Connected TV: Looking Beyond the COVID-19 Opportunity to the Post-Cookie World

July 1, 2020 — by Jeremy Steinberg


This post originally went live on our SOURCE partner LiveRamp’s blog here. 

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, a dramatic increase in time spent consuming media accelerated a shift to over-the-top (OTT) content on connected TV (CTV) devices, as daily consumer behavior started to resemble that of the weekend with more individuals staying at home. Streaming services were up 40%, smartphone use up 34%, and content consumption on the internet was up 34% in March, according to Advertiser PerceptionsFurther, research from the IAB demonstrates that when it comes to changes in targeting tactics in Q2OTT/CTV device targeting saw the second biggest increase next to audience targeting.

CTV supply and viewership are up

With brands pulling back spend, there are fewer advertisers in the space with budgets despite more viewers at home watching CTV than ever before. This means less inventory demand than there’s ever been and, simultaneously, more supply, which has allowed prices to drop. Within the MediaMath platform, inventory supply for CTV grew 20% over the month of February, with an increasing portion of buys shifting towards mobile in-app CTV, further demonstrating industry trends being influenced by COVID-19.

We can’t be 100% certain but based on preliminary studies, we can predict how consumption behaviors may change or accelerate in the long-term due to the adaptations and disruptions sustained during COVID-19. For example, cord-cutting was already a trend before the pandemic and will continue as we enter subsequent phases of reopening. But even more important to highlight is that consumers are no longer relying on just one or two ways of consuming TV content, but rather are using a combination of different platforms, often across different devices and at different points in time. With new types of platforms and content on the horizon, TV content has become truly on-demand—not just with respect to time viewed but also across devices and platforms used to view the content.

CTV is a critical channel for maintaining addressability

CTV will also be a critical channel in the post-third-party cookie world as marketers look to achieve greater addressability. First-party identity, based on user-authentication and respect for privacy preferences, will be the path forward. Pseudonymous identifiers, such as LiveRamp IdentityLink®, are rooted in this type of user authentication and will offer addressability in browsers and channels where third-party cookies are restricted.

So how do marketers make the most of the CTV opportunity, both as we continue to navigate COVID-19 and beyond to a post-cookie world? The key is to treat CTV holistically and create a strategy that includes all screens and formats (video and display).

To do that, you need an identity graph that includes a notion of how CTVs associate with users and their other devices. These connections enable true omnichannel marketing and measurement—all while making the following capabilities possible:

  • Extension of your first-party data to CTV
  • Audience targeting on CTV, including demographic and behavioral targeting
  • Reach and frequency management across all devices
  • Omnichannel sequential messaging
  • Driving ROI on CTV brand awareness spend by retargeting users on other devices
  • Capturing OTT viewership—CTV content viewed not just on your TV, but on other digital devices too

An identity graph can also add a household-level association to people and devices. For CTV, this enables more powerful attribution and features that appeal to linear buyers such as:

  • Increased incremental reach on TV buys (which is critical due to audience fragmentation on linear content)
  • The ability to reach cord-cutters and cord-nevers (viewers who are traditionally unreachable on linear) or light TV viewers who may not have been exposed to your linear TV commercial
  • Measurement that is more holistic across devices and tells a true cross-screen customer engagement story

Managing identity is critical to CTV

Managing identity is the critical step in making the most of the CTV opportunity. Here’s an example of a full-funnel, omnichannel campaign that transforms CTV spend into ROI:

  1. Awareness: A customer is part of a loyalty program and sees an ad on their CTV, driving awareness of a new product.
  2. Interest: They get sequential ads on their phone about a holiday promotion.
  3. Consideration: This piques their interest, so they check out the site, but don’t buy anything.
  4. Purchase: ID #1234 receives ads on their laptop reminding them of the sale, and makes a purchase!

We have much work to do and much change ahead of us as we navigate both the next phases of COVID-19 and the deprecation of third-party cookies. Throughout both, CTV will continue to be an increasingly important channel for a marketer’s mix as they endeavor to reach consumers with relevance and respect.


TechBytes with Anudit Vikram SVP of Product at MediaMath

June 29, 2020 — by MediaMath


This interview originally appeared on MarTech Series

Hi Anudit, tell us about your experience as a Product Management leader in AdTech during a lockdown crisis?

