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Solving for Challenges in CTV Ad Serving – Part 1

In a Q&A that appeared in ExchangeWire, Unruly’s Erhard Neumann, Managing Director of our Spearad ad serving and unified auction platform, discussed the current state of CTV and how TV broadcasters and CTV/OTT content providers can address industry challenges. We’ve divided the interview into quick-hit reads to keep you in the know…fast.

PART 1: Identifying the Key Issues

What are the key issues affecting the CTV viewer experience today? How have these evolved over the course of the past two years?

I would start with frequency capping, which is such a hot topic, particularly in video-on-demand, because we all know the experience of seeing the same ad over and over again. To me, it’s more a problem of volume in that there are not enough quality ads available and therefore, no way to prevent sending out the same ad again and again. To avoid this, we may need to introduce other mechanics. One example could be, especially on AVOD, reducing the length of the ad break if the platform doesn’t have high-quality ads to fill it.

The other thing that I see is that many publishers rely 100% on third-party monetization platforms without leveraging the benefits of an ad server. In many cases, they are trying to maximize their monetization partners, but what can happen is the publisher sends one ad call and may get the same ad from four or five different demand sources, with no technology controlling the ad. The system sometimes doesn’t even know that it sends the same ad repeatedly.

We believe we need to resolve this from the technology side, potentially via a unique ad ID, which means that whenever the ID comes in, we see that it has already been used, and then we can cut it off to prevent ad duplication. Using an ad server or an ad decisioning system that controls the full ad break, to know which ad is placed in the first position, second, third, and so on, is another way to solve this problem.