Home Digital TV and Video TripleLift Aims To Insert Itself Into The CTV Conversation Using Native Ads

TripleLift Aims To Insert Itself Into The CTV Conversation Using Native Ads


TripleLift claims it’s the world’s largest source of in-feed inventory. It built a server-side header-bidding wrapper specifically for native ads in 2017 and has a portfolio of in-feed native ad units to help publishers monetize.

But can the same ad experience work for CTV?

Although Netflix is planning to dismount from its ad-free high horse to deal with its subscriber slump, the fact is most viewers don’t want to be interrupted by ads.

That’s why native product placements could be a viable alternative to interruptive ad experiences – and a cash cow for CTV publishers, said Michael Shields, GM of CTV at TripleLift.

“There’s a hundred billion dollars of global TV ad spend that won’t have enough places to go if consumers [continue to] opt into platforms with no ads or fewer ads,” he said.

But inserting ads in programming is hard. It’s “not [very] scalable and it’s hard to execute,” Shields admitted.

The question is whether it’s worth the effort.


TripleLift has been serving native ads in other channels, such as mobile, for the past decade. But in 2019, the company brought on Shields as GM of CTV to try building a native biz for the big screen.

It started with testing. TripleLift “canvassed the marketplace” for four to five months, Shields said, then put together a control group of viewers to track their attention on-screen using eye-tracking technology.

TripleLift then used machine learning to analyze the data and identify potential spots for on-screen placements, Shields said.


AdExchanger Daily

Get our editors’ roundup delivered to your inbox every weekday.

After determining the best moments within an episode to trigger a product placement, TripleLift uses AI to render 2D and 3D images and server-side ad insertion technology to place the image via a VAST tag. Afterward, TripleLift tracks video completion rates, brand lift, social engagement and the level of binge-watching.

In October, TripleLift partnered with Amagi, a cloud-based software provider for broadcast and CTV, so it could insert branded imagery programmatically into episodes of CTV programming.

Meanwhile, 1plusX, the first-party data management platform TripleLift acquired in March, provides additional contextual-based audience data to help find relevant ad spots, Shields said.

Pics or it didn’t happen

For now, TripleLift’s CTV ambitions are more aspirational than actual. It’s laying the groundwork and building its case to attract ad dollars.

In 2021, TripleLift released a study that found when brands pair a 30-second CTV ad pod with a 10-second product placement, the result is a 67% increase in brand lift. In comparison, brands with two 30-second slots saw a 51% increase.

Brand recall is also higher because “people are more engaged when the programming is in-screen,” said Shields, who noted that programmatic product placements are even more effective when paired with a traditional ad spot.

Buyers “don’t have to buy as many commercials, and it yields better outcomes,” he said.

It’s a good playbook – but it’s unclear how many brands have played.

A TripleLift spokesperson told AdExchanger the company works with “dozens of content owners and streaming platforms,” including Vevo, Tastemade and Whistle TV, in addition to “early adopter brands,” such as Gray Whale Gin and FAT Brands-owned Johnny Rockets and Fatburger. So far, TripleLift can integrate ad opportunities into more than 48,000 episodes of CTV content.

But TripleLift declined to disclose how much advertisers are spending on programmatic ad placements or how much revenue it’s generated from the offering. TripleLift also declined to share an estimate of how many of its more than 1,000 digital publishing customers have used the offering.

Part of the challenge is a lot of ad tech companies have started to claim they have CTV advertising chops, and the space is very noisy. Companies, especially those that aren’t native to the TV space (pun intended), need to prove to advertisers their solutions are effective before they can get a foot in the market.

Magnite, for example, started off as a display-focused SSP and had to make big investments in video supply-side tech before it could legitimately claim itself to be a real CTV player.

Today, CTV makes up one-third of Magnite’s revenue.

Must Read

Forget ROAS? The New Retail Metrics Game

Hey Readers, Welcome back to the AdExchanger Commerce Media Newsletter. Thanks for reading! This week, we’re examining the challenges involving online ad metrics. Which are, for the most part, relics of a bygone age. Take last-touch attribution or when a passing glance at half an ad gets rubber-stamped as viewable. And don’t get me started […]


Perion Shutters Content IQ, Its Made-For-Advertising Division

Laptop fans can rest a little easier. A network of well-known MFA sites operated by Perion-owned Content IQ have been taken offline.

‘Incrementality’ Is The Buzzword That Stole Prog IO

Well, that’s a wrap on Programmatic IO Las Vegas 2024! The AdExchanger editorial hopped on stage for a live recording of The Big Story to round up all the moments that made us go “a-ha” this week, including observations on commerce media, CTV and generative AI.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters

Paramount And Shopsense Add Programmatic Demand To Their Shoppable Ad Network

What if the new storefront is a person sitting on their couch and scrolling their phone?

Scott’s Miracle-Gro Is Seeing Green With Retail Media

It’s lawn season – and you know what that means. Scott’s Miracle-Gro commercials, of course. Except this time, spots for Scott’s will be brought to you by The Home Depot’s retail media network.

Walled Garden Platforms Are Drowning Marketers In Self-Attributed Sales

Sales are way up; ROAS is through the roof across search, social and ecommerce. At least, that’s what the ad platforms say.