order to optimize monetization of its digital inventory for online Hispanics on all devices and levels, including display, video, mobile and social media advertising. Medula’s properties include more than 300 top tier sites including Clarín, La República and La Tercera among others as well substantial U.S. Hispanic traffic.

Brightcom to Provide “Synergistic Uplift of Cross-Device CPMs for Medula”

In a competitive Latin American video market, Brightcom’s mission is to make it easier for publishers, advertisers and other clients to maximize yield across video, display and mobile channels. Powered by Lycos, the company provides proprietary multi-channel advertising products and programmatic advertising solutions and capabilities.

Medula, on the other hand, has proprietary ownership of the largest editorial houses in Latin America as well as the US-Hispanic market. Nonetheless, together, Google and Facebook command more than three quarters of the Video Advertising Market, with publishers and publisher representatives, like Medula, holding a 25% share.

According to Facundo Maldonado, Brightcom’s Managing Director of Latin America & US Hispanic, Brightcom was drawn to the fact that Medula was completely focused on Latin America, and highlighted the owners are media leaders in their respective countries.

“Medula has been an innovative and highly strategic partner of medulaours, epitomizing the modern media company. We expect that when operated in unison, programmatic and direct sales will feed off each other to incrementally raise demand and fill rate for Medula’s inventory,” said Maldonado. “Our programmatic infrastructure, modern ad server, demand facilitation team and family of programmatic buying styles will create a synergistic uplift of cross-device CPMs for Medula.”

Programmatic as Complement to People-Powered Analysis, Insight

Maldonado also made it clear that while the deal is significant for the technological targeting tools that it affords both of them, the human element is still key to reaching key audiences, regardless of the fact that clients will now buy programmatically: “In the end, programmatic is not technology powered.  It is people powered.”

Maldonado went on to explain that “Brightcom will lead on traditional sales, serving agencies and brands throughout the region, and now clients will start to buy programmatically.”

Our programmatic infrastructure, modern ad server, demand facilitation team and family of programmatic buying styles will create a synergistic uplift of cross-device CPMs for Medula.

But does programmatic mean eliminating the human element that goes into the buying process? Maldonado clarified that while many see programmatic as a way to automatize the buying process, Brightcom considers it an added resource on top of data analysis and insight mining to improve results.

Maldonado emphasized that all approaches to buying require a comfortable and direct relationship between the publisher and the agency or trading desk. In terms of encouraging clients to get on board with programmatic, he admitted that the effort “requires a lot of transparency and evangelization.”

Of course, this challenge is not unique to Brightcom, as mounting pressure to develop unique and differentiated technology for reaching key audiences is shaking up the Video Marketing sector.  In the end, Maldonado sums it up in a short sentence: “Our main challenge is to be closer to our clients.”

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Pierre Chappaz is CEO & Co-Founder of Ebuzzing and Teads Group.

Half of all internet advertising bought by brands is not seen by web users. It is a shocking statistic and the situation is worsening year on year, thanks to the rise of programmatic buying. In 2012 ComScore estimated that 31% of advertising was not seen, this number rose to 54% in 2013.

The recent announcement that GroupM will soon withdraw from open AdExchanges and operate solely on private exchanges clearly demonstrates that the lack of transparency and fraud in online advertising has reached an unsustainable level. It is time for an industry-wide rethink.

For video advertising the situation is potentially even more precarious, due to the domination of pre-roll advertising formats. Instream formats like pre-roll force web users to watch an advert before they are able to view their chosen video content. Leaving fraud, which accounts for 12% of all impressions , aside for now, the biggest threat to viewability is user behaviour.

The biggest threat to viewability is user behaviour

Today’s internet users have developed lightening quick reflexes to avoid advertising they do not wish to watch. They open a new tab or window, mute the sound the very instant an unwanted advertisement appears in front of their video content.

A recent study by Tubemogul revealed that 70% of all non-viewable impressions are non-viewable because the window in which the video is playing is no longer on the screen.

Once bot traffic is discounted, the viewability of pre-roll advertising drops to 22% on average and 48% in premium environments. Ultimately advertisers who buy on CPM are paying between two and five times more than they should.

To combat the issues surrounding viewability, new technology able to precisely measure the viewability of videos from beginning to end has been developed.

Pre-roll

Although monitoring viewability is key, it is more important to develop formats which encourage the user to watch an advert, not avoid it at all costs. Returning to the topic of pre-roll advertising, it is clear to me that the days of non-skippable pre-roll advertising are numbered.

The days of non-skippable pre-roll advertising are numbered.

It is impossible to force a web user, who is active, mobile and engaged, to watch an advert if they do not want to. Web users are not in the same frame of mind as those watching TV at the end of a long day, half asleep and too lazy to change the channel during the ad breaks, they will skip if they are not interested. While the majority of users may not be interested in watching your advertising, why not focus on those who actually want to hear from your brand?

We believe that adverts have more value when they are intentionally viewed by web users. Video adverts are often highly entertaining and great quality, and can be offered as relevant content, not a painful toll that must be paid before video content can be viewed.

The view-to-play concept is an efficient and elegant solution to the challenge of viewability in video advertising. But it also has another benefit: it opens huge new premium video inventory in the world’s largest media sites. The availability of such premium inventory, on a global scale, can only be good news for advertisers, agencies and media owners alike.

