Innovid Choosing Pre-Roll To Grow Platform Says CEO Netter

InnovidZvika Netter is CEO of Innovid, an online video technology platform. How has the company pivoted its strategy since its inception?  What have been some of the external factors at work?

A year ago, we entered the market with an interactive video platform capable of turning any video into an engaging interactive experience. Towards the end of 2009, we decided to focus all of our efforts behind our iRoll product – the interactive pre-roll. The reason is SCALE. People buy & sell pre-roll in mass scale more then any other video format. So we took it one step further and added the much-needed “i” of interactivity to pre-roll.

What problem is Innovid solving?

We are solving two problems:

  1. Advertisers using the web as distribution only platform for their “TV ads.”
  2. Advertisers are paying for “internet” (interactive) media while leveraging close to 0% of what it actually has to offer.

Who do you see in your competitive set today? How is Innovid differentiating itself?

I would assume that rich media vendors are our “classical” competitors even though they do not offer a similar solution to ours. Some ad networks offer interactivity in pre-rolls, while most of them are now also certified to run iRoll based on their clients demand.

Our differentiation is Focus and Scale. We’re the leading/only tech platform vendor focusing 100% on interactive video for advertisers and, more specifically now, – interactive pre-roll = iRoll. This allowed us to achieve massive publisher integration in the US, including leading publishers/networks like NBC, MTV, Turner, Scripps, Tremor Media and others.

No other vendor achieved this to-date – and it allows us to offer advertisers to run their iRoll campaigns with wide reach across publishers and networks – something that the competition (vendors or networks can’t).

To support our growth, we developed a set of tools to enable professionals to create these experiences (see screenshots here:

From your perspective, what’s the hold up with moving brand advertising online?  -And in online video advertising, in particular?

Making the process of buying in large scale over multiple publishers while providing some added value over television.

Why choose to develop a pre-roll product as opposed to other video ad product formats?

It’s simple, people get it, people accept it. Buyers and sellers feel comfortable buying and selling it. In 2009, we experimented with many other options, while achieving great WOW factor on a per project basis, there was no way we could achieve scale with these niche products. We believe there’s a place for them and we’ll offer them when relevant but can’t build a major company based on these other options.

Do you allow advertisers to append data and target audience, or is it placement/site based?

Yes we do, based on data we receive from the publisher, we’re able to change the creative on the fly – we call it “iRoll dynamic.” Ads can also be changed from day-to-day and also dynamically-based on brand data.

Is Innovid profitable? Will you raise a new round of financing anytime soon?

We’re scaling very fast and keep investing in our platform and strategic distribution partnerships (more to come soon). While focusing 100% on execution of our business plan, we enjoy the support and excitement of our current VC investors. When the right strategic/financial investor comes by – we’ll be open for dialogue.

A year from now, what milestones would you like to have seen Innovid accomplish?

  • Massive reach – the Innovid platform integrated into most of the top publishers.
  • Having some iRoll features as part of almost any major brand pre-roll campaign
  • Few strategic (media) partners who resell our products to their clients and provide services using our tools
  • Expansion to Europe
  • Live iRoll campaigns on mobile and connected TV’s

Follow Innovid (@innovid) and (@adexchanger).

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