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  • VideoNuze Podcast #517: Virtual Linear Channels Mean More Gains Ahead for Connected TV

    I’m pleased to present the 517th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. As always, we hope our listeners are staying well.

    This week Colin and I discuss how new “virtual linear” channels will translate into more viewer engagement and advertising in connected TV. We start the discussion reviewing new data from Innovid and Pixalate showing healthy gains in both CTV ad impressions and programmatic spending.

    Adding to the momentum will be virtual channels, which are essentially on-demand playlists of themed programming. Many CTV platforms are adding these free, ad-supported channels. Colin points out a new partnership between Endemol Shine and Vizio for four unscripted virtual channels. Roku was also in the news this week, launching 40 virtual channels with various programming partners. Virtual channels are also a key feature for Peacock. Colin and I expect the trend to gain momentum. 

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  • Global Connected TV Ad Impressions Up 36%

    Global connected TV ad impressions were up 36% year-over-year during the week of May 24-30, according to new data released by Innovid. The growth rate is above the prior week’s growth rate of 27%, but below the 4-week CTV average of 44%. It is still well above other devices; during the same period, mobile video ad impressions were down 26% year-over-year (compared with a 5% drop for the prior week) and PC/desktop video impressions were down 20% (compared with a 12% drop during the prior week).

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  • GroupM’s MODI Media Will Use Innovid As Its Preferred Ad Server For Connected TV Campaigns

    GroupM’s advanced TV unit MODI Media will use Innovid as its preferred ad server for all connected TV campaigns, the companies announced today. Seth Walters, senior partner at MODI, who oversees its connected TV business, told me that Innovid addresses a key pain point of delivering video adds into the highly fragmented connected TV space, while also offering real-time analytics on campaign performance across devices.

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  • Interview with Innovid’s CEO and Co-founder, Zvika Netter

    Just before the holidays, Innovid, one of the pioneers of online video advertising, raised a $27.5 million round, including $12.5 million in debt. It was one of the larger financings in the video ad tech space in the last several months and followed a March, 2015 $10 million investment in Innovid by Cisco. Innovid’s CEO and co-founder Zvika Netter caught me up on plans for the new funds and the company’s transition to a leading video ad server. Following is an edited transcript.

    VideoNuze: Congratulations on the new financing. How will you use the funds?
     
    Zvika Netter: We plan on using the funds for 2 main purposes: First, technology - We are continually innovating based on both what our partners need to help grow their businesses and how we envision the Future of TV advertising. And second, international expansion – 80% of our clients are global brands and agencies. We’ve been asked by most of them to provide similar solutions and services in new markets in EMEA and APAC.

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  • Innovid Survey Shows Media Buyer Priorities for Video Ads

    Innovid has released its Q3 2015 State of Interactivity Report, based on a survey of 200+ U.S. media buyers in August, which provides insights about their priorities and preferences. Per the chart below, over 92% of respondents said they’re currently buying pre-roll video ads, slightly ahead of display. Mobile video was fourth with 85% buying it. Further down in the eighth position was Interactive Video (61%) and in tenth position, connected TV (55%).

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  • Connected TVs and Advertising: A Match Made in The Living Room [AD SUMMIT VIDEO]

    Connected TVs are soaring in popularity due to plummeting prices of smart TVs and the proliferation of inexpensive devices like Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast and others. As more homes adopt connected TV devices and long-form online viewership shifts to them, there’s a huge opportunity for advertising.

    This was the topic of discussion for the Video Ad Summit session, “Connected TVs and Advertising: A Match Made in the Living Room,” which included Tal Chalozin (CTO and Co-Founder, Innovid), Ashish Chordia (CEO and Founder, Alphonso), Josh Mallalieu (VP, Partner, Portfolio Management, Universal McCann) and Scott Rosenberg (VP, Advertising, Roku) with Colin Dixon (Chief Analyst and Founder, nScreenMedia) moderating.

    The session touched on what types of video ad units are working best on connected TVs, how advertisers are using data to target audiences on connected TVs, why mobile is benefiting connected TVs, how the ad experience on connected TVs is becoming richer and much more.

    Watch the session video now (30 minutes, 51 seconds)

     
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  • Innovid Raises $10 Million From Cisco and Others Amid Boom in Video Ad Serving Business

    Innovid has raised $10 million in additional capital from Cisco Investments and existing investors, bringing total capital raised to date to $37.6 million. The new funds will be used for product development. Cisco and Innovid announced a partnership back in September, 2013, to deliver interactive, contextual video ads to second screens.

