Q&A Interview with Zvika Netter of Innovid

Zvika Netter, CEO of Innovid describes himself as an “entrepreneur since I was a kid.” He founded his company Innovid in 2007 initially as a non-profit in order to explore what could be done with video. As changes occurred in the competitive landscape, the company soon focused on advancing creative within paid video placements for advertisers, starting with the addition of interactive (clickable, shoppable) features. Today, Innovid’s platform is device and buyer agnostic, and boasts a suite of programmatic, analytics, and viewability solutions.

In this interview, Netter talks about his company, industry challenges such as fraud and viewability, privacy, the use of data and segmentations as well as how the future of media will look.

Charlene Weisler: What is your definition of TV?
Zvika Netter: I don’t have one. I don’t think that it is necessarily content or device-specific. You could also ask ‘What is a movie?’ But what happens when you release a movie on TV? Or when they offer TV content on a phone? When it comes to the future of TV it comes down to the screen you are watching – and the content choices you as a consumer are making.

Charlene Weisler: Why did you shift the focus of your company from technical tools to focusing more on ads and branding?
Zvika Netter: We had a core idea, which surfaced from how HTML fundamentally impacted print — e.g. the transformation of newspaper to digital, real-time content via the web. It put consumers in the driver’s seat and allowed them to consume content whenever, wherever and however they chose. So as video consumption rose, we knew there was a need to ensure engagement and personalization of this type of content on the web, especially when it came to advertising.

Charlene Weisler: There is a difference between advertising on YouTube and via Programmatic.
Zvika Netter: Advertising (should) offer creative, rich, and relevant experiences. Companies like Roku and Youtube, for example, are managing assets, measuring across screens. We are expanding to ad serving beyond the ad creative to video ad serving offering everything agencies need to deliver a campaign except media.

Charlene Weisler: What type of data do you use?
Zvika Netter: We use a lot of unique data – viewability, completion rate, engagement rate, and so on. Additionally, we can tie in programmatic and creative metrics from third parties or integrated partners on our platform. We can correlate with viewer intention from interactive ads where you can engage to see a full movie trailer, for example, to send a message to a phone or print coupons. In short, we can help promote consumer actions and drive them through the funnel.

Charlene Weisler: Do you use segmentations?
Zvika Netter: We recently announced our programmatic creative solution to help advertisers connect their existing programmatic buying strategies with targeted, segmented video content. Essentially, our video platform serves the creative on any device, in real-time, fully optimized for both the screen and the audience segment. This allows us to offer advertisers an addressable component. For example, an advertiser can use the audience they targeted on TV, then receive detailed information from their DMP about that audience and change the creative for digital. We use this third-party data to enact hyper-targeting, which can be very timely for promotions and can be tailored to specific locations and inventory.

Charlene Weisler: What metrics do you use?
Zvika Netter: We provide a variety of metrics to help advertisers understand the success of their video campaigns across all devices, and media partners: engagement rate, completion rate, viewability, awareness and so on.  We also are beginning to add metrics that help advertisers directly connect video the marketing funnel, such as purchase intent, brand lift and sales.

Charlene Weisler: What about privacy?
Zvika Netter: We don’t buy and sell audiences and we don’t store any data on audiences. We only use third party data integrations when the advertiser requests it.

CW: How do you think the media landscape will look in the next three to five years?
Zvika Netter: The next three to five years will see the most significant revolution in media. More than 80% to 100% of video content will be on the Internet. This will be the key disruption to a 70-year-old industry. There is a legacy with hard infrastructure cost that will vaporize. It will be very easy to distribute video on a massive scale, in order to reach consumers on every device, and TV will enable where that behavioral infrastructure happens at scale. Further, video will no longer be a passive experience, but one that consumers demand an interactive experience, leading to  a more profitable e-commerce model directly from TV.

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