Boy, has 2020 been a year – and it’s only March. Many of us are still trying to wrap our heads around everything that has been going on in current events lately. Recently, the most talked about topic is the global coronavirus pandemic that is having a cascading effect across nearly all industries, the digital space included. Priding ourselves on remaining up-to-date on the latest trends in the industry, this unprecedented time is particularly intriguing for our team at Digital Remedy. With guaranteed volatility in store, we look forward to navigating the uncharted digital waters ahead. In order to understand the impact COVID-19 is having in the digital space, it’s important to take stock of the bigger picture; how we got to this point and what factors are playing a role during this transformative period.

Growing Concerns

The growing concern regarding the virus is permeating nearly every aspect of society and forcing people across the world to revise daily routines. In just the last few days, mass gatherings have been prohibited, professional sports leagues have suspended entire seasons, airline bookings have plummeted as a result of strict new travel restrictions, schools have begun switching to online-only classes, and companies have scrambled to streamline operations for remote work. Not to mention, the stock market has been an emotional roller coaster and people everywhere have swiftly been assimilating to home quarantine and practicing social distancing in an effort to “flatten the curve.” As I write this, the top trending hashtag on Twitter is #QuarantineLife, while last week’s was #CancelEverything, supporting the push to cancel all major events and shows in an effort to decrease the spread of the virus. While health concerns are by far the most important priority, it will be interesting to see the change in the dynamics of how consumers are spending their time with media during their increased time at home.

The Quarantine Effect

A coronavirus quarantine, voluntary or mandated, is not easy. It may be a minimum of two weeks of house arrest for an illness you may not have symptoms for, or even have altogether—hopefully, you’ll never get. New additions to the “work from home” population (which made up about 3.6%-5.4% of the U.S. workforce in 20181) are facing challenges with the new arrangement including social isolation, decrease in overall body movement and steps, and technological difficulties with remote meetings. However, it’s also introduced some benefits, such as the ability to make judgment-free fashion choices, significant cuts in commute time (now only having to move between your bed and desk), and, for some, more quality time with pets, an unexpected upside that could help alleviate growing anxieties. Companies with operations tied to out-of-home activity are most affected by this shift in avoiding public human interactions, while a handful of businesses, including ones in home entertainment or food delivery, may even be helped by the health scare. Stay-at-home stocks like, Netflix, Amazon, Slack, Facebook, and Peloton, have seen a bump as usage increases.

The COVID-19 Impact on Streaming

The allure of an almost infinite amount of programming available at our fingertips through streaming services during this time might seem both equally appealing and dangerous (from a productivity standpoint) to the growing number of employees working from home – especially among those looking for a distraction from the apocalyptic style news headlines, confined quarters, and “Hunger Games-esque” quest for toilet paper. The great thing about OTT/CTV is that there’s different programming for every mood (which I’m sure we will all be feeling by the end of this full week of quarantine). Streaming services appear to be the current ideal source for entertainment and are bound to benefit from this increased amount of time at home.

From an advertising perspective, this could be a huge opportunity. Streamers don’t have fixed schedules, so delays in show production leave no obvious holes to patch up. It’s worth noting that, since some services, like Netflix, are subscription-based, meaning revenue doesn’t rise with viewership. It technically doesn’t matter how much content we are watching because Netflix makes its money off of the monthly fees we pay. Netflix’s international subscriptions and revenue growth are increasingly at risk as COVID-19 spreads because streaming is a luxury at a time when paychecks may have stopped for many of its subscribers. Preliminary stats are starting to roll out, showing the growing interest in TV content among consumers.

  • According to Nielsen, Americans stand to watch as much as 60% more television now that increasingly strict coronavirus-related lockdowns and shutdowns are in place in cities around the country
  • 21% of people who signed up for streaming services since the beginning of this year said coronavirus was at least part of the reason they signed up2
  • Over 4 in 10 adults are more likely to stream movies and TV due to COVID-192
  • According to Google, searches for “movies to watch during coronavirus” have increased +900% in the past week in the U.S.

What About Movies?

