VideoAmp is the latest startup trying to move TV ad dollars online.
The startup is officially launching today, and it’s also announcing that it has $2.2 million in funding from Anthem Venture Partners, Simon Equity Partners, Third Wave Capital, Wavemaker Partners, and ZenShin Capital.
Co-founder and CEO Ross McCray is disgustingly young (23), but he already has experience in the video ad world, having served as head of product and technology at the Channel Factory. He told me that TV advertisers are getting more sophisticated about how they spend online — they started out by just treating it as an afterthought to their TV campaigns, but now Nielsen is starting to measure cross-platform campaigns.
What’s still missing, McCray argued, is “cross optimization” — in other words, using data from one platform to influence buying on another. In VideoAmp’s case, that means taking data about an advertiser’s TV campaign and finding the point “of diminishing returns,” where they’re just paying to reach the same people over and over. VideoAmp suggests how the advertiser can move that spending into online video to reach a de-duplicated/non-overlapping set of viewers.
“We’re here to be the guys who don’t say, ‘Here’s a report,’” McCray said. “We’re optimizing, moving the media, doing the math, pushing that forward.”
VideoAmp also says it can help advertisers buy from both public and private inventory on desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets, and deliver real-time data on how their campaigns on doing.
While McCray focused on online ads during our conversation, McCray also said the company will reach “the next level” as more TV adopts a programmatic ad-buying model. Eventually, he wants to tell advertisers, “Come to us optimize your TV and your digital campaign in unison.”
And even though VideoAmp will work directly with advertisers, it’s also looking to integrate with existing ad-buying tools through its API. (“Everyone wants their own custom flair, whether it’s a network or reseller,” McCray said.) In fact, he claimed that the API was built first, with the current VideoAmp product built on top of it.
“We want to be a technology company and have others build their ifnrastructure on top of ours,” he said.