The headache of creating and scaling video across multiple connected TV platforms is real.
Innovid launched its antidote on Thursday, a self-serve tool called OTT Composer that helps publishers quickly whip up customizable video assets and distribute them across over-the-top (OTT) devices and channels without having to make tweaks to meet each platform’s creative requirements.
Hulu is using the product to ease the friction that always comes along when new ad formats enter the scene. Peter Naylor, Hulu’s SVP of ad sales, said he hopes the tool will motivate other publishers to recognize the importance of interactive ads across the OTT landscape.
“People will come to expect that ads are interactive,” Naylor said. “This is a creative imperative, not a creative opportunity.”
But heeding that creative imperative can be challenging in new environments. Facebook made it easy for advertisers to build and buy ads on its platform, which led to massive scale, and that’s what Innovid is attempting here for advanced ads on television, said Tal Chalozin, Innovid’s CTO and co-founder.
OTT Composer looks and works a bit like video editing software – think Final Cut Pro, with three layers placed on a drag-and-drop timeline. There’s the canvas, the overlay (or call to action) and what Chalozin calls “the holy grail”: the interactive element.
In addition to allowing brands to deliver their interactive ads on all OTT devices and channels, including Roku, Apple TV, Samsung, Amazon Fire, PlayStation, Hulu and Fox's true[X], the tool gives marketers access to Innovid’s analytics so they can to see how well their ad is performing across platforms and shift resources accordingly.
Video publishing platform Future Today was one of the first companies to test OTT Composer when it was in beta in May. Future Today uses the tool to create click-to-install interactive units for brands.
“The time for us to deploy a new campaign used to be several weeks,” said Vikrant Mathur, co-founder of Future Today. “Now, we’re ramping up to the point where we delivered three campaigns in the last week.”
OTT Composer also lets advertisers create a better interactive experience for consumers, Mathur said.
“It takes away friction points for a consumer,” he said. “In the past, a consumer would have to remember the name of the app [we’re advertising] and find it in an app store. It was a more cumbersome process for the user. [But] these [interactive ads] don’t take away from the content consumption experience.”