Innovid CEO explains Taykey acquisition

Tal Chalozin and Tzvika Netter Photo: Jeff Pulver

Taykey's technology will help persuade customers that they are advertising in a clean content environment, says Zvika Netter. 

"The acquisition of Taykey by Innovid is aimed first of all at providing advertisers with confidence in the system," said Innovid CEO Zvika Netter, who founded Innovid together with CTO Tal Chalozin and MD international Zack Zigdon.

It was reported on Thursday that Innovid, which has a technological platform for distribution of data-based creative smart video, was acquiring Taykey, whose chief capability is technology that can analyze the content environment of digital platforms and social networks.

"The crisis in confidence in the platforms among the major advertisers will not disappear in the coming months. We're in the marketing business, and our customers are the world's largest marketers, and we had to look around and provide a solution for this," Netter said.

The question of confidence may be less acute in Israel, but in the international markets in which Innovid operates, it is one of the important crises facing the industry. The crisis was triggered in March, when major advertisers on Google and Facebook learned that their advertisements were financing content that encouraged terrorism and violence. The first to respond was Procter & Gamble, the world's largest advertiser, which is identified perhaps more than any other advertiser with the transition from traditional to digital advertising. Procter & Gamble froze its advertising on YouTube, and cut its digital advertising budgets substantially until it is convinced that it can advertise in a clean content environment. The company's measure was followed by other major advertisers, and the trickle rapidly became a flood.

Netter is well acquainted with Procter & Gamble's advertising, because Procter & Gamble is also one of the advertisers on Innovid's platform, in addition to other large-scale advertisers, such as Toyota, Disney Corporation, Pfizer, Home Depot, and more. He says that 340 famous brands advertise through Innovid, whose systems currently broadcasts half a million hours of video advertising daily.

”We're working on a large scale with huge customers doing all of their video marketing on our system. We do the distribution and broadcast content for them in unimaginable quantities, and it will only grow, because of both an increase in video consumption and the transition to digital infrastructure. It provides a different user experience in which companies very much like to put brands and do advanced things, such as integrative television," Netter says.

He adds, "Part of the Taykey acquisition is a result of the sensitivity in the past year to the fact that everyone has realized that there is unfit content in places like YouTube. Procter & Gamble CMO Mark Pritchard is a big customer of ours, and since March, he has announced a dramatic course of advertising cuts, which has had a snowball effect. A problem of confidence has been created, and it has brought about a slowdown.

"This snowball inspired us to look for ways to improve the content environment. We saw that it was damaging the industry, the advertisers, the publishers, the media companies, and us, because when activity wanes, it's not good for anyone. We're not media owners and we don't sell media. We’re not competing with Google, so it puts us in an excellent place for being the ones who provide technology that says whether or not the situation is in good order."

"Globes": In your opinion, at what stage is the crisis of confidence of the advertisers with the platforms?

Netter: "No one dreamed that something like this would happen, certainly not Google and Facebook, which regarded themselves as masters of the world - they decide what you'll know as the advertiser and what you won't know - they decide where they will advertise. They're being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they decide what the advertiser will pay money for; they don't provide ways for third parties like us to perform validation and checks. They never dreamed that someone like Procter & Gamble would come and say, 'No more.' So they were surprised by the measure.

"After Procter & Gamble stopped advertising, everyone said, 'This is a trend that will calm down and disappear within two or three months,' or they said, 'It's politics and pressure on prices' - and unexpectedly, it didn't disappear. We're already in December, and the money hasn't returned to the places from which it was cut off. It doesn't happen quickly. It will eventually pass. Confidence will be restored gradually; there's an improvement. It won't vanish completely, but the sensitivity that now exists will remain for at least six months, if not more."

Is Taykey's technology completing the last mile for you?

"When you work on the enormous scale that we're dealing with, 500 million announcements on video clips, it's hard to understand what they have. So we looked for technology that would be able to look at enormous quantities of data, analyze it, and realize what's going on and says whether it's good or bad. It's easy to understand when there's an advertisement of ISIS or terrorists or pornographic material that shouldn't be near the brand. The technology already exists, and we wanted to take it a step further and say, 'We've gotten rid of the terrible content.' There's still a wide range between where the brand wants to be and where it doesn't want to be as much."

So the acquisition is in order to prevent brands from appearing on unfit content.

"It's an acquisition mainly around Taykey's technology. We'll insert their technology into our solution. Taykey is dealing with a huge quantity of information every day in order to try to understand it. We're taking their technology and applying it so that we'll have information about the video that we're running against it. When I broadcast a Procter & Gamble advertisement on YouTube, I know what video is going to be shown after it – which was previously unknown.

"Everyone caught on to the idea that advertising shouldn't appear in places with terrorism, violence, and pornography. But even when these things aren't involved, advertising still can't be in an unsuitable place. Taykey is giving us tools for presenting the advertisements in an environment in which the brand will feel comfortable, understanding the content, and giving our customers tools for understanding where it's suitable for them to be. In addition, they'll be able to adapt the message that they are delivering to the content environment that they're in, because if they understand where they are, they can deliver a different message."

Innovid developed a technology that enables advertisers to stream video content on all existing platforms, based on data capabilities. The company operates in the US, Asia, and Europe.

Taykey, founded by entrepreneur CEO Amit Avner, has developed digital information analysis technology. In the first stage, Taykey also operated as a media company, using the information it gathered to adapt advertisements, so that they would be consistent with the information. The company later changed its focus to data analysis for advertisers. Starting next week, Taykey will be completely merged into Innovid, and will no longer exist as an independent company.

Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on December 3, 2017

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2017

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Tal Chalozin and Tzvika Netter Photo: Jeff Pulver
Tal Chalozin and Tzvika Netter Photo: Jeff Pulver
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