AppNexus Dives Into Connected TV

AppNexus wants in on connected TV ad budgets.

The ad tech company has doubled down on the infrastructure to support connected TV buying and selling by integrating the forecasting from its Yieldex acquisition with its video ad server. It also has added support for newer connected TV ad formats and long-form content.

These developments should let publishers manage yield across direct and programmatic deals, and across different video player sizes, device types, ad formats or consumer locations.

AppNexus says its engineering chops will help it catch up to other video platforms that already support connected TV, like SpotX, Tremor and FreeWheel.

“Because we have a broad and deep platform, we’ve been able to take what historically has been more specialized technology for video and TV and make it accessible to a much broader community,” said Eric Hoffert, SVP of video technology for AppNexus.

AppNexus anticipates that more connected TV inventory – which is tied up in direct deals and private marketplace – will eventually become programmatic.

The company also thinks video sellers will need infrastructure that can support unexpected viewership spikes across devices.

“Our scale is definitely a differentiator since we have a fast, IP-based infrastructure,” Hoffert said. “We’ve pushed hard on engineering to power user experiences with as low latency as possible.”

One AppNexus publisher client, theChive, distributes video on desktop, mobile and its connected TV app and digital out-of-home network, Chive TV. 

Rather than choosing a video SSP with a heritage in TV, theChive liked that AppNexus built a two-way connection between digital and connected TV supply and demand.

“We wanted, first and foremost, a best-in-class ad server, and second, we wanted to supplement our [CTV] impressions with access to [AppNexus’ CTV marketplace] as a demand partner,” said David Evans, VP of monetization for theChive. “Video is very fragmented and that puts a burden on ad ops as well as the advertiser, so now, more than ever, efficiency and scale is the priority.”

TheChive is one of about 50-100 publishers AppNexus has signed to its video SSP roster in about a year.

Rather than chasing pure TV budgets, AppNexus sees opportunities to extend existing publisher clients’ footprints from display to digital video, as well as to serve “omnichannel” publishers with a mix of new native, mobile and video monetization, Hoffert said.

Microsoft was a charter partner for AppNexus’ video SSP, according to Hoffert, and it’s monetizing a number of formats ranging from in-stream pre-roll on MSN to VAST interstitials on Microsoft apps.

Axel Springer is also a new AppNexus ad server customer and will soon activate AppNexus’ video capabilities.

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