In the latest edition of our Cloudocracy series—which celebrates SoftLayer customers shaking up their industries—meet Cedato. Have you noticed video ads appearing more often over non-video content online? SoftLayer customer Cedato makes that possible. We sat down with Dvir Doron, Cedato’s CMO, to learn more.
SOFTLAYER: There’s something we’ve always wondered about online video, so perhaps you can help us out. Why are there so many cat videos?
DVIR DORON: I’ll start with a confession: I’ve never uploaded a video of my pets, my children, or any of my hobbies. At the same time, I know I’m an anomaly. Most people want to share their lives, experiences, and happy moments. Cats capture that. We talk about user generated content, and cat and baby videos drove viewership and content at first. I’m not sure that’s the case today. People have moved on. There are more “fail” videos of people falling over and doing crazy stuff now. They make me laugh. What can I say? I’m weak.
SL: Let’s talk about a strength! How are you shaking up the online advertising business?
DORON: People love video ads and they generate tremendous value, but a few years ago the industry was hitting a roadblock because there wasn’t enough advertising space. Then the market started to embrace what we call “in place” advertising, which enables us to place video ads on non-video content. With the shift to mobile, that created a huge challenge. You have issues with the format, streaming conventions, and standards, and things don’t work very well. On the one hand, there was a huge opportunity to increase the supply of ad space, which was hugely in demand. At the same time, there was a major technical issue to solve.
We were established in the middle of last year to offer a sophisticated software layer that enables publishers to run video ads on video and non-video content. Our platform chooses the ad that will load the fastest, matches the user’s interests, and generates the best value for the advertiser and publisher. As long as you keep everyone happy, they will keep coming back.
SL: There is something of a backlash against advertising now, though, with users increasingly installing ad blockers. How can the advertising industry win them over?
DORON: There are a lot of sites out there that offer a very poor experience, but people don’t realize that slow loading times and buffering are not necessarily because of content delivery issues, poor infrastructure, or site mechanics. It’s a result of poor monetization techniques. Websites are trying to show ads that will maximize their revenue but often the ad behind that is not effective. Sorry for the self-promotion, but I believe that if you show the right ad to the right viewer with the lowest possible latency, everyone wins. If the wait times are low, the experience will be good.
SL: That’s an interesting point. What would you say has been your biggest challenge as a startup in this market?
DORON: We were blessed with very rapid growth, so the challenge for us was to provide a scalable platform. We were soon serving billions of ads per month. We needed someone we could count on to be both scalable and elastic, all over the world. So we’ve partnered with SoftLayer from the very beginning. We were extremely happy with the people and the level of support we were getting. As a startup, we really need that extra bit of support.
SL: And we’ve been pleased to provide it! What are your plans for the future?
DORON: We’re looking at TV advertising. The ability to match an ad to a specific viewer is coming in the next couple of years. Not necessarily to broadcast TV, but it’s coming. We’re trying to find areas where it makes sense to connect the advertisers online with TV audiences.
SL: Your focus is usually on the bits between the TV programs. But if we gave you the chance to edit any film or TV show, what would you change?
DORON: I would change the ending of Lost. It was epic. I watched all seven seasons of it, and this was when there were about 20 episodes per season. No spoilers, but I’d change it to something more original.