TripleLift Readies OTT Ad Products

The programmatic, native advertising technology company TripleLift is preparing to enter the increasingly hot over-the-top video marketplace.

TripleLift and its ad-technology solutions are already well established in the digital publishing world, but with more marketers looking to video for new opportunities, the company has been investing in new technology to bring its product to TV sets.

The company is currently in a closed beta with a small number of premium video programmers, but TripleLift cofounder and chief strategy officer Ari Lewine tells Video Insider that its “real time, integrated programmatic addressable ads” will come to market this year.

“I can say that with a good deal of confidence given the interest and traction in the marketplace from folks that have been playing around with this technology, and evaluating it,” Lewine says.

TripleLift is testing three new ad experiences, each of which will leverage what is happening onscreen to create new ad opportunities where they previously may not have existed.

The “In-Action Six” is designed for events like live sports, where a break in the action presents just enough time to introduce an ad takeover of the TV screen, while keeping the game in a small window. By introducing the ads during downtime in the game, the hope is that the ads will not be disruptive to the user experience.

The “overlay” simply overlaps an ad in the corner of the screen that is relevant to what is happening on the show. So if a character on a reality show is wearing an outfit, an ad for the store or designer could appear. Or a suggestion for a related TV show could appear on a different program. 

The most impressive new offerings, however, may be the “brand insertion” and “product insertion” solutions. In the brand insertion solution, an ad for a brand can be dynamically inserted into a TV show, be it on a billboard in the background of a scene, on the field or court of a sporting match, or elsewhere in the scene. 

The product insertion solution seamlessly inserts a product, such as a soda or liquor bottle, directly into a relevant scene.

“The technology to do this has only been available in the last few years, and leverages the foundational technologies that are used in self-driving cars,” Lewine says.

The goal ultimately is to follow the user, giving them relevant ads that will not interfere with the enjoyment of what they are watching.

“As a company we are very focused on creating user-centric ad experiences wherever users consume content,” Lewine says. “if you look at that last piece, where users consume content, more often than not that is in OTT.” He says “we have just begun to scratch the surface of OTT’s capabilities," and that "generally speaking, OTT today is TV delivered over the top, but it is television."

“So the question is, without the legacy of television, if we were to rebuild OTT from scratch, leveraging the power that the internet provides, the data it provides, the ad experiences that consumers expect on the internet, what would we do?”

Lewine also believes that his company’s solutions could provide a counterbalance to premium ad-free video from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Although customers were not so vocal about ad breaks that interrupt traditional television, he says, "when folks like Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime offer ad-free models, or without interactive ad experiences, it created a new bar.”

“It is now incumbent on us to meet or exceed that bar of consumer experience with OTT that we didn’t previously have with linear. The epitome is creating an ad experience so relevant and so tailored that it becomes additive.”

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