DoubleVerify, the private equity backed measurement and verification provider, was without a CEO for nearly five months during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
Former Telaria boss Mark Zagorski took over the helm at the end of July in order to concentrate the company’s next growth phase on a medium that is close to his heart: networked television.
“A company has the opportunity to create a standard for CTV. I think we could do better than Nielsen. I think there is a possibility for a standard that includes performance, a standard that includes security, and a standard that includes visibility, ”Zagorski told Adweek.
CTV usage has increased during the pandemic and has remained high during the pandemic as people stream more content while staying at home. However, it’s still a relatively new medium, full of scams and lacking the standards that helped define its linear TV predecessor.
DoubleVerify recently launched a number of CTV-related products and hired Jack Smith, GroupM’s former global chief product officer, to help build new CTV offerings.
Zagorski said that “so much sales” go into a medium that struggles with transparency, fraud, visibility and brand safety. According to research firm eMarketer, CTV ad spend in the US is projected to exceed $ 10.8 billion by 2021, up from $ 7 billion in 2019.
Ad tech’s unloved middlemen track the money and run scam programs in CTV, where CPMs are typically much higher than mobile or desktop prices. A 2019 report by Pixalate found that 22% of CTV traffic was invalid, while a separate analysis by AdLedger last year found that 20% of exaggerated impressions were fraudulent.
Zagorski has served as CEO of Telaria for the past three years, where he helped build a CTV-focused supply-side platform following the divestment of Tremor Video’s demand-side platform. He previously held a senior position at Nielsen, a position he assumed after selling the data science outfit Exelate to the TV measurement company for $ 200 million in 2015.
He left Telaria in June, three months after it was acquired by the Rubicon Project, now known as Magnite.
According to Zagorski, Telaria’s CTV sales rose from 2% when he joined in 2017 to over 60% when he left. However, he was unaware of some issues related to the inventory his company sold. “It’s something I’ve just discovered since I got around to it [DoubleVerify],” he said.
Not only does CTV measurement and verification require new products, but the advertising industry also needs to redefine some terms. The problem of visibility on CTV cannot be compared to that on desktop or mobile, as television advertising fills the entire screen.
Shailin Dhar, CEO and co-founder of Method Media Intelligence, said there was a transition from detailed reporting of visibility based on the number of pixels on a phone or laptop screen to a more binary all-or-nothing metric on the large scale and whole screen.
“Should we still use 100% or any percentage for our reporting there? Everyone does different things than we can see just because that economy and language have not been standardized, ”Dhar said.
DoubleVerify and its competitors Moat and Integral Ad Science were reviewed this year for their keyword blocking tools, which marketers are using to prevent ads from serving content containing “coronavirus” or “protest,” which is lowering revenue for publishers are already having issues with the business impact of the pandemic.
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