The TV and film industries heavily rely on their physical operations to produce output. Movie studios have canceled film premieres, delayed productions, and pushed back release dates for films including “No Time to Die,” “Mulan,” and “A Quiet Place Part II” worldwide. Movie theaters that have stayed open have reduced capacity by 50% to allow for spacing between seating. Last weekend’s domestic ticket sales totaled about $55.3 million, the worst period for movie theaters in two decades, according to Comscore. If the outbreak continues and theaters are shut down for longer periods of time, studios may be forced to consider putting releases out through premium video on demand. In fact, Disney decided to bring Frozen 2 to its Disney+ streaming service three months early “surprising families with some fun and joy during this challenging period” this past weekend. NBCUniversal’s recent movie releases including “The Invisible Man”, “The Hunt”, and “Emma” will be available to rent at home as soon as Friday while the upcoming “Trolls World Tour” will be available in-home on April 10, the same day it is scheduled to be released in theaters. Major movie distributors normally adhere to 90-day grace period between films being released in theaters and their availability via on-demand platforms, this “straight-to-streaming” switch from the norm might change the way films are released moving forward.

Sports Get Hit Hard

One of the biggest TV sectors affected is sports. The cancellation and postponement of seasons and games have cost millions in lost ad revenues. The rapid cancellations, which began last Wednesday night, have left networks and marketers reeling, scrambling to determine what happens to their sports-related TV ad buys and trying to fill in unexpected gaps in their schedules. Sports fans are an engaged, loyal, and passionate audience, a key target for advertisers. Eight out of ten people who watch sports have a cable subscription. If there are no live sports to watch, these sports viewers are more likely to cancel their subscription and gravitate towards other forms of entertainment.

Faith Stays Strong

Just as the spread of coronavirus is forcing large numbers of people to embrace telework, telemedicine, and online classes, it’s also pushing some to embrace the idea of live-streaming religious services. According to CNN, Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, one of the hardest hit cities of the U.S., closed its doors last week for the first time since the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918. Moving forward, it plans to hold a service with a small crew of clergy and musicians conducted exclusively via live-stream for the first time in its history.

Increased Usage and Information

It’s a no-brainer that we will see an increase in the amount of internet usage and data consumption over the next few weeks, whether for business purposes or out of boredom, as people seek to maintain communications and stay abreast with the latest news. Realizing that this is an on-going threat, YouTube announced that it will reverse the company’s previous decision to demonetize videos about the coronavirus outbreak. They will start enabling ads for content discussing the coronavirus on a limited number of channels, starting with select news partners and creators first.

Moving Forward

To protect consumers from any potential abuses from U.S. internet service providers during the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, the FCC introduced the Keep Americans Connected Pledge on Friday. In effect for the next 60 days, the pledge asks that companies not terminate service for residential or small business customers, waive any late fees incurred due to the economic effects of the virus, and open access to public Wi-Fi hotspots to “any American who needs them.” Numerous U.S. carriers have also suspended internet data caps during this time. 

It’s hard to say what the long-term effects of this pandemic will be on the media industry, mainly because no one knows how long it will be before things are back to normal. One thing is certain, widespread disruption will continue as both businesses and consumers reconfigure their daily lives. The good news is, in today’s technologically advanced society, it is now so easy to do so much without even leaving your home. With that being said, I leave you with a few reminders while working from home: don’t forget to stand up and stretch, look away from your computer screen periodically, and please don’t hoard all of the toilet paper. 


  1. Global Workplace Analytics’ analysis of 2018 American Community Service (ACS) data and U.S. Census Bureau
  2. eMarketer, “Behind the Numbers” podcast, March 16, 2020

Mike Seiman

Mike Seiman, CEO & Chairman, is the founder of Digital Remedy, a digital media solutions company leading the tech enabled marketing space he co-founded while still a college student at Hofstra University in the early 2000s. The company has grown quickly and is now a major player within the crowded digital advertising landscape. The rapid growth of Digital Remedy, formerly CPXi led to its inclusion on Inc. Magazine’s list of fastest growing privately held advertising/marketing companies in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2014. Mike was selected as a semi-finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year initiative in 2010 and 2013 and as a finalist in 2009 and 2014. In his free time, Mike serves on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Hofstra University. He also focuses on numerous philanthropic initiatives including sitting on the boards of the H.E.S. (Hebrew Educational Society non-profit community center) and Children International, where he spearheaded the development of community centers in both Guayaquil, Ecuador in 2010 and Barranquilla, Colombia in 2014.

