Interactive Media Holdings intends to use its Myspace property as a key asset in its bid to become the top dog in digital advertising.
Today, the Irvine, California-based company — which owns the Vindico video ad management platform, Specific Media ad network and agency, and Xumo TV/multiscreen platform in addition to Myspace — announced its name change to Viant and its launch of what it describes as “the first advertising cloud.”
The new name — a portmanteau of “vision” plus “giant” — gives an indication of the company’s ambition.
“For 15 years, we’ve been chasing a giant vision,” CEO and cofounder Tim Vanderhook told VentureBeat. That vision, which has been to “let advertisers know what they get for their money,” is expanding.
“We’re the bold company,” he said, “the one who acquired MySpace when no one else would.”
Now, Vanderhook said, “we are going to dominate the ad industry by being the first to market with the Advertising Cloud.” The company said its new cloud will enable it to accomplish an elusive goal.
“Lots of companies can track e-commerce” from ad exposure online to a sale on someone’s site, he noted, using logged-in identities or cookies. But Viant wants to track an online ad exposure to a sale in a physical store.
Although ecommerce is booming, Viant points out that 94 percent of retail transactions still take place inside actual walls. Vanderhook said this “full closed loop,” where actual in-store transactions can be matched to online ad viewing, represents the third “transformational shift” in the evolution of digital advertising. He pointed to search-based ads and behavioral targeting/retargeting as the first two.
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Let’s say you’re the retailer Shoe City, Vanderhook suggested.
John Smith is logged into a site of a Viant client, partner, or property. (Viant said that its database of registered users from its third-party data partners and Myspace represent about 65 percent of U.S. households. However, Viant declined to specify how many U.S. registered users Myspace currently has.)
An anonymous code is assigned to Mr. Smith, as he is tracked with a first-party cookie, views an ad in the Viant ad network, and then is matched to a credit card identity used at a point-of-sale terminal in a Shoe City store.
To accomplish this and other goals, the new Cloud offers a suite of three connected components — an Identity Management Platform (IMP), a Media Execution Platform, and a Data Analysis Platform.
The IMP tracks a user — logged in to one of its associated databases — with an anonymous code, segments the user into target groups of similar consumers, and pinpoints when that user takes an action that appears to be a response to an online ad.
The Media Execution Platform, which handles the ad management, comprises the ad serving platform from Viant company Vindico, a verification platform to make sure ads are actually shown, and a demand side platform to handle multiple ad exchanges. Vanderhook said the Analytics Platform offers near-real answers to Big Data queries, for which competing systems need 24 hours.
Viant has been testing its Cloud in a private beta for 7 months with 10 unidentified client companies. Vanderhook said that the return-on-investment in terms of sales is 10 to 20 times what competing digital ad point solutions offer.
“In the adtech space, there are lots of [competing] single point solutions,” he told us. He pointed to Facebook’s person-based (that is, not anonymous) ad platform, Atlas, as being the closest competitor.
“Our advantage is we have a fully integrated platform,” he added, including identity management, ad serving, and analytics.
The Cloud will be available by invitation only for the next three months so that resources can be geared to demand, the company said, after which it will be opened up.