Friday, December 2, 2022

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    ‘Bored shitless’ of CTV tests, InnovidXP’s Jo Kinsella urges brands to make the leap

    DSP platform Innovid bought TV measurement firm TVSquared earlier this year and birthed the InnovidXP platform. The outspoken Jo Kinsella presides over the new enterprise – we sat down with her to find out what’s holding CTV back.

    “We love creating noise about nothing in this industry,” Kinsella says. “Everyone is talking about testing and learning – how long does this industry take to test and learn? I’ve been in it for 10 years and I’m bored shitless of testing and learning. Can we just get on with it?”

    According to Kinsella, the future of TV is a world where everything is video, everything is an impression and advertisers will need to measure the unique unduplicated reach of everything on every device.

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    Those are the ‘stakes’ and that is what everyone in TV adland is working towards, she says. But Kinsella lambasts the industry for being all talk and no action, which is preventing progress.

    “If someone tells you that is too hard, they are not educated or they are doing it wrong, or they are saying it’s hard to protect their job, which for shit sure happens a lot in this industry,” Kinsella adds.

    • For more CTV hot takes join The Drum’s Media Summit on November 2 and 3 and hear from the likes of Disney, Roku and Finecast. Register here

    To understand scale, InnovidXP serves 60% of the top 200 advertisers through Innovid’s DSP and plugs into TVSquared tracking, measuring 1bn ad impressions per day from 1,000 streaming platforms. InnovidXP’s measurement offering is based on being both an ad server and the measurer.

    By serving the ad, InnovidXP keeps that impression and can track its performance within the same platform, no matter where the ad has aired. “People don’t truly yet understand that the ad server fuels the measurement platform, which is a nuance missed by the industry,” she says.

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    Kinsella rejects attempts by publishers to create their own measurement solutions and tells them to leave it to the adtech experts. “All this stuff is tech, and it needs to be solved by people who have technology expertise and not by broadcast networks that think they should be interrogating your methodology. Go make a TV show,” she says.

    Kinsella helped set up TVSquared a decade ago, building the business from its Scottish roots to a $160m sale to the US ad tech giant Innovid. “I birthed a second child called TVSquared and I raised it for 10 years of my life, and anyone with a 10-year-old knows how hard that is,” Kinsella jokes. “Then that child got adopted, and that is a really hard transition. I know it’s the best thing for the business but personally it’s really hard.”

    Kinsella says the scale of being integrated into an American adtech firm was daunting at first. “We are a mix of Scottish and English people who are invariably tight, and we come to America and it’s a different culture here. Now go out and raise hundreds of millions of dollars in America,” she says.

    TV Squared raised $27m when it was listed in comparison to its competitors VideoAmp, which raised $275m, and iSpot, which raised $335m.

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    What’s next?

    According to Kinsella, dynamic creative is becoming more important to understand the end-to-end customer journey and how to optimize. This has been an integral part of InnovidXP’s development. 

    “You want to know who took an action off the back of seeing this creative. If this creative was slightly different, would it have driven more engagement? Being able to change creative on the fly is the next generation when we think about optimizing that customer journey,” Kinsella concludes. 

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