Sometimes you have to push the envelope and concentrate on innovating, other times listening to the market is more of a priority. For the fast-growing Innovid, right now it’s time for the latter six years after releasing its first connected-TV product.
Having helped to create Innovid 11 years ago to transform video experiences on the advertising side, “It’s finally here if you look at connected television. We see dramatic changes in that environment,” CEO & Co-Founder Zvika Netter says in this interview with Beet.TV. Among other topics, he discusses Innovid’s participation in special sessions featuring a roster of industry leaders at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity later this month.
Citing companies like Netflix, Roku and Amazon, Netter observes, “if you see what they’re doing, they’re basically working on the experience. It’s the selection, it’s the quality of the content, the personalization, how you navigate. Companies are trading in the billions just because they pay attention to the user and optimizing their experience.”
What Innovid is about is “exactly that for advertising,” Netter adds. “How do we create the technology and the process and structure to create a better balance between advertising and content?”
If done correctly, this balancing act produces winners in the form of viewers, publishers and advertisers. “We work with all three contingencies. We’re in a great spot in the middle and we’re growing very fast.”
Earlier this year, Innovid secured $30 million in funding from Goldman Sachs to help expand its global footprint, and the company recently hired 60 more people. “We built a three-year plan to keep expanding the company both from a product offering but also geographically,” including in Japan, Spain and soon Germany.
“Connected TV is everywhere physically in the world. There are similar needs on that front,” Netter says.
At the upcoming Cannes Lions gathering, Innovid is bringing together a host of industry notables to gain a more complete understanding of the needs of marketers, agencies and publishers. Participants in the June 19 series of discussions include representatives of the ANA, IAB and The Ad Council, along with executives from Accenture, Comcast, Disney, Hulu, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Roku and Xandr, among others.
“It finally has enough scale for them to care about it to have a conversation and see what the industry really needs,” Netter says of connected-TV. “It’s not just about us pushing the great next feature to buy something from your TV to your phone. It’s actually listening to CMO’s and publishers and understand what do they need, what do they care about these days and addressing that.”