Amagi integrates Mirriad AI tech for dynamic virtual product placement

Bevin Fletcher, Fierce Video

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In-content advertising company Mirriad and Amagi are teaming up on a technical integration that leverages AI to serve dynamic virtual product placements (VPP) to content owners.

Amagi is integrating Mirriad AI technology, with the new capability made available to “hundreds of content owners” across Amagi’s ecosystem to monetize the new ad format. Tastemade is one of the early content partners utilizing the capability, and the companies cited success activating in the market. Amagi and Mirriad said plans are underway to expand the offering to new channels.

“Tastemade has the unique ability to transform viewers into doers through content that inspires,” said Adam Frischer, U.S. head of Sales & Brand Partnerships at Tastemade, in a statement. “Our brand partners really value Tastemade for providing a destination to reach their prospective consumers while in this ‘doer’ mindset. Mirriad, through its cutting-edge virtual product placement technology, enables our customers to seamlessly get their brands even closer to these moments of inspiration at scale, via an easy-to-activate solution.”

According to the companies, dynamic VPP enables major opportunities for brands to transact and target audiences, while within digital platforms where ad loads are lighter than traditional linear TV. The announcement also called it a step towards truly programmatic in-content advertising.

“With Mirriad, brands can unlock virtual product placements across our global content network for a truly next-generation advertising opportunity,” said Amagi co-founder and chief revenue officer Srinivasan KA, in a statement. “Our partnership provides an incredible opportunity to deliver in-content advertising to the right audience in the right place at the right time and do it at scale.”

Meanwhile, Mark Melvin, EVP and GM at Mirriad Americas, said that research has consistently shown that VPP improves campaign effectiveness and that “adding data driven targeting will further enhance performance.”

“Programmatic Virtual product placement is massive step change in how brands can reach and engage viewers in a way that doesn’t interrupt their viewing experience,” Melvin stated.

Amagi is a vendor that works with major content players with clients that include NBCUniversal, BS-CBN, AccuWeather, beIn Sports, Cinedigm, CuriosityStream, Fox Networks, Fremantle, Fubo, Tastemade, Vizio, Samsung TV Plus, Cox Media Group, among others. Crackle Plus last year tapped Amagi to boost its direct and programmatic ad sales via Ads Plus.  Amagi’s been particularly active in the FAST space as well, helping companies to monetize channels and address business challenges , including transparency and ad insertion.

As for virtual product placement, it’s one avenue that Kearney Partner Mike Chapman zeroed in on as an opportunity for streamers to drive growth beyond expanding subscriber bases. In a recent column for Fierce, Chapman, who is the Americas Media Lead in the Communications, Media and Technology practice of Kearney, noted that while product placement is generally considered effective, up until now it’s been difficult to quantify the impact as “simple product awareness or mindshare doesn’t necessarily lead to actual conversion.”

Streaming, however, changes the game, he said.

“By enabling viewers to voluntarily pause content on their terms, streamers can create opportunities for viewers to engage with activities outside the content in a seamless experience, creating commerce opportunities in the process,” wrote Chapman.

Chapman pointed to not only merchandise and affiliate marketing revenues for streaming services, but also their potential to benefit from possibly collecting vast amounts of data on consumers’ purchasing habits and triggers – helping to improve future product placement, guide content decisions and merchandise releases.

Similarly, speaking to Fierce in January, Sharethrough Chief Product Officer Curt Larson pointed out that advances in product placement could provide new opportunities for smart TV OEMs such as Roku to improve existing advertising tactics.

“Traditionally, product placement requires months of advanced planning to include the right product during filming,” Larson said via email. “Recent advancements in video rendering could make the product placement component more scalable.”

NBCUniversal is one media company pursuing its own commerce platform path for streaming, with plans to introduce shoppable TV on Peacock this year starting with Bravo shows “Top Chef” and “Project Runway.” NBCU is tapping KERV Interactive to power advanced shoppable product placement. KERV’s technology uses computer vision to identify items and objects in shows, making them interactive and shoppable via a remote, while serving viewers the same or similar products matched within NBCU’s One Platform Commerce Marketplace. For a deeper dive into NBCU’s shoppable TV and streaming commerce efforts, see what SVP Evan Moore had to say here.  

Read the original Fierce Video article here.

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Rich Kentopp
VP, Product Management

After his career of being a pastor and touring musician, Rich started his technology career almost a decade ago with many of the KERV leadership at Lin Digital. Since then he has been a Product leader at three different scaling startups, learning how to build valuable products with teams who love to work together.

Devin Monds
Head of EMEA Sales

Devin is a dedicated and experienced media sales professional with over 15 years in the digital media space in both North America and EMEA. He most recently headed up the International Team at Adludio, the premier advertising platform for delivering strong creative on mobile devices. Prior to his role at Adludio, Devin worked on the Global Brand Partnerships team at CAA Sports in London, and was International Sales Director at LoopMe where he built out the US West Coast Sales Team from Los Angeles. With a proven track record of new business development and revenue generation, Devin has a multitude of solid relationships with brands and agencies, globally.

He relishes the opportunity to engage with new clients on a daily basis, in order to identify tailored solutions that can drive their desired outcomes. Furthermore, he takes pride in his culinary skills, often experimenting with new recipes and delivering delectable results.

    Brad Quinn
    SVP, Enterprise & Publisher Partnerships

    Brad Quinn is the SVP, Enterprise & Publisher Partnerships based out of our NYC office. He has over 15 years of experience across Agencies, Publishers and Tech. At KERV, Brad leads the Partnerships team focused on content providers and distributors. He integrates KERV’s tech capabilities across ads and content to create a real‑time interactive/shoppable experience.