Covid-19 has changed the rules of the game with businesses re-aligning their priorities to address the suddenly changed needs of their customers. The key to success in these times is clear communication across the organization, ensuring everyone understands and is on the same page with the new objectives. At MediaMath, our team is set up to change course in required direction swiftly.

How do you relay your ideas and managerial expectations with your team? Any tool, app or solutions that have helped you meet ad tech demands faster?

The current situation has amplified the need for clarity in communication. More so for people taking on new roles or joining new organizations. We used to get together in a meeting room around a whiteboard, or over lunch. Now it has to be done virtually.  Building new relationships through purely virtual means has its challenges. Video conferencing certainly helps since it gives a sense of body language and receptivity to an idea. Long-form writing is becoming more relevant so that plans, ideas and expectations are properly detailed.

Programmatic ad tech marketplace is bursting with energy and optimism. Which ad formats would rule the space in the coming week, and why?

Within the COVID context, the boon and the bane for programmatic advertising is its flexibility. Programmatic advertising allows marketers to adjust campaigns on demand and shift ad budgets to new and emerging channels on demand. We started to see brands and agencies moving their budgets to channels like CTV. It is the very same flexibility which enables advertisers to run a test in a programmatic channel with ease, tweak program goals and desired outcomes in real-time, with preferred financial commitments. Dynamic Creative Optimization with its ability to tailor messaging in real-time is set up well for these times and, of course, with the increase in video content consumption, video ad formats are certainly seeing an uptick.

We hear that gaming experiences are driving customers to experiment a lot with various ad formats. Any advice to publishers and advertisers looking to monetize gaming platforms to deliver ad experiences?

The greatest advantage of in-game advertising is that it is unlike traditional advertising media which are essentially passive and offer mainly one-way communication—from the advertiser to the consumer – games are inherently an interactive medium and user interaction with the ad is more detailed. From the game publisher’s perspective, this means they can create a very engaging monetization vehicle and provide more in-depth metrics into the consumer’s interaction with the ad. For the brand, this provides a great channel for direct communication with their target consumer.


Learn Anytime, Anywhere During The Great Pause

June 22, 2020 — by Laura Rodriguez-Costacamps

It’s the middle of what has turned out to be a chaotic, confusing and concerning year on multiple levels. These days, I feel like every meeting, every email, every blog post, every work DM starts with a genuine, “I hope you’re well” and is followed up with a deep sigh.

Still, this time in history is also being referred to as The Great Pause. While all of the craziness of our lives is now compressed into an even a shorter amount of time in an even smaller space—and don’t I know it as I’ve spent much of it entertaining/ensuring survival of a toddler, cooking, cleaning and working in a New York City apartment—it’s also given us time to reflect on what is truly important and how to better prioritize it. It’s a time to invest in ourselves as individuals and also in the future of our industry and our world. I would go as far as to say, as our CEO Joe has said in the past, that advertising can play a critical role in the issues facing our world right now. It helps fund information people need to read, it educates us and it can give us hope when things seem hopeless.

For my part, I have always believed that learning is lifelong and can be done anywhere. As the Head of MediaMath Academy, we have always strived to meet the digital advertising learner where they are—and lately, that’s remotely on a computer. As we head into the official start of summer break in the Northern Hemisphere, my colleagues and I have been working diligently to bring the industry and our clients new learning opportunities to keep them learning through the summer and beyond. You might argue that you don’t have the time. I would respectfully debate that there is no better time than now, during The Great Pause.

So while we can’t necessarily quiet the noise in the world right now or get some much-needed space, we have done our best to help our fellow marketers continue to grow and learn and explore new opportunities through bite-sized, self-paced modules so they can learn wherever and whenever suits them—all for free. We are especially excited to share our newest connected TV content in a time where we are all at home consuming more digital media than ever.

If there’s one thing you do this summer, we ask that you consider taking a few minutes to invest in yourself. Check out our newest course for everyone, Programmatic and Emerging Channels, and for our clients, we encourage you to learn more from our Omnichannel Campaign Setup in T1 Certification and our MediaMath Audiences Product Overview course.

