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How publishers can harness Connected TV: Q&A with EMX

ENGINE Media Exchange (EMX) is an end-to-end tech and programmatic solution that creates both open and closed-loop solutions designed to unify advertisers, platforms and publishers across digital media channels — including Advanced TV, Video, Display, Search & Social.

With growth in CTV remaining constant despite the uncertain wider market conditions, WNIP caught up with Michael Zacharski, CEO, EMX, to find out how publishers can harness the CTV opportunities available to them…

Can you give us further background about your company?

EMX powers ENGINE’s media business. ENGINE is a global, full-service media and marketing services company that unites culture and commerce to move brands forward faster. We’ve been around for a decade and our offices are based worldwide in New York, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Melbourne, and Düsseldorf.

What business problem is your company addressing?

In the era of COVID-19, many consumers are looking for new content — yet a lot of this content is being blocked by hesitant advertisers. This is on top of an expected trajectory of declining CPM rates that has led to monetization issues for many publishers — except for those looking to Connected TV (CTV).

CTV is the one place where we are seeing a growth opportunity for publishers. CTV CPMs have shown to be incredibly resilient as more and more people are tuning in and looking for new content and as major broadcasters and studios have decelerated their content velocity during quarantine. Publishers have a pocket of opportunity to see if their content is translating and distributing well across CTV platforms in hopes of creating new revenue streams during this time.

Take YouTube, for example: the first frontier of independent and user generated video content at scale. CTV provides a similar type of platform where publishers can have access to consumers at scale and on a new medium. It’s still video, but slightly different as it’s on the “big screen” where publishers historically haven’t been, but it’s new in that it provides more equal access to consumers attention, which didn’t exist before.

CTV is democratizing the television — and with the rise in viewership and coming uncertainty regarding CPMs tied to the impeding changes in ad tracking — publishers have a unique opportunity to capitalize during these rapidly-evolving times.

What is your core product addressing this problem?

With ad solutions designed using direct feedback from our publisher community, EMX ensures publishers can run their business with greater precision and effectiveness. In a world where the entire game has changed, publishers must also look to new opportunities — and EMX is designed to successfully identify these opportunities while unifying advertisers, platforms and publishers across CTV and digital media channels in the evolving ecosystem.

Fraud is one of the biggest challenges for CTV. Given CTV is usually deployed from an app installed either directly on the TV or on a device connected to the TV, the solutions that work in non-app environments often fall short of delivering on their capabilities in this environment. As a strategy to ensure safety, advertisers have flocked to working with the biggest and most known channels and content publishers. Tier 1 publishers of course have an important and key spot within a marketer’s strategy, and as a result, they command premium CTV CPMs. But to provide scale and reach across millennial and niche audiences and the independent creator content when accessible, a true brand-safe and fraud-free environment becomes a powerful tool and opportunity for marketers.

We have made significant investments in validating authentic traffic in the CTV space that utilizes always-on monitoring technologies coupled with a thorough vetting onboarding and monitoring process for all CTV inventory. As such, we have been able to work with and onboard many smaller CTV channels and platforms and ensure that the content is high quality and the traffic is human and valid, thereby offering our advertising clients a true fraud-free guarantee across our entire CTV portfolio.

Pricing?

We believe that quality traffic and a fraud-free guarantee for advertisers should be table stakes in today’s market. We bring our reputation as a credible and direct source of CTV traffic to our advertisers, and as a result, we offer publishers high quality advertisers and competitive CPMs for their CTV inventory.

EMX’s model saves time and money and works on a tremendous scale and was built for CTV — handling more than 20 billion transactions a day from thousands of clients and hundreds of agencies.

How do you view the future?

We believe that the digital media landscape suffers from chaos, bloat and inefficiency caused by a decade of patched-together solutions fueled by “what will get the job done” rather than a worthy vision of where the industry is headed. In contrast, EMX’s goal is to play a leading role in the modernization of the programmatic and digital media landscape — delivering new models of meaningful value to all stakeholders in the evolving ecosystem, publishers included. In a time of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to look ahead and be prepared for whatever comes next. One thing we do know is that publishers have a wealth of opportunity in CTV, and they must embrace this to create growth and drive revenue moving forward.

Anything else we should know about?

EMX’s proprietary programmatic technology gives publishers access to robust analytics, a diagnostic toolset and the ability to manage demand partners through intuitive UI — allowing full control of ad stack and monetization strategy. With EMX, publishers can maximize revenue potential, increase bid density on ad inventory, attract more premium buyers, improve the value of ad inventory and gain access to the highest standards of ad quality and creative protections. You can learn more about EMX’s solutions for publishers here.

Thank you.

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