Whenever an opportunity arises, you can be sure that someone is maximizing it for their own benefit. The media landscape is no exception. Recently the desire to maximize profit while sacrificing quality has manifested itself in the CTV/OTT landscape. Due to the tremendous growth in user base and revenues, the streaming TV space is quickly becoming one of the cornerstones of digital media. Those of us in the industry have been keeping a close eye on how the supply of inventory is keeping up (or not) with the demand for space. The story here is a little concerning.

The amount of available CTV/OTT inventory quickly outpaced the demand of the advertisers, and in response, the amount of available inventory has sharply increased over the last two years. Global OTT viewer growth is up 16.9% in 2019, and time spent by US adults watching digital media (lead by CTV and set-top boxes) has surpassed time spent watching traditional media.

More users + more time spent by users = more inventory. Everyone wants in on the hot ‘new’ thing, and it would be foolish for any publisher or platform to turn down the potential huge revenue boosts. The phenomenon of massive increases in inventory has continued without much regard for the validity of the actual supply. Due to the lack of standardized governing body, it’s up to advertisers to hold publishers and platforms accountable for the quality and validity of their inventory. This is a problem.

For instance, Roku is in a fierce battle for dollars while their platform is very open.  Today, they allow publishers to easily create a channel without much friction.  This ease to launch a channel invites bad characters to create an APP and spoof traffic as if it is OTT.  We all know many data protection and verification services are playing catch up in a difficult video environment due the execution methods.

Using our experience in the CTV/OTT space we’ve noticed some trends in the data. We’ve discovered that the largest single issue is CTV/OTT supply being spoofed when in actuality its general mobile app traffic. A recent emarketer report exposed that 19% of worldwide OTT impressions were invalid.

It isn’t the minor leagues that are having issues adapting to the trending OTT marketplace. Major players such as ROKU, Apple, Amazon, and others have fallen behind on locking down their platforms and implementing better security measures to entice advertisers to work directly with them. None of these platforms support the new app-ads.txt, a recent anti-fraud initiative aimed at reducing the amount of imposters taking advertisers OTT dollars. Google, on the other hand, supports it.

Nor does there seem to be a formalized framework with DSPs to check the validity of a ROKU channel.  A perfect example is the APP “HONKY TONKY.”  You might see it on a report as a ROKU bundled (channel); however, you can’t even access it on ROKU’s platform.  You get an error message (see below); however, ROKU’s site has it listed which helps validate the channel.

We identified over two dozen channels operating in this very nature.  To combat this we have actively searched out and found ancillary data to immediately spot red flags, where we then conduct a manual review.  In addition, we only partner with trusted fully vetted sources that offer full transparency. The quality and value of an ad space is dependent on that ad reaching the right audiences. If the inventory is phony, fake, illegitimate, and of general poor quality we can be guaranteed that the overall reputation of the space will decline, and revenues and profits along with it. The land of CTV/OTT is murky so buyer beware.

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 VP of Human Resources 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.