Google’s Acquisition Of Anvato Boosts Ad Delivery, Averts Ad Blockers

StackGoogle’s acquisition of cloud video platform Anvato late Thursday gives the search giant serious skin in server-side ad stitching.

While Anvato provides video editing and file encoding tools, it also ensures content and dynamically inserted ads are delivered properly.

So if a broadcaster wishes to stream content simultaneously to Roku, Amazon Fire and iOS and Android devices, it will get a quality video playback experience cross-device with less latency.

Another side benefit is that server-side technology can circumvent ad blockers because it delivers ads and content in the same pod. Thus, ad blockers can’t block ads without blocking content as well.

“Server-side content and ads look like one, cohesive linear stream and the video player looks like it’s just rendering content,” Matt Smith, chief evangelist for Anvato, told AdExchanger in a recent interview.

Anvato isn’t Google’s only acquisition in this area. It bought server-side ad-insertion provider MDialog in 2014, which Google rolled up into a tool called DoubleClick Dynamic Ad Insertion, released this May. 

“Google wants to be easy for big video companies to work with,” noted Dave Morgan, CEO of TV audience platform Simulmedia. “[They] will probably keep acquiring companies with teams, tech and customers that get them deeper into the market.”

Google, however, is positioning Anvato under the Google Cloud Platform, a separate line of business than the ad-focused DoubleClick.

Google’s stated intent with Anvato is to help businesses in the media and entertainment industry “scale their video infrastructure efforts and deliver high-quality, live video and on-demand content to consumers on any device,” senior product manager Belwadi Srikanth wrote in a blog post.

But Google also wants to own video infrastructure and TV content delivery pipes. For instance, it recently bought internet service provider Webpass, which expanded the Google Fiber footprint in major markets like Miami and San Francisco.

“Google is certainly interested in the television space, and it hasn’t settled out what the exact reason is yet,” said Colin Petrie-Norris, CEO of over-the-top video streaming service Xumo, which is a joint venture of Viant (now under Time Inc.) and Panasonic. “One thing to point out is that delivery of content on over-the-top provides an immediacy of feedback with the consumer in a way that’s different than television.”

Thus, big broadcasters, smart TV platforms like Samsung and Google see potential for the precision targeting afforded by OTT, and are investing for the future.

“You have the ability to make ads more relevant, and you also don’t need [a certain number of ads per hour in OTT] like you do in cable,” he said. “As a result, you get better yield on fewer, more targeted ads.”

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