Information is power. Harness it now, before we shift from The Great Pause to the time to press “play” again.


Black Lives Matter to Us

June 3, 2020 — by Joe Zawadzki


We have watched with outrage and heartbreak the events surrounding the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. We stand in solidarity with the Black community against violence, hate and injustice. This has nothing to do with politics—it has to do with human rights. Everyone has a right to feel safe and protected regardless of the color of their skin.

At MediaMath, we strive to create a diverse, inclusive and safe community through our recruiting and hiring practices and celebrate our diversity through our Diversity and Inclusion Council and employee resource groups. However, we know we must do better, both as individuals and as a company. From a diversity and inclusion perspective, we are nowhere near where we need to be. We pledge to our employees, clients and partners to reflect deeply on what we need to do to change this and then work unceasingly to make it so.

This includes, first and foremost, listening to our black colleagues to understand how they feel, what they have experienced and how we can support them. Then, to effect real change, we must hold our leaders accountable for creating a diverse and inclusive workforce. We cannot delegate this work to anyone else in the organization or on our teams. It is a personal responsibility for every leader and will have an impact that shows over time.

The work to end systematic racism and injustice will require constant work, from top to bottom, across all spheres of our lives. We cannot forget the task ahead for all of us when the heavy media attention wanes. What we do in the face of the ugliness we are witnessing right now—ugliness that has reared its head in some form countless times over the course of American history—will define the future for the next generation. We all belong. Let’s work to create a world in which everyone truly feels this every day of their lives.


MediaMath Wins Best Account Support Ahead of Competitors for the Second Time in AdExchanger Awards

May 29, 2020 — by TJ Ceballos


People matter more than ever right now—even if we remain connected to each other in a mostly virtual capacity.

A week ago, we won an AdExchanger Award for Best Account Support by a Technology Company for the second year in a row, ahead of some of our biggest competitors. This award means so much because it’s won in the trenches. It is a validation of the efforts of each individual within our customer-facing organization, who sees each engagement with our customers as an opportunity to deepen our partnership.

With this incredible industry validation—-some of the award judges were our own clients and partners—we took time to reflect on the initiatives that continue to frame our differentiated engagement approach.

Customers at the core

MediaMath has a continuous culture of evolving our customer engagement model with a focus on customer-centricity. Right before COVID hit, MediaMath reorganized its Commercial side of the house into six verticalized pods in North America and four in EMEA. Each pod is aligned with specific individuals from our Customer Success organization to drive seamless consistency for both internal teams and clients. It is, in effect—to use a term top of mind for many of us during this chaotic time—a support system. This structure has not only brought us closer (in a social distancing-approved way) both to each other and to our clients during a time in which we need to be in virtual lockstep to carry on business over Zoom and Slack and email. It has also brought us closer to living the principles of SOURCE—accountability, addressability and alignment—through our people.

With our pods, three previous existing customer relationships—trading, client services and business development—report up unto the same structure and are focused on driving differentiation presale through to execution. Think of it as a realigned customer center of excellence. The learnings we garner from our customers allow us to be agile in responding to other client needs, especially during critical times like COVID-19.

Lean on us

Our Support function, which ensures clients get expertise and seamless execution of marketing campaigns when it comes to our DSP or other MediaMath products and offerings, has gone through a complete transformation. Historically, a rotating cast of individuals would pick up client tickets. We wanted to create a stronger relationship with our clients by providing a consistent team they could count on each day. So, this function reformed itself through the pods and matched individuals with specific clients to provide a deep understanding of their businesses and have the same team supporting them on an ongoing basis. We also redesigned our customer portal to provide an easy and streamlined process for clients to keep track of all the tickets they have opened, recommended articles based on keywords they type and more.

Happy teams, happy clients

Our teams have experienced an uptick in cohesiveness, resolution time and their ability to get information across to clients thanks to these changes in structure and process. Improvements to efficiency and scale have made them a happier working group, which has strengthened their commitment to serving our clients. It is my absolute pleasure and fortune to lead this talented group of people who are in the trenches daily. As the market continues reinforcing the importance of services, our people will continue holding themselves to the same standards of transparency, efficiency and alignment that we hold our products and partners to so clients can achieve outstanding outcomes.


