Podcast: Bill Demas, Three-Time CEO

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This week, Conviva CEO Bill Demas steps up to the mic for a conversation about his years at the helm of Turn and the hurtling comet that is streaming TV.

When Demas stepped up to run Turn after several years spent building out search and ad syndication relationships at Overture and Yahoo, the company was an ad network with gross revenues of $10 million and net revenues of $2 million.

Demas helped Turn transform into a demand-side platform, providing its ad buying software directly to agency trading desks, including Interpublic Group’s Cadreon and Omnicom Group’s Accuen. Gross revenue soared to $400 million and net revenue to $100 million.

“It was incredible growth,” Demas says. “We saw this was the better way to run, more ethical. We felt this was what our customer wanted. OMG and Cadreon – seemingly every week they would bring another customer on the platform.”

These days, Demas is focused on a very different opportunity with Conviva, a company that measures streaming activity. But there are parallels. One is the intense data processing requirements associated with both ad decisioning and TV streaming. Another is the centrality of data assets to the company’s future opportunity.

Conviva holds three dozen patents on technologies that help it monitor stream quality for customers like Hulu, Sling, HBO, Turner and Univision. While the company doesn’t currently offer enhanced measurement services, it’s easy to envision the possibilities there.

Demas agrees. “We may look in the future at a better understanding of the demographics and psychographics” associated with TV audiences, he says.

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