The emerging world of connected TV (CTV) advertising often seems to create as many challenges as it does opportunities.

Case in point – the ability to target ads in CTV also creates new management tasks around the traditional TV ad “pod”.

That is according to one seasoned video ad-tech exec. In this video interview with Beet.TV,  Mike Baker, who co-founded dataxu and then sold it to Roku last year, discusses the approaches that need to be taken.

The commercial break

Baker says differences in the way linear and connected TV manage commercial breaks sometimes leave CTV needing improvement.

“The ad pod is well-managed in linear TV environments (but), due to the way the CTV plumbing works … repetitive ads can sort of pour into the same ad pod,” he says.

He blames factors like app engineering, stream encoding, app makers’ decisions, broadcaster factors and splits on inventory often conflicting.

As a solution, he advocates a “standardized taxonomy” for ads, Ad-ID, being brought to CTV, “so we can have a better consumer experience”.

Beyond spots

It’s bigger than plumbing, however.

Baker hails work being done at companies like Hulu and Roku to go beyond the traditional interstitial commercial break experience, “with more creative integrations into the viewer experience”, and work from outfits like IRIS TV and Pixability which crunch YouTube videos to make descriptive signals that describe their inner content.

Baker joined the board of Pixability in March 2020 after his dataxu was sold to Roku for $150 million. The company aims to increase brand suitability for YouTube ad buyers – something Baker says is important since a growing proportion of YouTube viewing is now carried out on TV sets.

In fact, Nielsen Streaming Meter says, of the 25% of TV time spent with streaming video, 20% goes to YouTube, making it the second-most-watched digital video platform after Netflix.

Accordingly, YouTube’s CTV ad revenue is growing fast.

US Connected TV Ad Spending, by Company, 2019-2022 (billions)

Behold, the contextual graph?

All of which makes the efficacy of YouTube ad sales all the more important.

Companies like Pixability and IRIS TV aim to turn video content into metadata signals, surfaced in buying platforms, that ad buyers can leverage or swerve. They are enabling the new wave of “contextual” video ad targeting.

“Companies like dataxu were innovators in creating a consumer data graph,” Baker says of his old firm.

“But I think it’s time for a context graph and not just for Google to create its federated learning of cohorts. Really, everybody should be working on how the creative fit of the advertising and the content go together.”

You are watching “Driving Reach and Results on Connected TV,” a Beet.TV leadership series presented by Pixability. For more videos, please visit this page.