TechBytes with David Shaw, Global SVP, Enterprise Solutions at Teads

TechBytes with David Shaw, Global SVP, Enterprise Solutions at

Tell us about your role and the team/technology you handle at Teads.

I am the Global Senior Vice President of Enterprise Solutions and my team is focused on streamlining all commercial client-side tech initiatives for the company in order to provide advertisers with new innovation and seamless access to our inventory such as our latest offering which I will highlight below.

What is the technology driving your recent collaboration with Oracle Moat?

We recently released a new product enabling advertisers to transact on 100% viewability on a CPCV or VCPM basis at any duration in a cost-effective manner. We have enhanced our integration with Moat to measure the viewable duration of each and every impression. We aligned our player’s progress counter to match Moat’s counter in order for our billing events to be 100% viewable and verified by Moat. Impressions that don’t reach the custom duration are considered free media and won’t be billed to the advertiser. Additionally, clients have access to reporting metrics on billed impressions which provides more advanced insights for marketers and agencies around the true performance of their campaign.

How would your customers jointly benefit from this partnership?

Many clients consider viewability as one of their top KPIs, whether that is MRC or completed view. We’re providing agencies with a seamless way to obtain 100% viewability by unlocking guaranteed outcomes with our CPCV and VCPM pricing models.

The industry hasn’t evolved much over the years with regards to viewability and advertisers are still struggling to achieve high viewability scores. The main issue is that viewability is still optimized on page load and many users never scroll down the page to see the actual ad. This makes it impossible for an advertiser to achieve a 100% viewability score, which is a big misuse of their media spend.

What is VCPM and why should buyers invest additional resources to achieve 100% results from it?

From a measurement standpoint, the industry predominantly adopts MRC standards for viewability which is when the ad must be at least 2 seconds in view (or 1 second for display) and more than 50% of the player in view. Advertisers rely on trusted third-party viewability vendors such as Moat to compute the viewability score which is the percentage of total impressions that are viewable according to MRC definitions. This score is what advertisers refer to in order to understand the effectiveness of their campaign. Most advertisers are optimizing towards MRC however we are starting to see many advertisers create more aggressive viewability requirements.

From a technology standpoint, buying platforms provide vCPM optimization tools to help increase the viewability score for any given campaign. Much of this optimization is done through the manual approach of website blacklisting or the more advanced approach of utilizing Machine Learning to determine which ad will become viewable on page load. The first approach is too manual and hurts scale while the second approach is impossible to determine whether a user may scroll down the page and view the ad. Optimization tools help however only to a certain degree and it comes at a cost. Furthermore, metrics are reported back on total impressions which dilute the data for marketers as they don’t get a clear sense of campaign performance for just their viewable impressions.

With Teads, our ad only starts when in view, so for standard CPM buys, the actual transaction doesn’t happen on page load but when the ad is in view. This is what makes our placements inherently viewable by design. This approach has allowed us to tie our progress counter with Moat’s counter to unlock all seconds for VCPM and CPCV. Clients that have a custom viewability requirement can utilize Teads to easily transact at that specific duration and only pay for impressions that reach the billing event. Metrics such as CTR, VCR, and Time In View, automatically increase when measured off of billed impressions instead of total impressions so advertisers can now have a more realistic insight into the effectiveness of their campaign and creative for that given duration.

Tell us about the benefits of leveraging Teads’ VCPM buying model for Programmatic Advertising?

We are very bullish on guaranteed outcomes as we believe they are important for helping agencies, particularly on an operations standpoint. Daily campaign optimizations require an immense amount of resources especially when there are many client KPIs involved. Viewability is a perfect example of a needed guaranteed outcome for the industry. Unlocking this outcome will make buying programmatically more scalable for the trader on a resources standpoint while also providing more transparency and better results, all in a more cost-effective manner for the advertiser. Agencies can leverage our duration throttle as a programmatic tool to help lift campaign KPIs as well as easily transact at the duration where the client will receive the highest brand uplift. We ran a test campaign with ASICS Digital to test how standard CPMs compare with vCPMs for display and video viewability with outstanding results.

We are trying to shift the industry from looking at the viewability score as the main metric and instead to the cost per viewable impression which is a much more meaningful metric. We have built our own Machine Learning to help drive down the cost per viewable impression by analyzing many variables such as the creative, publisher content, and the user.

How marketers can get strategic about what advertising tech they do adopt to get the most bang for their buck? At Teads, how do you empower your Sales and Marketing teams to inform enlighten customers?

The biggest issue the industry has to overcome is the notion that it’s okay for a transaction to happen on page load. This is what’s causing today’s transparency, measurement, and pricing issues. If the industry just addressed the root cause of the issue and instead transacted when an ad is in view then we would eliminate a lot of the problems for advertisers. If marketers really want to get the most bang for their buck then they should start pushing vendors into this direction otherwise a large portion of their media spend will continue to be wasted.

At Teads, we feel that viewability is the core metric that drives all other metrics. If an ad is not viewable then it won’t perform, that’s a guarantee. We put a strong emphasis that everything we do is viewable by design and so we don’t bill for any impressions that aren’t ever seen. This is a level of transparency that marketers should start demanding and hold the industry accountable.

What are your predictions about the roles of AR VR and AI-driven Personalization in Video Buying models for the next 3 years?

As with all new technologies, I think there’s a learning curve for the entire market as people tinker with new possibilities and discover new strategies that open up with new technological tools. I think we’re still in the very early days of where AR and Machine Learning will be applied to advertising and I’m confident that marketers will come up with applications of those technologies that we haven’t even imagined yet.

At Teads we’ve certainly been at the forefront of applying AR and AI to ads. In fact, Teads was the first platform to roll out live AR experiences directly inside an ad unit on the mobile web and we’ve seen phenomenal results from those campaigns. One recent AR campaign for Allegra saw a full 38 seconds of average dwell time on the unit – comparatively, average display units typically see 1-2 seconds of dwell time.

I’m equally bullish on AI applied to Personalization. Our creative platform, Teads Studio, uses the same Machine Learning tools we built for optimizing media delivery to optimize personalized creative. We have the capabilities today to run automated versioning of personalized ads and allow the algorithms to automatically optimize complex creative versioning against micro-segments of audiences. As mentioned above though, while we see a lot of brands expressing interest and a few dipping their toes in, it may take time for their legal departments to get fully comfortable with the idea that a machine is going to decide how to assemble a personalized ad that will be seen by an actual human in the wild. That fear is entirely unfounded though as it’s just not how the technology works, so we’ll be there very soon I’m sure!

David Shaw is the Global Senior Vice President of Enterprise Solutions at Teads.

He is a dynamic and creative tech industry professional with more than a decade of experience spanning sales, business development, account management, product management, strategy & analysis, e-commerce, social media, marketing, ad operations & yield management, and online advertising.

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