Ad verification tech gears up for the rise of connected TV

Two recent acquisitions by Integral Ad Science illustrate the race against time to ensure access to the market for quality and brand-safe inventory.

The French advertising market is increasingly focused on Internet TV. After a string of announcements to launch CTV channels and apps in France, funded by advertising since last fall, in particular through FAST channels (such as those offered by CBSViacom, Rakuten and Molotov with Mango, etc.), it is the turn of advertisers to clearly state their intention to use this leverage. In particular, the Renault Group has entrusted JDN with its decision to allocate 50% of its digital video investment in France to CTV this year. Many of them are already actively present on these devices, at least through YouTube. In the case of Danone in France, the amount of ads viewed on YouTube from a TV screen corresponds to 30% of the amount invested by the brand in this platform.

“At CTV, we are already measuring fraud, brand visibility and safety on YouTube and everything related to OTT.”

Faced with this phenomenon, ad verification technologies are racing against time to be ready to provide the same degree of inventory quality analysis on this leverage as they do on online video. This includes anti-fraud and analysis of brand awareness, brand safety and, increasingly, brand suitability. “Our customers expect us to be able to read and measure everything with the same standards in all environments, including CTV,” explains Yann Le Roux, Managing Director of Integral Ad Science (IAS) Southern Europe. “The presence of brand safety and ad verification tools on this type of CTV inventory is a prerequisite for the development of ad buying with this leverage,” confirms Thibault Rivals, media and digital manager at Danone France.

However, the advertising inventory that we mean by the term CTV corresponds to many different environments: native applications of the broadcaster on TVs or installed by the user, channels broadcast via box operators (IPTV), websites, etc. If they are united by the fact that they can be viewed through a connected TV device, they do not use the same distribution and monetization technologies and the same integrations with ad verification tools. In addition, depending on the environment, the volume of videos analyzed can be enormous, especially on YouTube.

“At CTV, we are already measuring fraud, visibility and brand safety across everything OTT and YouTube. What is more difficult for us to measure today is IPTV, broadcasting through box operators and streaming TV. The latter require integration with broadcaster sales. third party technologies to allow us, among other things, to access the metadata of their videos. This is what Publica offers us,” explains Yann Leroux. Acquired last summer by IAS for $220 million, Publica is a connected TV content ad monetization platform based in Palo Alto, USA, launched in 2016 by French entrepreneur Benjamin Antier. It is integrated with Samsung, ViacomCBS, Pluto TV and many other broadcasters, TV manufacturers and OTT apps including Molotov TV in France.

This will facilitate secure and analyzed access to these resources for advertisers using the IAS ad verification tool, which also relies on another important element to enhance the analysis of these video streams: context. Acquired as recently as last January, IAS, Context is a layer of artificial intelligence launched in France in 2016 to improve image and video classification in real time. To do this, adtech uses among others image recognition, optical character recognition (OCR), which allows you to analyze the words present in images, for example in a logo, and speech-to-text conversion, which turns sound into text to analyze what is said. among other things. “We have already offered proactive brand safety filtering for videos, specifically with video content analysis. What has changed with Context is the volume, speed and cost of doing this type of analysis, which we will be able to significantly reduce. Handling it This type of content is very expensive. With Context, we will be able to master YouTube, social platforms, CTV, etc. in a way that is convenient for our customers,” explains Yan Le Roux. Integration is underway. It will be a matter of weeks or months.

Processing capability that will enable much more detailed analysis of the contexts in which promotional videos are shown on CTV and elsewhere on the web and social applications. “A priori, at least for now on paper, Context will allow us to get a much more accurate estimate of the risk levels and sentiment (positive, neutral or negative) of a video. We can then buy impressions that we would have been blocked without this more advanced analytics ability,” explains Rivals Thibault. This is called brand suitability, which allows for a more nuanced understanding of the opportunities that printing offers, rather than being limited to a much more restrictive and binary approach that excludes brand security tools.