Pierre Chappaz has held marketing and communications positions at Toshiba, Computer Associates and IBM. He founded the site Kelkoo in 1999, he has been president of Yahoo Europe and also created Wikio in 2005, wich merged with Ebuzzing in 2009.

What: In what constitutes Adknowledge’s 12th acquisition since its founding, the company has bought Giant Media for an undisclosed sum.
Why it matters: The purchase was mainly driven by the explosive growth of video as an advertising vehicle and the fact that consumers are watching less TV and moving toward digital videos.

adknowledgeAdknowledge, Inc., the online advertising marketplace, has acquired video ad platform Giant Media for an undisclosed sum. This constitutes Adknowledge’s 12th acquisition since its founding in 2004.

The purchase recognizes the explosive growth of video as an advertising vehicle that will enable advertisers and agencies to scale the viewership of their content.

The combination of Adknowledge and Giant Media grows the abilities of two highly complementary companies; each is recognized as a leader in digital marketing world.With this acquisition , Adknowledge hopes to accelerate its influence in digital advertising. Giant Media now will offer Adknowledge clients a new service that’s growing in demand as many advertisers with TV budgets are beginning to recognize that consumers are watching less TV and moving toward digital videos.

Giant Media, headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York and Detroit, will expand Adknowledge’s Southern California presence.The parties have agreed not to disclose the acquisition’s financial terms.

Giant media maximizes earned video and social sharing

Giant Media has made a name for itself by developing a set of video products designed to maximize earned media and social sharing. An example of that is Giant Media’s distribution of the viral “Dollar Shave” Club video. Since the video was uploaded to YouTube in mid-2012, it has attracted over 13 million views and served as the public debut of the low-cost shaving supply company. The company has also worked globally with brands including: Johnson & Johnson, 20th Century Fox, Honda, American Express, Red Bull and Pepsi.

“We’re excited to be joining Adknowledge. We’re proud of the platform and technology that we’ve built and believe that together with Adknowledge, we can build a world-class video product at massive scale,” said Giant Media founder David Segura, who started the company in 2009.

“This is the twelfth acquisition Adknowledge has completed since the company was founded in 2004, and we’re excited to have David and his team become part of the Adknowledge family,” said Scott Lynn, founder and chairman of Adknowledge. “This allows us to continue our mission of helping advertisers unlock their digital audiences across all types of ad formats, including social media, display, mobile, apps, email, and video,” he added.

ben legg“The acquisition of Giant accelerates our momentum in video, and enables Adknowledge to continue applying our data-driven approach to helping large brands get a great ROI at scale from their digital media spend. We also plan to scale Giant globally,” said Adknowledge CEO Ben Legg(photo).

 

What: In what constitutes Adknowledge’s 12th acquisition since its founding, the company has bought Giant Media for an undisclosed sum.
Why it matters: The purchase was mainly driven by the explosive growth of video as an advertising vehicle and the fact that consumers are watching less TV and moving toward digital videos.

adknowledgeAdknowledge, Inc., the online advertising marketplace, has acquired video ad platform Giant Media for an undisclosed sum. This constitutes Adknowledge’s 12th acquisition since its founding in 2004.

The purchase recognizes the explosive growth of video as an advertising vehicle that will enable advertisers and agencies to scale the viewership of their content.

The combination of Adknowledge and Giant Media grows the abilities of two highly complementary companies; each is recognized as a leader in digital marketing world.With this acquisition , Adknowledge hopes to accelerate its influence in digital advertising. Giant Media now will offer Adknowledge clients a new service that’s growing in demand as many advertisers with TV budgets are beginning to recognize that consumers are watching less TV and moving toward digital videos.

Giant Media, headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in New York and Detroit, will expand Adknowledge’s Southern California presence.The parties have agreed not to disclose the acquisition’s financial terms.

Giant Media maximizes earned video and social sharing

Giant Media has made a name for itself by developing a set of video products designed to maximize earned media and social sharing. An example of that is Giant Media’s distribution of the viral “Dollar Shave” Club video. Since the video was uploaded to YouTube in mid-2012, it has attracted over 13 million views and served as the public debut of the low-cost shaving supply company. The company has also worked globally with brands including: Johnson & Johnson, 20th Century Fox, Honda, American Express, Red Bull and Pepsi.

“We’re excited to be joining Adknowledge. We’re proud of the platform and technology that we’ve built and believe that together with Adknowledge, we can build a world-class video product at massive scale,” said Giant Media founder David Segura, who started the company in 2009.

“This is the twelfth acquisition Adknowledge has completed since the company was founded in 2004, and we’re excited to have David and his team become part of the Adknowledge family,” said Scott Lynn, founder and chairman of Adknowledge. “This allows us to continue our mission of helping advertisers unlock their digital audiences across all types of ad formats, including social media, display, mobile, apps, email, and video,” he added.

ben legg“The acquisition of Giant accelerates our momentum in video, and enables Adknowledge to continue applying our data-driven approach to helping large brands get a great ROI at scale from their digital media spend. We also plan to scale Giant globally,” said Adknowledge CEO Ben Legg(photo).

 

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