    Aside from the financing, the big news from Innovid is the huge growth in its Innovid Atom video ad serving platform for brands and agencies. According to CEO and co-founder Zvika Netter, who I caught up with on Friday, Innovid has gone from 20 brands using its platform last July, to 110 now. This is expected to rise to 145 by the end of Q2 '15. Included among these are Kraft, Disney, Toyota, Chrysler and dozens of others.

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  • Study: Verifying Video Content Leads to Higher Ad Engagement

    Innovid has released results of a study that concludes placing video ads with relevant video content helps to boost ad engagement. Innovid analyzed 3 campaigns using its iRoll format with the Innovid Atom Verification solution. Innovid measured number of ad impressions, verified video content categories and engagement rates.

    Specifically, the study compared a campaign's engagement rate for ads served with relevant video vs. the engagement rate for overall impressions. Engagement rates were 1.9x and 1.4x higher respectively, for 2 of the campaigns, travel and auto, when the ad vertical aligned with the content category. However for the 3rd campaign (for pharma) it was 2.3x higher than overall when running against sports video specifically.

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  • Viewability: Addressing the Elephant in the Room [AD SUMMIT VIDEO]

    Viewability has emerged as one of the hottest topics in the online video industry this year, for good reason - video ads that aren't seen diminish the advertiser's ROI and undermine the integrity of the market.

    However, the industry is addressing viewability and at the recent Video Ad Summit, IAB presented a session that dug into the details. Participants included Rob Brett (Viacom), Tal Chalozin (Innovid), David Gunzerath (MRC) and Julian Zilberbrand (Zenith Optimedia) with Matt Prohaska moderating.

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  • Innovid Named Preferred Video Ad Partner for Atlas

    Innovid announced today that it has been chosen as the preferred video ad partner for Atlas, the ad serving and measurement platform which Facebook acquired from Microsoft last year. As a result of the deal, Innovid will be integrated with Atlas so that clients can run addressable and interactive video ad campaigns across screens via one unified console. Analytics for the Innovid video ads will also be provided within Atlas and billing is integrated.

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  • Innovid and Cisco Power Contextual Video Ads on Second Screens Using Voice-Based Metadata

    Interactive video advertising provider Innovid and Cisco are building on their previously announced partnership, announcing an initiative to have ads dynamically delivered to second screens using voice-based metadata from TV programs. Innovid's CTO and co-founder Tal Chalozin showed me a demo last week of Cisco's cloud-based technology analyzing words spoken in TV programming to generate keywords and context. The information was then passed to Innovid which delivered a relevant, interactive ad to the viewer's second screen within a few seconds.

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  • Innovid and Cisco Partner for Second Screen Interactive, Contextual Video Ads

    Interactive video advertising provider Innovid, and technology giant Cisco have unveiled a new partnership today at IBC meant to deliver interactive, contextual video ads to second screens.

    As Innovid's CEO and co-founder Zvika Netter explained to me, the proof-of-concepts at IBC show how Innovid taps in, via API, to a Cisco-powered metadata stream associated with a pay-TV operator's services to TVs and second screen apps. The metadata allows Innovid to deliver interactive iRoll ads to the second screen apps that are synched with ads that are running on TV. A second proof-of-concept also shows this done by location. Second screen apps from pay-TV providers have become a key priority as part of their TV Everywhere initiatives.

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  • Making Pre-Roll Ads Interactive Experiences [AD SUMMIT VIDEO]

    For many viewers, a pre-roll ad is just a 15 or 30-second interruption before the content plays. But now advertisers can make their pre-rolls full-blown interactive experiences with multiple engagement opportunities. At the recent Video Ad Summit, Patty Everett, Associate Media Director at Turner Media explained how, using a sample campaign to illustrate her points in discussion with Jack Flanagan from Innovid.

    In the session, Patty details how an interactive pre-roll for Cartoon Network's Hall of Game awards drove awareness, voting and ultimately tune-in. Patty also explains the key challenges in developing interactive pre-rolls and what advertisers need to do to succeed. Advertisers and publishers looking to get more out of their pre-roll will get great insights.

    The video is below and runs 13 minutes, 20 seconds.