David Zapletal

Before graduating in 2005 with degrees in Retail and Consumer Science (with an emphasis in eCommerce) and a Minor in Public Business Administration at the University of Arizona, David Zapletal had already successfully grown a start up ad network from serving an initial 1 million impressions per day to over 10 million impressions per day. It was his deep understanding of internet advertising during the industry’s beginning stages that led him to another start up at the time, CPXi. More than 8 years that have passed and Zapletal currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Digital Remedy. In that role he continues to help grow and implement optimization tactics across various ad serving platforms, oversee daily operations of the account management and trafficking groups and maximizes ROI for Direct Response advertisers as well as for Publishers. Outside of Digital Remedy, Zapletal commits his efforts to an organization called Camp Dream Street, a camping program for children with disabilities, where he serves on the Board of Directors.

Jeff Reitzen

Jeff has worked in multiple facets of the online industry, from sales to operations as well as consumer engagement, content analytics and most recently in data optimization. His career began as a wedding, bar mitzvah, and Sweet 16 DJ where he learned the delicate balance of crowd energy management. Quickly, this skill made him incredibly successful in managing online sales for Geico. He joined CPXi at its startup stage as employee number 4 and has been a key driver of continued growth. His unique knowledge of what converts in the digital ad space, the application of data, and how to optimize platforms for efficiency continues to be invaluable to Digital Remedy clients. Today, Jeff is responsible for innovating and optimizing all Digital Remedy offerings including platforms, systems, tools, and internal processes—ensuring the organization remains on the precipice of the marketplace.

Mike Juhas

Mike Juhas, has over 13+ years of experience in ad tech client services, working with brands, agencies, and publishers ranging from top 10 advertisers to small regional organizations, to rep firms, holding companies and independent shops. An integral member of the Digital Remedy team, Juhas leads all client relationships, including facilitating onboarding and integration, establishing relationship protocols, overseeing Quarterly Business Reviews and status meetings, navigating financial coordination, and overseeing 24/7 team support. His specialties include consultative services, planning strategy, and account management disciplines. Juhas lives in New Canaan, CT with his wife and two daughters, and their dog, Perry–the unofficial company mascot.

TJ Sullivan

TJ Sullivan has over 20 years of media sales and leadership experience. His knowledge of the digital media landscape, ability to develop strategic solutions that solve brand challenges, and talent for motivating sales teams, have made him a vital member of several media and ad tech organizations. Before joining Digital Remedy, Sullivan was VP, Connections at iHeart Media, a cross-divisional group that enabled national advertisers to seamlessly work with multiple iHeart business units; CRO of Reelcontent, a video distribution company for brands; SVP of sales at AdoTube, a video ad network; and was Co-Founder and SVP of video measurement company, OpenSlate—for which he is still an advisor.

Sullivan had served as the President of 212, New York’s Interactive Advertising Club, and currently advises many early stage start-ups in the programmatic and video space. Notably, RUN (sold to Publicis in 2014), Futures Media, Transmit.Live, and Kubient.

Outside of his work in the media industry, Sullivan sits on the Board of St. Elizabeth School in Wyckoff, New Jersey and the Advancement Committee of St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, New Jersey. He resides in New Jersey with his wife and four children.

IP Zone: Leverage the relationship between users and the location of their IP addresses in a cookie-free, safe and scalable way.

Behavioral: Combine first party with network analytics and enormous scale to define custom audience channels that are optimized to sites with high brand engagement.

Demographic: Reach the right audience based on demographic characteristics such as age, gender and income.

Mobile Device: Target users by mobile device type (Smartphone, tablet, etc.), carrier and operating system.

Geo-Location: Target your audience residential cluster, proximity to retail locations, campaign level DMAs and more.

Contextual: Place a relevant ad in front of a user who is reading content that contains specific terms.

