Conviva Leaps From Video Analytics To Bidstream Data With First Ad Tech Partnership

The streaming analytics company Conviva released its first ad tech product, a contextual data integration with The Trade Desk, on Thursday.

Conviva places a sensor in publishers and programmers’ videos or streaming content. The sensor isn’t a third-party data collector like a cookie or SDK. It’s the tool the publishers place in their video players to monitor video quality and engagement, such as buffering rates or overall watch time, said Conviva CEO Keith Zubchevich.

“In the past couple years we started to collect very rich content metadata, because there’s no limit on what you can pass through the sensor that sits in the video player, including contextual ad data and even IDs,” Zubchevich said.

For instance, the new Conviva bidstream integrations can alert buyers whether a particular video spot is a short-form video, the length of a TV episode or a full movie, and can also share  contextual data about the kind of content that will play in that watch session, Zubchevich said.

Contextual advertising data for streaming video is often cobbled together from site pixels, mobile app SDKs, ad verification tech vendors and aggregated third-party data sets, which monitor the page but aren’t actually embedded in the video player, said Josh Sharma, VP of ad partnerships at Local Now, a local weather and content streaming service, and a pilot partner for Conviva’s data partnership with The Trade Desk.

“For some time now, it’s been a pain point among our DSP partners that they’re not seeing the context of the content itself,” Sharma said.

Aside from factors like length of the video – is it a bite-size video or a full-length show? – he said Local Now, a subsidiary of Entertainment Studios (owner of The Weather Group and local affiliate stations), can use the Conviva bidstream integration to pass data about specific content adjacency, he said.

Precise context could lead buyers to value inventory more highly. Some brands might be willing to bid more for an ad spot during a kids’ movie if their buying platform can target ad units following a sports-related scene, and not just generic family friendly content.

The data could also help advertisers target users based on session watch length, he said. If someone has been engaged and watching videos with Local Now for the past hour, and it can convey that information in the bidstream, and then advertisers could bid more confidently on that impression.

Targeting relevant adjacent content during a movie, show or news program is already typical for linear TV advertisers, Sharma said. Bringing that capability to CTV will help “bridge the gap” for television budgets, he said, since those ad dollars have shifted to streaming content at a much slower rate than consumers have changed their viewing habits.

The Trade Desk was the natural starting place for this contextual data play, Zubchevich said. Conviva polled its publishing and broadcast partners, and The Trade Desk was an important demand source across the board. But he said the plan is to expand to other DSPs and ad platforms.

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