Vevo teams with KERV for shoppable CTV ad formats

Music video network Vevo has teamed up with video analysis company KERV Interactive to power shoppable ad formats for the streamer on connected TV.

The partnership and formats cover Vevo’s CTV app and 20 free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels.

KERV has AI and image recognition (IR) tech that helps identify objects and contextually relevant moments in content, alongside first-party content metadata that allows brands to personalize creatives based on viewers interests, location and contextual inputs, among others. The shoppable ad format for Vevo involves a second screen, which can be employed to match brand’s specific campaign goals. For instance, Vevo said an ad could feature a QR code that drives viewers to a carousel on their mobile device where they can explore and purchase products.

“With shoppable ad experiences proliferating across the biggest screens in the living room, music videos serve as a connective bridge to influence – enabling brands to reach and engage with passionate audiences in new ways while prioritizing the viewer experience,” said Rob Christensen, EVP of Global Sales at Vevo, in a statement. “By transforming ad breaks into natively embedded, customizable experiences, our partnership with KERV is complementary to our CTV programming. As Vevo continues to expand monetization efforts worldwide, we’re helping brands simplify the path to purchase and drive real-time, outcome-based connections between brands, consumers, culture and commerce.”

KERV is one of the company’s helping to power shoppable and interactive content and ad experiences, as well as contextual advertising tools, for brands and streamers. Last month NBCUniversal announced an expansion of its shoppable TV experience to select episodes of six Bravo series on Peacock, with KERV’s technology providing power in the background to identify and match products within content so that viewers can “shop the look.” It’s also one of the data partners helping to power segments for a contextual CTV deal library from IRIS.TV, meant to make contextual CTV buys that target viewers based on content instead of personal identity possible in an easier way. 

move towards interactivity and shoppable CTV ad experiences comes as consumers have shown interest in interactive formats and signaled they’re ready to act. In an April survey from LG Ad Solutions, 71% of respondents said they like TV ad creatives that include a QR code, while 42% cited a preference for ads that have interactive features. What’s more, 62% reported openness to scanning a QR code from a TV ad in the next 12 months, while 38% said they’re likley to make a purchase after scanning a TV ad QR code. Still, interactivity and shoppability are relatively new formats for CTV, meaning consumers might need time to adapt. Analyst Douglas Montgomery of Aluma Insights previously told StreamTV Insider he doesn’t think consumers are that fond of QR codes and increasing viewer exposure to shoppable TV should continue to be a focus to encourage wider adoption.

As Montgomery wrote last year in an article for STV, “Actualizing the potential of shoppable video advertising rests largely with Gen Z. Growing up as digital natives, they see little difference between traditional television, social media, streaming video, etc. These are just different ways of using a screen.”

Vevo, meanwhile, counts more than 900,000 music videos in its library and is working to expand advertising capabilities for its music video app and free streaming channels that have distribution across major CTV platforms. In 2023 the company introduced programming blocks grouped by similar visual and mood elements, powered by AI tech from Hive, meant to help advertisers target in a more nuanced and contextual manner. However, it’s not totally removing a human touch. Last month Vevo partnered with Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy team to have 12 players curate an hour-long music video programming block and each personally add their favorite music videos – in a move to both extend the club’s reach and give Vevo a chance to curate culturally relevant content. Through the joint program the music video block, along with reasons why players pick certain music, airs ahead of LA Galaxy game days across the Vevo network including its flagship ‘Vevo Pop’ channel, on YouTube and Vevo’s CTV app.

“We’re proud to be working with Vevo to provide AI-powered CTV solutions that will reimagine how advertisers engage with streaming audiences – all in a turnkey, streamlined way,” said Brad Quinn, VP Publisher Partnerships at KERV, in a statement. “As brands continue to seek out new technology to connect with their audiences in a more personalized manner, this partnership positions Vevo as an innovative leader – providing a lean-in experience for viewers and tangible outcomes for brands.”

And Vevo’s been teaming up to enhance CTV ad buying capabilities to make it easier for brands that want to invest dollars. That includes through a February partnership with PubMatic to expand programmatic CTV buying, following a November agreement with ad server Publica by Integral Ad Science to open up programmatic opportunities for Vevo’s CTV ad inventory. 

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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
    VP, Technical Ad Operations

    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
    VP of Marketing

    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
    VP, Technical Partnerships

    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
    VP, Creative Strategy & Design

    Bill Roberson has worked in the digital space for over 17 years, spanning Media Buying, Ad Operations, Analytics and Optimization, Account Management and now Creative.

    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
    Chief Financial Officer

    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.

    Previous to Digital Remedy, Michael spent 20 years at Cablevision and Rainbow Media Holdings during which he was instrumental in the launch and management of multiple regional sports networks and a number of national cable networks including American Movie Classics, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel as well as the structuring of partnerships with companies including Liberty Media, NBC, Fox/NewsCorp, and MGM. 

    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
    Chief Technology Officer

    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
    Chief Revenue Officer

    Jay Wolff serves as Chief Revenue Officer at KERV Interactive, leading global revenue and partnerships, in addition to being the Executive Vice President of 212 NYC, New York’s leading organization for the digital advertising industry. 

    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. 

    Prior to joining SambaTV, Wolff served as Vice President of agency and brand partnerships at PulsePoint; instrumental to the merger of ContextWeb and Datran Media.

    Jay holds a BS in Marketing from Syracuse University and a Certificate of Management from the University of Chicago. He resides in Rye Brook, NY with his wife and daughter, Olivia. 

    Dan Bienenfeld

    Before co‑founding KERV in 2017, Dan Bienfeld spent the previous 35 years founding six start‑ups in various verticals such as publishing, licensing, med‑tech and ad‑tech. Within these companies, he enjoyed two meaningful exits, which provided him with the ability to continue his passion as an entrepreneur. 

    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
    Chief Executive Officer

    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).

    Gary also brings a decade of experience in the entertainment industry, including managing all booking for New York City’s premiere performance night club, The Ritz, as its Executive Manager and Booking Agent, Executive Producer of the MTV concert series ‘Live At The Ritz’, a Professional Manager at Chappell Music Publishing, and started out as an Assistant to legendary Clive Davis at Arista Records.

    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
    Chief Innovation Officer

    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.