    Watch the video

     
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  • TubeMogul Offering RTB for Mobile Video Ads

    TubeMogul announced today that it will be offering real-time buying for mobile video ads on smartphones and tablets across public and private exchanges that generated over 94 million daily streams in February. TubeMogul believes this is the greatest reach of mobile video streams assembled to date, enabling buyers to centrally tap into the exploding world of mobile video usage. Top sites are routinely citing mobile usage as now accounting for between 25-50% of their video streams.

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  • Innovid Raises $11 Million Series C Round To Expand to New Devices

    Innovid has raised an $11 million series C round from existing investors Sequioa Capital, Genesis Partners and T-Ventures, along with new investor Vintage Investment Partners. With the new round, the company has raised $27.6 million to date. Innovid CEO and co-founder Zvika Netter told me the company experienced a very strong Q3 and Q4 in 2012, contributing to 450% year-over-year growth. The new financing will help the company expand its ad platform beyond online, mobile and tablet to also reach connected TVs, game consoles, VOD and broadcast.

    Innovid's technology platform allows advertisers to integrate interactive elements into their pre-roll video ads, increasingly the likelihood of engagement and improving ROI. As Innovid's iRoll gallery shows, these can include social sharing, links to mini-sites, special offers/commerce, supplementary content, etc. Interactivity is added to the ads easily through the iRoll Studio. Innovid also offers ad serving and advanced analytics that track exactly how users engage with the interactive elements.

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  • Innovid's iRoll Interactive Ads Now Available For Mobile; BrightRoll First to Adopt

    Innovid is announcing this morning that its iRoll interactive video ad format is now also available for delivery in mobile to smartphones and tablets. This means that the same iRoll ad can be used online and in mobile, from the same ad server providing unified cross-platform analytics. Innovid's CEO Zvika Netter told me he believes this is a first for in-stream video ads. Innovid is also announcing that BrightRoll has become the first network to adopt the mobile iRoll and that several multi-screen campaigns are already live.

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  • Innovid Enhances iRoll With VAST/VPAID Tag Creation

    Innovid, which enables online video advertisers and publishers to add interactive elements such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and sharing to their campaigns, is announcing that VAST and VPAID ad tags will now be auto-created within its iRoll Studio.

    The enhancement eliminates the work flow process step of advertisers and publishers needing to submit their ads back to Innovid for tags to be created before campaigns can be trafficked out. This in turn reduces cost and resources to turn typical pre-roll ads into an iRoll ad.

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  • Innovid Raises $9.5 Million to Fuel Interactive Video Ads

    Innovid, whose iRoll interactive pre-roll ad unit delivers a higher ROI for advertisers and publishers, is announcing a $9.5 million Series B financing led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from current investors Genesis Capital and T-Venture. The new funds will help fuel global expansion. Innovid is Sequoia's first investment in the video advertising space. Innovid raised a $4 million first round in September, 2010.

    Innovid is now integrated with every U.S. video ad network and 2,100 sites are iRoll certified. iRoll allows advertisers to reach viewers with a limitless array of engagement opportunities, far beyond what standard pre-rolls can offer (a gallery of examples is here). These can include social media sharing, shopping opportunities and localized information, among others. Innovid has also introduced DYNAMO, an ad serving and analytics platform that works with all pre-roll ads and can also measure and report all interactions with iRoll ads.

     
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  • Innovid Quietly Expands iRoll Support Among Ad Networks

    Innovid has added Specific Media as the latest video ad network to support its "iRoll" interactive pre-roll ad unit. Specific joins Adap.tv, BrightRoll, Collective, SpotXChange, TidalTV, Tremor Video, Undertone, Value Click and other ecosystem players, which according to the company collectively account for approximately 60% of video ad inventory in the U.S. Large ad networks are important to Innovid because advertisers want huge scale and also the ability to target specific audiences for their campaigns.

    For those not familiar with the iRoll, it transforms standard pre-roll ads by adding interactive overlays with customized calls-to-action. These can include social media sharing (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.), e-commerce prompts within the video, and mapping and localized information such as the nearest theater a movie is playing to purchase a ticket. Advertisers and agencies can use the Innovid Studio to add the interactive elements. Innovid also offers a full analytics suite.

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  • Recapping All of the Product and Partnership News from ELEVATE

    At the ELEVATE conference on Tuesday a number of our partners made product and partnership announcements which I mentioned were coming in a teaser last Friday. Each helps move the online video advertising market forward in different ways. A brief recap of each follows:

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