Ad Networks As We Know Them Will Go Away [Interview]

Recently, Ad-platform Jivox raised $5.8 mn in Series C Funding. The company, which ran an ad-network, is now concentrating on its platform for agencies, brand advertisers & publishers to deliver interactive video advertisements.

Founded in 2007, the company has raised a total of over $30 mn in funding. It hired former DoubleClick executive Rick Kleczkowski as its Chief Operating Officer recently for global expansion.

We caught up with Naren Nachiappan, the co-founder & MD of Jivox to understand where the company is placing its bets and how ad tech is changing. Edited excerpts.

Naren Nachiappan
Naren Nachiappan, Co-Founder & MD of Jivox

How do you see Jivox fit into the changing world of digital advertising?

While in India, print is growing, in rest of the countries it is declining as people spend more and more time on their mobile devices. Media consumption has really increased in the last 2-3 years by a staggering amount and advertising dollars are following. Our proposition is that if you as a creative person have made something, we will make sure that it is delivered across devices. You don’t have to build separately for Android, iOS etc. Billions of dollars are moving from offline to online. There is a huge opportunity for all these companies to solve different parts of the problem.

What happened to your video ad network business?

We were always a technology company. In the network business, it is easy to pump up revenues.  But we realized in the last couple of years the margins are very low in that business. Also, networks are going to go away and we are going to have newer platforms coming in. Networks are going to be very very challenged to maintain their position. All older networks are now trying to create some technology and create competitive business. We saw this coming 2-3 years ago. Komli now uses our platform to deliver ads. So what we sold to them effectively, was the media side of the business. The media business is a challenging business. We are more of a technology company as our roots are there. The margins are much better.

Where do you see networks going?

They are probably going to go away. There will be only two types of players left, one being the highly specialised differentiated publishers like New York Times who can continue to support a direct sales team. The others will go through a real time platforms where there will be no human beings involved in this as it will all be automated. The current networks understand the business very well, so they are making investments in technology. The way it works before can’t go on.

As a platform, what’s NextBigWhat for Jivox?

It is going to be a lot about understanding the data we get. For instance, what are you doing with an ad, or how you ended up on that ad. Even today, most people are looking at Click through rates. The next level of understanding is going to be tremendously powerful for advertisers and users as well. How do you get the user to get to engage within the ad and how do you understand what the user is doing within the ad.

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