AL­TI­TUDE

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

The ad-tech in­dus­try is also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing mas­sive con­sol­i­da­tion. Ad Ops In­sider, an ed­u­ca­tional site about the in­dus­try, lists nearly 200 merg­ers or ac­qui­si­tions in 2016 alone.

While Al­ti­tude’s merger speaks to this larger con­sol­i­da­tion trend, this is also about qual­ity of video ad­ver­tis­ing — or lack thereof, said Kelly Liyakasa, a se­nior editor who writes about the in­dus­try for AdEx­changer.com.

“Pre­mium video is ex­pen­sive to pro­duce, and top pub­lish­ers and me­dia com­pa­nies are look­ing to mon­e­tize their in­ven­tory more ef­fec­tively, whether it’s through pro­gram­matic ex­changes, di­rect spon­sor­ship deals or pay-for sub­scrip­tions,” said Liyakasa in an email. “Al­ti­tude’s ac­quirer claims to fo­cus on ‘at­ten­tion met­rics’ and op­ti­mizes pub­lish­ers’ video ad ex­pe­ri­ences based on how a con­sumer in­ter­acts with a page, which in the­ory could im­prove the user ex­pe­ri­ence on that site. There has def­i­nitely been a trend to­ward ‘qual­ity’ in video by brands and ad­ver­tis­ers, who are de­mand­ing more from their pub­lisher part­ners.”

Last year, Al­ti­tude re­vamped its strat­egy to fo­cus on build­ing a tech­nol­ogy plat­form to ex­pand be­yond ad-bid­ding and other ser­vices. Grover re­placed Oster­miller, who re­mained on the board, as CEO.

“There was a mo­ment when in­vestors had a choice: Do we go out to mar­ket, do we sell the busi­ness or do we dou­ble down and re­fo­cus the com­pany and move for­ward to com­plete this trans­for­ma­tion?” Grover said. “They chose the lat­ter. This was a de­lib­er­ate de­ci­sion.”

Al­ti­tude’s new plat­form al­lows pub­lish­ers to bet­ter see how on­line view­ers in­ter­act with their pages. Ge­n­e­sis, mean­while, adds di­rect links to pub­lish­ers and a team of data sci­en­tists.

“There’s not a lot of over­lap (be­tween Al­ti­tude and Ge­n­e­sis),” Grover said. “They are a lot closer to the di­rect pub­lisher. But the sec­ond rea­son (that the two merged) is the in­vest­ment in data. Our plat­form au­to­mates ad­ver­tis­ing to pub­lish­ers. We col­lect a lot of data, but Ge­n­e­sis has data sci­en­tists that an­a­lyze how users in­ter­act with con­tent and what ad for­mat should be de­liv­ered to the user.”

In­stead of a site forc­ing all vis­i­tors to watch the same video ad, Ge­n­e­sis can study how some­one uses the site and de­cide in an in­stant whether to show a short or long ad, more ads or fewer ads, or none at all.

“When users are highly en­gaged, that ad is go­ing to be watched,” Grover said. “That trans­lates into a bet­ter ex­pe­ri­ence.”

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