Digital Advertising Has a Transparency Problem. How Can We Fix It?

May 28, 2020 — by Mark Kopera


This post originally appears on the Oracle Data Cloud blog here

Current state of transparency

As one of the biggest monetary drivers of the internet, it’s undeniable that the digital advertising market is a powerful economic force. And with good reason—one of its hallmarks over traditional media has been the ability for marketers to measure the effectiveness of their ads, connecting the dots between ads and consumer engagement. However, there remains ample opportunity for improvement to achieve and maintain a certain level of transparency among all players in the digital media supply chain.

As billions of dollars are poured into programmatic each year (and growing), it’s a wake-up call to the industry that 40 percent of CMOs do not trust the process. Further, as digital advertising technology advances and becomes more robust, new challenges have surfaced thanks to a crowded, fast-paced, algorithmic-dependent space. And in these uncertain times when marketers are pausing their ad spend and reducing their budgets across the board, they are primed to be hypervigilant about the vendors they choose and the company they keep.

Who’s involved

The digital media ecosystem includes many intertwined participants: publishers, advertisers, agencies, data providers, social media platforms, technology vendors, and more. One bad actor can create a domino effect that muddles the entire process. However, pinpointing who to blame when things go haywire is a challenge in itself, as almost six in 10 ad operations professionals citing it is difficult to track down unauthorized players.

What issues need clarity first?

The most pressing example of the need for transparency is the problem of ad fraud. According to eMarketer, recent estimates for lost revenue to fraud range from $6.5 billion to $19 billion—a vast scale that also highlights the industry’s struggle to nail down specifics in an ever-evolving game of whack-a-mole.

Automation and ability to maintain anonymity are big triggers in the proliferation of fraud in digital advertising. And despite the common notion that it only affects advertisers and publishers, ad fraud does pose a real threat to consumers.

Driving this point home was last year’s discovery of “DrainerBot,” a devious advertising bot that infected various mobile apps, driving up data charges for thousands of innocent smartphone owners.

Beyond fraud, other areas in the digital advertising industry that remain under constant scrutiny are continuing obscurity in allocation of ad spend, the ways in which programmatic algorithms work, and lack of clarity into level of risk across the landscape. What can stakeholders do to fight a reputation of ambiguity and facilitate a new standing of thoroughness, built in trust?

A collective push toward accountability

Thankfully, the industry is already taking measures to clean itself up and gain back trust. Various trade bodies have stood up transparency-based initiatives and are remaining steadfast in creating a more trusted environment for publishers, advertisers, and consumers.

Three of these initiatives are 4A’s Advertiser Protection Bureau (APB), MediaMath’s SOURCE, and IAB’s ads.txt. Themes from each group include pledges promising responsibility, thoroughness, and enhanced validation practices.

This all points toward progress. But even as the industry pushes for broader accountability, it will ultimately come down to the willful engagement of each and every participant including advertisers, publishers, and tech vendors.

Compacting small adjustments to make a larger impact over time and maintaining higher standards in every part of the process will have a powerful influence on the state of the digital ecosystem.

With great responsibility comes great trust

In pushing for more transparency in ad spend allocation, algorithms, and vigorously tackling ad fraud, the digital media industry will continue to confront some of its greatest challenges. It will take time and there will be setbacks, but the endgame is worth the fight.

Because the opportunity for the industry to truly embrace its responsibility as a powerful player in the digital space is one that could not only improve the sentiment toward internet advertising, but also even uplift the entire online experience.


Why Programmatic’s Word of the Year Should Be “Ownership”

May 26, 2020 — by Chris Keenan



This was the first word that came to mind when Paul Gubbins asked, “In one word, what can programmatic offer both buyers and sellers that a direct IO booking may struggle to match?” during Mediatel’s “Future of Media Trading” panel earlier this month.

The fact that we are even comparing programmatic to direct IO buys is frightening to me. But with the ground continuously shifting beneath our feet with GDPR in 2018, CCPA in 2019, the never-ending “death of the third-party cookie” and, most recently, the ISBA study which speaks to how only 51 percent of every dollar reaches the publisher, maybe this comparison is warranted? The last thing brand managers need to hear is that 15 percent of their COVID-slashed budgets cannot be accounted for due to an ominous “unknown delta.”

