Integral Ad Science Acquires Video Measurement Startup Veenome

IASAd verifier Integral Ad Science has acquired video analytics startup Veenome in a deal the two companies claim will kick video measurement up a notch.

Veenome’s product premise is that advertisers should know the context of the video content around their placement, not simply that they hit their demo targets.

Advertisers undoubtedly want to know if their ad was viewed, which underscores the heated debate around a better viewability standard, but there are a slew of alternative data points beyond viewability that are interesting to advertisers, according to Scott Knoll, CEO of Integral Ad Science.

Veenome claims the qualitative nature of its analysis differentiates it from other video measurement platforms.

In addition to analyzing whether a format was in-banner, in-stream or in-game, it determines if the unit was above or below the fold, what the player size is, where it’s positioned on a page, whether the sound was on or muted and, perhaps most importantly, whether it shared real estate with other video players.

“It’s not uncommon to have three players running on auto-play at the same time on a page, but what registers as a viewable impression?” said Kevin Lenane, co-founder and CEO of Veenome. “That wouldn’t satisfy the wants and needs of a lot of advertisers out there.” 

For instance, a targeted, in-stream video may be more valuable to an advertiser than being sandwiched between four other pre-rolls in the “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” iPhone game, a setting where users can opt to watch a string of pre-rolls instead of paying to level up to A-list star status.

“We’re seeing these incentivized views spread out across all the different exchanges and networks when the value of that impression is much less valuable than someone waiting to watch an in-stream video,” said Lenane, who will now serve as GM of video solutions at Integral Ad Science.

“If we’re looking at pre-roll, the first thing we look at is, ‘Was this in-banner, in-stream or incentivized?’ because with a lot of mobile game impressions, you’re often doing something in lieu of paying.”

Veenome isn’t just an advertiser tool. It offers data insights programmatically to many video supply-side platforms and exchanges, such as LiveRail, BrightRoll and Innovid. These reports offer traffic monitoring at the domain- and publisher-site level, used for quality analysis when exchanges onboard publisher partners.

The first step to integrate Veenome into Integral Ad Science’s toolset will be siphoning in some of the qualitative metrics around in-banner/in-game/in-stream and how many players are running alongside the ad.

“We’ll start making some of this data available in our programmatic products, which would allow a buyer to target impressions more likely to be in-view than others, but only have one player on a page, for example,” said David Hahn, SVP of product management at Integral Ad Science. “Then we can start to look at things like how long or how much of the video was in-view or was the sound on and was the person engaged, using media quality as the barometer.”

Veenome’s “10-plus” employees will all join Integral Ad Science. The deal was not a pure acqui-hire, nor was it a distressed deal, said Knoll. Veenome has raised less than $5 million in funding to date and ran a lean operation.

“It was very strategic to our business,” he added. “We’re focused on creating products that go well beyond whether something was just viewed or not. It becomes harder in a programmatic environment to make that distinction around the ‘value’ of an ad in a split second.”

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