    David Knight
    VP, Engineering

    Before joining KERV in 2018, David Knight spent over 31 years building software products for large corporations like IBM and Schlumberger, 3-person “garage” startups and everything in between. He’s spent the last 15 years discovering and refining the tools, development process, and necessary culture that create great Engineering teams capable of meeting the special demands of technology driven startups.

    Dan Bloomfield
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    After spending time living in New York and working for NBC Universal’s first digital operations team Daniel moved to Austin in 2009 to further pursue ad tech. During the next decade, he built a career working on interactive video first for Sizmek and then Nexstar. He immediately jumped at the idea to work for KERV and was one of the first to join the company in 2017.

    Creed Pettit
    SVP, Head of Partnerships

    Creed Pettit is an entrepreneurial sales executive offering experience in all aspects of solutions selling, team management, negotiation, organizational leadership, go-to-market strategies and momentum driven models. Prior to joining KERV, Creed served as Media & Entertainment Vertical Sales Leader, Global Business Solutions at TikTok.

    Karen Germ
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    Karen Germ is a seasoned marketing and communications professional with a nearly 15‑year history serving in leadership roles across the advertising and technology landscape. Most recently, Karen served as OAAA’s VP of Marketing where she implemented industry leading initiatives to elevate and promote the power of OOH for advertisers, agencies, partners and consumers. 

    Ryan Schoenfeld
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    Ryan Schoenfeld’s career started as an intern at a smaller digital media agency while attending the University of Texas. Since then, he has spent over 15 years working in the programmatic advertising/video space.

    Bill Roberson
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    Grant Gorton
    VP, UX & Design

    Grant has been with KERV as VP of Creative for over 5 years, and has worked as a designer and creative director at agencies and media companies for the last 17 years.

    Michael Fleischman
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    Michael Fleischman serves as the Chief Financial Officer at KERV Interactive in addition to being an Executive Residence at Progress Partners, a Merchant Investment Bank and Venture Fund. Prior to KERV Interactive, Michael was the CFO and current Board Member at Digital Remedy, a privately-held media execution company supporting agencies, publishers, and brands in navigating the complex adtech landscape of digital success.

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    A native of the New York City area, Michael resides with his wife where he enjoys biking, tennis  and spending time with his wife and three adult children.

    Taylor Pate
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    Taylor Pate serves as Chief Technology Officer at KERV Interactive. Taylor’s experiences in the advertising and creative industry spans 14. He began his career in 2008, working as a designer, animator and art director specializing in the design and production of interactive art. Early in his career, he created 3D character animations and tools for best-selling video game series The Sims while working at Edge of Reality, who developed video games for Nintendo 64, GameCube, PlayStation and Xbox.

    In 2012, Taylor made the shift to work in-house at an online advertising and media services agency, LIN Digital, where he was promoted multiple times in a four-year span. He worked on a variety of online, interactive projects for clients while also developing and automating internal tools and processes. Taylor then spent the next two years working as the director of engineering at multi-platform digital media company HYFN Local, a division of multi-billion-dollar corporation Nexstar Digital LLC.

    Jay Wolff
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    Jay’s expertise in revenue and partner growth in the advertising industry spans 19 years. Most recently, Jay served as CRO of Varick Media, and Chief Growth Officer at Boostr, the first end-to-end SaaS revenue management system for media companies. Previously, as Regional Vice President of SambaTV, Wolff built the revenue organization and east coast market from the ground up. 

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    Dan Bienenfeld

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    Aside from bringing together ‘Rock Star Talent,’ his main focus has been raising over $50M, primarily for the startups identified above, as well as creating strategic partnerships. Currently he lives in Westlake Village, CA with his wife and two kids. In addition to his entrepreneurial journey, he also enjoys working out, traveling and an addiction to sushi.

    Gary Mittman
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    Gary Mittman brings more than 30 years of experience in technology and direct marketing, as well as substantial experience in building startups to exit with creativity and agile development. Before starting KERV, he held numerous top‑ranking leadership roles, including Founder & President of Nami Media (which was acquired by Lin Media/Nexstar Media Group), CEO & Founder of Marina Communications (also acquired), and Vice President of New Business Development, Direct Response at Western International Media (now Initiative Media).

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    Andi Fenster

    Andi Fenster went into the profession of Human Resources 30 years ago, because she believed from a young age that the way you treat your employees is what you get out of them. Her goal as an HR professional has been to help create the type of work environments that inspire folks to want to come to work. She is also a Management/Leadership/Career Coach and her focus is optimizing humans focusing on the mind‑body connection. 

    “We, each, have tremendous potential and the abilities to level‑up if we choose to understand how to get the support we need to get us there. Helping talent thrive and helping them create success is my reason for doing what I do.”

    Marika Roque
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    Marika Roque is a top expert in digital media, data and organizational infrastructures recognized with over 15 years of professional leadership experience. Previous to KERV, Marika worked as the vice president of digital operations for Mass2, a division of multi-billion-dollar corporation Nexstar Digital LLC. Prior to Mass2, Marika served as vice president of digital media activation at LIN Digital.

    Marika has held senior-level positions for leading advertising agencies in the Austin, Texas area including Sizmek and GSD&M. She also spent years in Chicago working for FCB Global and Starcom MediaVest Group. While at Starcom, Marika was recognized for her involvement in the creation of the first agency-side programmatic pipelines and what the industry now refers to as an agency trading desk.

    Marika holds a Bachelor’s in Advertising from The University of Texas at Austin, which she achieved while also participating as a former D1 collegiate athlete.