Media Pitch: How MadHive Is Preventing OTT Ad Fraud
Now that over-the-top video is mainstream – with 52% of US adults using OTT services – marketers are rapidly shifting dollars to reach eyeballs on connected TV screens. As demand for inventory in the OTT advertising ecosystem increases, so does the rate of ad fraud.
MadHive, an ad tech company, wants to help publishers and advertisers combat fraudulent inventory in the growing OTT market. Employing cryptography and blockchain technology, MadHive's solution aims to verify supply and boost its value for buyers.
In this interview, MadHive CEO Adam Helfgott explains how their technology can optimize digital advertising campaigns, increase transparency in the supply chain, and improve inventory quality.
What is your technology and how does it work?
MadHive is an end-to-end advanced advertising solution for digital video that leverages cryptography, blockchain, and AI to deliver evidence-based business outcomes. Our next-generation advertising suite provides precision targeting, audience verification, as well as the first OTT-first device graph and cross-device attribution, while addressing the biggest threats to the advertising industry – the issues of trust, transparency, fraud, and brand safety.
How did you come up with this idea?
We realized that publishers, brands, and agencies have been living in the Advertising 1.0 ecosystem – what we call the ‘Guess Economy’ – constantly dealing with issues of brand safety, transparency, and fraud. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Our technology is ushering in a new era where results are trusted because they are mathematically and scientifically proven. MadHive is paving the way for Advertising 2.0 and the ‘Evidence Economy.’
How does your tech solution reflect changes underway in the media world?
Take the OTT industry, for example, which is currently seeing explosive growth and expected to reach $5 billion in ad spend by 2020. This growth is driving the need for programmatic solutions, which automate the decision-making process for OTT advertising. It is a necessary process when dealing with the digital ecosystem’s massive scale of supply and demand, but historically has also resulted in problems like fraud. MadHive uses innovative technologies and proprietary methodologies like cryptography and blockchain to identify suspicious or fraudulent inventory in the OTT ecosystem, and eliminate it for our clients. And with our initial findings showing that 18% of OTT inventory is suspicious, fraud could equate to a billion-dollar problem as soon as next year. MadHive is taking the necessary steps to not let the fraud that plagues digital display happen in the OTT market.
What makes your technology unique and innovative?
In addition to the innovative and proprietary technologies we are leveraging, we are focused on local OTT markets and helping small businesses connect with their communities. The rise of OTT resulted in a shift of viewing habits away from traditional TV, and local broadcasters are now taking their content online. This integration of digital services presents a massive opportunity for advertisers, giving them the ability to target ads so they are only seen by specific households and deliver incremental reach. MadHive currently helps automate local buys in over 200 DMAs across the US, helping both publishers and advertisers navigate the rapidly changing landscape.
How do your tools help publishers increase revenue or cut costs?
MadHive leverages proprietary AI to automatically analyze demand in real-time for the best outcomes, from pacing to pricing. Our real-time data enrichment also ensures better placement for advertisers, boosting inventory CPM for publishers. By leveraging MadHive to cryptographically verify their inventory, publishers are able to eliminate fraud for advertisers, making their inventory inherently more desirable. This also allows publishers to provide proof of results, while optimizing for future sales.
What do you think are the most important trends affecting the media business today?
The rise of addressable advertising will have significant impact on the future of the media landscape. It will open up the TV screen to a new realm of advertisers who thought the medium was too expensive, while tapping new, younger audiences and turning it into a more efficient marketing channel.
Where do you see opportunities for growth?
OTT is offering national advertisers an opportunity to maximize their reach in local markets on a national level, resulting in incremental reach while connecting with potential customers that their national TV advertising has failed to reach. And the targeted advertising capabilities on OTT are enabling advertisers to reach consumers with specially curated ads, resulting in maximized revenue for publishers and broadcasters. This ability to form one-to-one relationships with consumers at scale is not only a huge opportunity for growth, but is going to play an integral role in the future of marketing.
Leah Wynalek is the senior editor for Publishing Executive and Book Business. She has worked at national magazine publishing companies including Trusted Media Brands and Rodale, where she assisted in digital content creation and strategy for Prevention.com. More recently, she used her multimedia skillset on behalf of clients as a content specialist for Philadelphia-based marketing agency En Route.