No More Half Measures in TV Measurement, With VideoAmp CEO Ross McCray

Ross McCray, CEO & founder, VideoAmp

When VideoAmp CEO and Founder Ross McCray first started reaching out to investors around seven years ago about his new company, they were less than impressed.

“People hated the space,” McCray says on this week’s episode of AdExchanger Talks. “I would go and pitch our solution about the future and you’d have VCs saying … ‘Oh, oh, ad tech? How did you get this meeting? Get out of here.’”

But over the past couple of years, the conversation has “completely shifted,” McCray says, and that’s no coincidence.

Although streaming was already growing, the pandemic turbocharged consumption. Media companies could no longer ignore the fact that they needed a measurement approach to keep up with their burgeoning investments in connected TV.

But even before Nielsen’s dustup with the Video Advertising Bureau over underreporting local TV viewing during the pandemic, VideoAmp, which signed a deal with ViacomCBS in September, was already starting to run currency pilots with media owners.

“Recent news of legacy measurement systems and some companies being no longer MRC accredited really just accelerated this – but it was already happening,” McCray says. “The way that currency is done is not really meant for a streaming world … the more viewership that goes to streaming, the more strain it puts on the system.”


And where there’s friction, confusion and change, he says, value is created.

“Winners and losers are emerging,” McCray says. “That’s part of the reason why the financial industry has become so excited about the space.”

In October, VideoAmp raised a $275 million investment round – its series F – at a $1.4 billion valuation.

Also in this episode: Why VideoAmp isn’t ruling out a future partnership with Nielsen, how an increased focus on consumer privacy is changing the measurement game and a few of the 43 (!!) business ideas McCray embarked on before founding VideoAmp, including inventing a cooking pan with a built-in spoon rest. (I’d buy it.)

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