Buying Power and Quality

Let’s be honest. Your ad ops are limited by your access to only a handful of channels and DSPs. You want more reach and better prices, but don’t want to sacrifice quality in order to achieve those goals. Digital Remedy has access to a vast multitude of channels based on relationships we’ve cultivated over nearly 20 years in business. That means we get the best prices, have personal relationships, and don’t get sent to voicemail when we call.

It also means that we can execute omni-channel ad ops for better prices than an internal team, while ensuring the quality is up to industry standards. On top of access to all sorts of specific audiences we’re able to to leverage first- and third-party data across all your campaigns and pivot across platforms based on results. Any campaign, any budget, any platform, any audience. Digital Remedy backed by AdReady is restriction free ad ops….and what could be better than that?

Resources, Time, and Overhead

When was the last time you enjoyed balancing budgets, reading resumes, dealing with aggressive sales teams, or wasting years of time for small gains in performance. By partnering with Digital Remedy you get the full support of $30m in OPEX including marketing teams, sales teams, and a dedicated 24/7 ad operations team. No hiring new employees for media optimization, business development, or account management. No months of training and on-boarding. No long meetings crafting sales materials. Just your team focused on making deals, and our teams and tech focused on supporting and executing those deals in a tech-enabled, digital ecosystem designed to get the most out of any KPI.

Reporting and Support

How nice would it be to have all of your data and insights in one location. We don’t mean an excel sheet sent out once a week with complicated charts, or an XML file with pages and pages and pages of tables (what is this, 2003?). We mean a fully customizable dashboard reporting in real time, or as real time as possible. You get to decide the how, what, and when of the reporting you’re seeing. And that’s ALL of the how, what, and when’s. If you want to see breakouts of all of the individual campaigns in your system, done. If you want broad scope comparisons of all of the campaigns in the last year, done. If you want to see CTR’s for specific audiences and compare them to CPM for your best performing advertiser but limit the scope to campaigns greater than 30k, done. All of this is at your fingertips with the AdReady Dashboard, all in one place.

Jessica Cortapasso

With more than a decade of experience in human capital management, Jessica Cortapasso serves as SVP, People at Digital Remedy. After graduating from Muhlenberg College, she quickly recognized her passion for people and entered the workforce in Human Resources where she gained expertise in employee relations, designing strategic benefit plans, and the development, implementation, and curation of corporate engagement initiatives for big-name brands and small companies alike. Becoming a member of the Digital Remedy family in 2013 while simultaneously acquiring her Masters Degree in Human Resources Management and Development from New York University, Jessica has steered company culture through significant events ranging from acquisitions and a rebranding, to the development and application of our Core Values that shape our daily business practices. Cortapasso resides in Brooklyn, plays competitive volleyball, and loves spending time with her nieces.

Erez Feld

Responsible for the financial and legal practices of Digital Remedy, Erez brings 22 years of experience in precision financial analysis, growth management practices, strategic acquisition, and investment leadership. A graduate of Hofstra University, Erez began his career modeling for corporate finance, and expanded his accounting prowess in the real estate sector. Erez joined Digital Remedy in 2008 as a senior accountant, and helped to create and build an accounting department that could support the rapid growth of the company and aligned with those needs. Over the past 12 years he has evolved through various positions at the company within the finance discipline, supervising and mentoring additional finance personnel, while growing under the tutelage of Michael Fleischman, former CFO of Digital Remedy. Today, he leads the Finance Department by supporting high-level projects such as acquisitions and restructuring, and is responsible for overseeing all financial assets, establishing financial procedures, controls, and reporting systems.

Michael Fleischman

After a successful career as an accomplished Fortune 500 financial professional leading Corporate Finance and Strategic Planning at Cablevision Systems Corporation and its programming subsidiary Rainbow Media Holdings, Michael currently plays a role in the overall management of Digital Remedy including direct responsibility for all financial-related activities including accounting, financial planning, M&A, legal, insurance, real estate and banking relationships. Michael brings more than 25 years of media experience at Cablevision and Rainbow Media and during his career was instrumental in the launching and managing of a number of cable television networks including 10 Regional Sports Networks across the US, American Movie Classics, Bravo, and the Independent film channel as well as the structuring of corporate partnerships with companies including Liberty Media, NBC, Fox/NewsCorp and MGM. Additionally, he was the finance lead on a number of professional sports team acquisitions including Madison Square Garden, the successful IPO of Cablevision and a tracking stock at Rainbow Media.Michael was involved in the creation and launch of Rainbow Advertising Sales which was one of the Cable Industry’s first Local Advertising Sales Divisions.

