If 2017 looked like an early point at which to make a big play into connected TV, 2021 looks like being the year when investment pays off.

For some time, CTV was a powerful but challenging opportunity – the promise to target individual households, if only a host of interconnectivity issues could be overcome.

But, in this video interview with Beet.TV, Eric Hoffert, SVP, Video Technology, Xandr, says this is the year ahead is when Xandr aims to pull together the various investments it has made in the last four years.

CTV journey

“We started our connected TV marketplace in 2017 when the market was really just starting to take off,” Hoffert says.

“Since that time, we have focused on a number of areas to get to market with a very strong, connected TV offering for buyers.”

Xandr’s two key platforms are:

  • Monetize: a selling platform that media companies use to unlock inventory value, incorporating yield analytics, ad serving and Xandr’s acquisition of Clypd to enable data-driven linear ad buys.
  • Invest: a buying platform which can support use of first-party data to enable data-driven ad buys, incorporating its Invest TV variant and InvestDSP software.

‘Treasure trove’

“Over the last three years or so, we have assembled an extraordinary number of high-quality programmers and broadcasters on the sell side,” Hoffert says.

“Whether it’s a vMVPD for streaming TV services or a premier broadcaster or programmer, or a pure-play OTT service – (in) all three categories we have strong inventory access available.”

Xandr emerged after AT&T’s acquisition of ad-tech firm AppNexus – the Big Bang for what is now an expanding luxury of opportunity available to Xandr itself.

“We had the opportunity to be able to tap into a treasure trove of first party data from AT&T, and we’ve been able to integrate that into our CTV offering with a very powerful cross device capability, including a very rich and powerful device graph behind that,” Hoffert adds.

Curated TV

In a year when connected TV growth was accelerated further by stay-at-home orders, Hoffert reports “incredible” growth in cross-device ad viewing.

And, he says, in a landscape where navigating the new supply sources can be difficult for advertisers used to traditional TV, ad buyers want to benefit from curated offerings.

They would group connected TV inventory by characteristics like genre or vertical, rather than leaving buying open to manual precision-targeting alone, although the techniques can be combined.

You are watching “Where We Go From Here: The Lessons and Opportunities of 2020, ” a Beet.TV leadership series presented by Xandr. For more videos, please visit this page.