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Why IAS Is Going All-In On CTV And Contextual

Why IAS Is Going All-In On CTV And Contextual

It’s no secret that ad tech players are hedging all bets on connected TV.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions, from transparency in the media buying process to simply counting audiences, which isn’t so simple after all. But CTV is where the viewers are going, and ad tech at large is trying to cash in on the gold rush.

In an attempt to take advantage of the opportunity, ad tech players, including recently public ad verification company Integral Ad Science, are rapidly reorienting their media strategies to make CTV a priority.

“Users don’t even cut the cord – there isn’t a cord anymore,” said Lisa Utzschneider, CEO of IAS.

But the “cord-nevers” need to be counted, too.

And so IAS acquired CTV ad server Publica in August, less than two months after its IPO.

“CTV is the first inning of a long game,” said Utzschneider, who noted it could be a “two- or three-year play” or more.

The game plan

IAS first started hatching its plans for CTV back in 2019. Utzschneider claims IAS was the first verification company to launch verification tools for CTV, such as fraud detection and video play completion.

But growing demand from marketers trying to lean into CTV led to IAS’s acquisition of Publica last summer.

As a programmatic CTV ad server, Publica allows IAS to help publishers see which ads are running on their inventory, an area where transparency has been lacking, said Ben Antier, CEO of Publica.

The logical next step, Utzschneider said, is to invest in IAS’s other most promising growth engine: contextual targeting.