Eighty-six percent of brands in European countries have already partially in-housed their programmatic operations according to a 2019 IAB study. But are their technology partners truly enabling them to take ownership of their programmatic strategy?

I believe there are three key areas in which we’ll see brands take on more ownership throughout 2020. Let’s dig in.

Ownership of your outcomes

It is only appropriate to start with outcomes, as that is what every marketing team needs to prove out to secure additional, unbudgeted investment—or, in today’s times, to simply retain any of the existing commitment. It has never been more important than now for CMOs to connect media metrics to financial metrics like ARPU, LTV, churn rate and payback period. The hurdle rate for investment in marketing has only gotten higher.

Ownership of your data

Everyone has access to the same DSPs that you do, but only you have access to your first-party data. It’s what you do with it that will determine if your marketing team is a contributor to building a defensible moat for your company.

Partners have traditionally provided limited access to raw data, preventing advertisers from being able to analyze media efficacy and customer behavior on their own. One reason cited for the low 12 percent match rate in the ISBA study is that log-level data was not available, so the researchers had to instead rely on aggregated data. This is simply unacceptable in 2020.

By putting log-level data (inclusive of a pseudonymous user identifier!) in the hands of its rightful owners, brands can build a competitive advantage for themselves by developing proprietary decisioning and optimization logic atop MediaMath’s APIs. There are varying levels of sophistication and complexity, starting with custom attribution modeling, leveraging your own optimization algorithms or, ultimately, utilizing our Custom Bid Router capability, which allows brands to respond to bid opportunities via their own AI/ML environment.

Ownership of your supply chain

We are getting closer to a world in which advertisers are not beholden to a murky supply chain but are instead actively participating in one that is a curated, aligned and based on an optimized subset of hundreds of supply and technology vendors globally. All advertisers now care about quality no matter how they are executing digital marketing. To offer the level of transparency that brands deserve, you will see DSPs begin to operate differently:

  • DSPs won’t work with all partners—just the best ones who truly add value.
  • DSPs won’t tout their QPS metrics as a selling point—they will curate access to the highest quality and performant inventory.
  • DSPs won’t shy away from audit requests—they will proactively make log-level data available.

As the ISBA report points out, it takes providing absolute transparency to both brands and publishers and alignment between publishers, ad tech intermediaries and advertisers through bidirectional data-sharing. This means modernized commercial terms that hold each partner contractually accountable for providing incremental value within the ad tech supply chain. It’s also accountability to implementing the technical standards buyers require—impression-level fee transparency and alignment on the latest impression-counting mechanisms within OpenRTB—to provide them transparency into price, partners and the purposefulness of ad spend across all ways in which they access media programmatically.

The driving belief behind our SOURCE initiative is that “the sum of all parts is greater than the whole”. If a rising tide lifts all boats, no independent DSP will be able to best serve their clients by being an island. We are already working with 15+ best-in-breed partners who share the same vision for a 100 percent accountable, addressable and aligned ecosystem underpinned by modernized commercial terms and updated technical specifications. But we are only getting started.

Ultimately, it comes down to if transparency is a publicly stated priority on a technology partner’s roadmap. Have they put their stake in the ground? This is not a movement in which you can simply be a willing participant. You must be an enthusiastic evangelist for it. You must be a champion for accountability in the supply chain.

With each step we take toward a fully transparent supply chain, we will naturally see a shift away from ominous “unknown deltas” and into working media that you should demand of our industry.


New Study Validates SOURCE by MediaMath Approach

May 7, 2020 — by Jeremy Steinberg


The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) has released the findings of its two-year-long research into the workings and value of the current programmatic supply chain.

Even in the unprecedented times in which we are living, clients across industry verticals acknowledge the importance and need for quality in their supply chain. These days, every CFO is demanding performance metrics and justification for every dollar. There are several callouts and recommendations in ISBA’s report for all players in the industry to strive toward that more transparent, efficient supply chain—and they are things we are already doing through SOURCE by MediaMath.

Industry bodies and participants should agree to standardized T&Cs for data access and sharing, to be implemented in all contracts along the supply chain.