Tony Pascal

With over two decades of experience in the design, product, and technology space, Tony joined Digital Remedy as a graphic designer in 2007. His responsibilities quickly expanded, landing him in leadership roles across multiple disciplines including creative direction, analytics, monetization optimization, and management of platform development. He continued to grow with the organization over the last fourteen years, overseeing all design, development, and execution of Digital Remedy products and platforms. In his current role as SVP, Product & Technology, Tony leads product and technology development for the company and acts as the go-to liaison across teams, ensuring alignment on all aspects of internal and client-facing technology initiatives.

Prior to Digital Remedy, Tony built and ran his own direct response company from 2002-2007 after graduating from New York Institute of Technology, where he learned the fundamentals of digital advertising and optimization strategies that still remain relevant today.

In a previous life, Tony was a ski instructor and still remains an avid skier today. When he is not leading product development, he can be found working on old cars, rock climbing and hitting the slopes.

Gayle Meyers

Gayle Meyers is an entrepreneur, venture partner, investor, and operating resource in the digital media and marketing industry, with over two decades of executive leadership experience. After launching a management consulting firm, Growthing which is focused on optimizing growth strategies for executive leaders and their organizations, Meyers has frequently been tapped for high-profile consulting and advisory positions to help marketing technology companies enhance their in-market presence.

“Gayle is widely recognized as a leading strategist with years of expertise in the ad tech space,” said Mike Seiman, Chairman and CEO of Digital Remedy. “Her career in discovering and integrating game-changing technologies in the marketing industry will serve as an invaluable resource as we continue to enhance our product suite in the months ahead.”

With expertise spanning multiple disciplines, Meyers frequently serves as a keynote speaker at industry conferences for companies such as Google, Verizon, Omnicom, LiveRamp, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Oracle. A list of her notable past clients who have benefitted from her unique insights to increase shareholder value includes Tinuiti (acquired by New Mountain Capital), Adometry (acquired by Google), MediaForge (acquired by Rakuten), Integral Ad Science (acquired by Vista Equity Partners), and Tapad (acquired by Telenor).

Matt Sotebeer

With 14+ years of experience in ad tech and emerging technologies, Matt Sotebeer brings an uniquely innovative approach in his role as Chief Strategy Officer at Digital Remedy. As CSO, Matt focuses on the intersection between the product, product marketing, tech, data, and sales teams, while fostering productive cross-functional company-wide relationships to inform and influence sales, educate clients, and optimize company performance.

Matt has an extensive knowledge in the integration of data science, creative, and media solutions to drive sustainable growth for companies, with a focus on designing customized, scalable solutions leveraging machine learning alongside human intelligence. Throughout the tenure of his career, he has successfully managed global teams aligned to common goals, encouraged collaborative problem solving, and supported talent growth for entrepreneurial companies including MiQ, Rocket Fuel, and Audience Science.

Jeremy Haft

A proven strategic, revenue, and team leader with over 20 years of experience managing and scaling revenue in the competitive ad tech landscape, Jeremy serves as Chief Revenue Officer at Digital Remedy.

Before joining the team in October 2022, he served as CRO at Channel Factory, where he reorganized the revenue team for sustainable growth and increased the sales team by 3x to drive predictable and more accountable revenue. Prior to that, he served in a decade of leadership positions. Most notably, as SVP of Sales at Amobee and as VP of North America Sales at Viant/Adelphic. At both organizations, Jeremy successfully built and scaled platform and business solutions from their infancy to achieve the desired corporate goals.

Jeremy graduated from The University of Vermont and currently resides in New Jersey with his wife and two children. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling to tropical locations, dining out, cooking feasts with friends, and any new fitness trend he can get his hands on.