The company which has pioneered the creation of interactive ads that can reduce ad load and yield higher viewer engagement will get another owner, after Disney off-loaded it.

True[X] is being sold to Gimbal, a technology company focused on using location information to activate ads.

In its announcement, Gimbal says true[X] publisher integrations enhance its own identity solutions – effectively offering it an opportunity to combine online and offline interactions for ad targeting that melds connected TV and out-of-home mobile location signals.

In this video interview from June 2019, which we are republishing today, true[X] president Pooja Midha says: “We really focus on high-attention environments – places where there’s a really engaged consumer on the other end and where we think we can make the experience better.

“We’re actually able to measure brand lift in near real time across the true[X] network on CTV, desktop, mobile for every campaign that we run.”

True[x]’s history

True[X] allows publishers to offer ad buyers interactive ads that it says can lead to higher engagement, allowing publishers to reduce the overall ad volume for viewers that choose to lean in and engage.

Co-founder Joe Marchese had positioned true[X] as an antidote to growing consumer resistance to lengthy ad loads, earning true[X] a sale to 21st Century Fox in 2014 for a reported $200 million.

Customers outside of Fox’s stable have included Turner, Pandora, Hulu, A+E Networks and Twitch, The Wall Street Journal reports.

But, after Disney acquired 21st Century Fox in 2019, it began looking to sell true[X] earlier this year.

Its sale of true[X] coincides with Disney launching its own ad management platform, XP, combining those of its own and Hulu’s assets.

Location + TV

The opportunity for connected TV advertising, and the need for an appropriate ad load, remains evident.

Announcing its acquisition, Gimbal says the true[X] network has seen a 105% increase in connected TV viewing in the first two quarters of 2020. Second-half-of-year US connected TV ad spend is forecast to increase by 59% this year from 2019, eMarketer says.

Comscore recently reported US households streaming OTT content had jumped 17% between April 2018 and April 2020, to 69.8 million. EMarketer in November 2019 forecast that US connected TV ad spending would hit $8.88 billion in 2020 and $14.12 billion by 2023.

US Connected TV Ad Spending, 2019-2023 (billions, % change and % of total media ad spending)

Gimbal offers a points-of-interest database, push marketing capability and local beacons to facilitate location-triggered notification. It supports the creation of location-specific audience segments, campaign attribution from footfall and analytics for real-world locations.

The connection of Gimbal and true[X] would seem to support store visitation attribution back to connected TV ad exposure, and perhaps TV ad selection based on consumers’ gathered location data.

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