As I shared last week in my blog post on our supply path optimization efforts, we have outlined through SOURCE modernized commercial terms that hold each partner contractually accountable for providing incremental value within the ad tech supply chain. We also hold them accountable to implementing the technical standards buyers require—impression-level fee transparency and alignment on the latest impression-counting mechanisms within OpenRTB—to provide them transparency into price, partners and the purposefulness of ad spend across all ways in which they access media through our platform.

The industry needs to mature urgently to facilitate the data sharing that is a key step towards a more transparent supply chain.

Exclusive data-sharing between MediaMath and our SOURCE SSP partners provides publishers with the necessary brand strategy goals and user-level prediction of consumer action. Brands receive cost transparency as well as the benefit of the utilization of auction results data, including the winning bid

The percentage of advertiser spend that reached publishers (‘‘working media”) averaged 51%.

With brands and publishers sharing data, we can put more of every dollar to work. There is no black box here. In our work with one of our biggest SOURCE clients, 60 percent of the ad dollar made it to the publisher.

Unattributable costs representing around one-third of supply chain costs need investigation and resolution. Concerted action is required by all industry participants – advertisers, agencies, adtech, publishers and possibly regulators – to minimize these costs, in order to drive up the proportion of advertiser spend that reaches publishers.

We are the only DSP, working with 15+ partners and hundreds of publishers, committed to building a 100 percent accountable, addressable and aligned supply chain with complete, granular publisher-level transparency into all fees and costs that inform real-time optimizations or quick supply path optimization modifications. SOURCE offers “clearinghouse control,” an optimized flow of funds and real-time cost transparency. By reducing the complexity of our ecosystem and by rethinking how important tech partners integrate with us, we are driving down the total cost of ownership end-to-end throughout the supply chain. Brands are seeing a more than 15 percent drop in costs related to executing in programmatic compared to other DSPs, and more spend is reaching publishers.

Participants, trade bodies and regulators should work together to better understand the unknown delta, with the aim of uncovering causes and agreeing upon industry-wide actions to reduce them.

We are driving industry principles and support for a more accountable and addressable supply chain. The Supply Chain Co-op is an example of our work here to unite publishers and advertisers around a plan for experimenting with and uncovering insights about the strategies and rules necessary to deliver truly addressable and accountable advertising. The work being put forth with key publisher partners is informing the agendas of industry trade associations and moving these standards forward.

Industry participants should also engage with industry initiatives such as sellers.json and OpenRTB SupplyChain object (both driven by IAB) that seek to limit unauthorized reselling.

Through our supply chain optimization work in 2019, we are already illuminating the true costs of media with SOURCE through features to support industry initiatives like ads.txt, SupplyChain object, and sellers.json. As we continue toward our commitment to build a 100 percent accountable, addressable and aligned supply chain this year, we are focused on strategically optimizing supply paths with an approach that puts the onus on providing flexibility and driving performance for brands.

When programmatic is executed through accountable and addressable pipes, it provides full media-cost transparency, eliminates non-working media and allows you to bid with confidence. We believe that all digital marketing will soon be held to this higher bar.


There is More Than One Path to a Successful SPO Strategy: Enabling Flexibility and Performance Requires Brand-Publisher Alignment

April 29, 2020 — by Jeremy Steinberg


In a conversation with Rubicon earlier this year, our CTO/CPO Wil Schobeiri described our supply path optimization efforts (SPO) as “a fundamental component of ours.” We were the first DSP in market with SPO and remain the only DSP that takes a comprehensive approach to active supply chain management.

Our SPO work in 2018 focused on cutting out unnecessary paths and fixing the foundational commercial and technical issues in the media ecosystem as we prepared for the launch of SOURCE. Our advertising clients and agency partners benefit from the modernized commercial terms outlined in SOURCE that hold each partner contractually accountable for providing incremental value within the ad tech supply chain. We also hold them accountable to implementing the technical standards buyers require in order to provide them transparency into price, partners and the purposefulness of ad spend across all ways in which they access media through our platform.

As we continue toward our commitment of building a 100 percent accountable, addressable and aligned supply chain this year, we are focused on strategically optimizing supply paths. Our approach puts the onus on providing flexibility and driving performance for brands. To achieve both, it is important that we optimize the supply chain using intelligence and data.

In words straight from our CTO/CPO Wil Schobeiri, “To successfully redesign our supply chain, we must start from a place of mutual support for both the buy and sell sides. Over the last year, we’ve been working directly with publishers and their SSP and technology partners to gradually migrate supply over to modernized infrastructure that removes the burden of non-value-added intermediaries and opaque arbitrage, which results in increased revenue efficiency for publishers. We’ve found that the publisher community has been very receptive to this approach. We’re approaching this problem as a form of game theory—if publishers and advertisers work with each other, the collective result is more sustainable in the long term than if we maximize our local outcome at the expense of the industry.”

We approach our SPO and bid de-duplication efforts with fundamental data analysis and machine learning techniques. We use the outcome of this work to strategically reduce paths that provide low incremental value to our advertisers, resulting in better ROAS for clients and lower algorithmic complexity and trading overhead while maintaining stable publisher revenue. The result is a supply chain of optimized paths in which our clients can still customize to implement their own approaches to SPO, rather than being forced into buying via a single path. This approach has benefits for publishers and SSPs, too, whose needs we consider on a per-partner basis so they can maintain revenue opportunities and help shape a more transparent, efficient supply chain.

As we evolve SPO functionality over time, we expect buyers and sellers to see improved performance across both brand KPIs and publisher revenue goals. We will continue working to strengthen overall business relationships between MediaMath’s brands and their top publishers. In SOURCE, we are committed to creating an environment in which “a rising tide raises all boats.” A vibrant internet economy requires a successful publisher community, and we’re doing our part. We take our cues from the publisher, SSP, brand and agency communities, who are important design partners in the development of an ecosystem that is aligned towards providing positive marketing results for all.


Unlocking the Scale and Reach Potential of CTV

April 23, 2020 — by Jeremy Steinberg


While CTV has been a channel on the steady climb for the last few years, advertisers have faced hurdles in adopting it. The landscape has been fragmented, with different apps and devices, pricing models, delivery specifications and measurement approaches all creating challenges.

Now, CTV’s massive growth in the month since COVID-19 started—we saw CTV grow by 20% in our own platform between February and March—keeping citizens across the world at home has brought the industry together to accelerate the effort to mitigate these challenges by creating more accountability and addressability in this medium. We’re committed to continuing the work with our trusted partners to bring accountability to the CTV supply chain by providing access to high-quality inventory that delivers radical transparency with minimal discrepancies and fraud.


We are bringing transparency, standard metrics and proof of performance to digital TV with our announcement Wednesday of our global partnership with TVSquared. Our partnership furthers our ability to deliver greater accountability and addressability to brands and agencies through proven accuracy, scalability and fast time-to-insights. Through our work together to provide full visibility into the performance of CTV buys, thousands of advertisers will be able to track, measure and optimize the performance of streaming video ads served via CTV.


As fraud follows money, CTV is a prime target as it continues to grow this first half of 2020. Last week, we shared a blog post by our SOURCE launch partner White Ops about the massive CTV fraud operation known as “ICEBUCKET,” which counterfeited over 300 different publishers in over 30 countries by hiding sophisticated bots within server-side-ad-insertion (SSAI) backed video ad impressions.

The impact of the ICEBUCKET threat was extremely negligible to the MediaMath platform, with less than 0.1% of impressions affected. Our clients and partners remain protected against this threat thanks to White Ops’ pre-bid IVT filtering technology and other anti-fraud measures we were already taking to help protect against future threats:

  • Vetting and holding our supply partners to SOURCE partnership standards that rest on direct relationships and require full supply chain accountability and transparency
  • Actively encouraging our CTV supply partners to adopt and post app-ads.txt files so we can readily enable app-ads.txt targeting within our UI for this channel without impacting scale
  • Adopting sellers.json to support further visibility into the supply chain and supply path optimization, planned for release in summer 2020

As markets react to change, so must your advertising and media strategies. We know advertisers must remain fully protected and confident in where they spend ad dollars. MediaMath is best prepared to help you take advantage of better CTV outcomes with the efficiency of programmatic buying on the industry’s most transparent and brand-safe supply chain.