Why breaking into Latin American CTV begins with mobile devices

fish swim on a tv screen underwater

The mobile marketing platform called DigitalReef is new in name but not in construction.

Three data platforms across the Western Hemisphere: FlowSense in Brazil, IMOX in the US, and North American company Imagination Unwired (which includes Brazilian company Mob Target), were collaborating in the Latin American market (LATAM) in a brotherhood of pants Travellers. .

In June 2021, Imagination Unwired co-founder Maurizio Angelone issued the call to “join forces” and the trio transformed to become DigitalReef.

Under its new name, the combined company claims to achieve 70% of mobile users in LATAM.

On Tuesday, DigitalReef acquired North American connected TV platform Column6 to add CTV to its offering. The company declined to share an agreed price.

Since last year’s rebranding, DigitalReef has been integrating its technology, including its marketing. monetization software DR-ONE, which launched last month. To help publishing clients monetize, DigitalReef relies on proprietary data from 400 million registered users and 200 million active users, Angelone told AdExchanger. It gets this data through SDKs on mobile devices from its carrier partners, which it then aggregates to create audience segments that guide digital media purchases.

DigitalReef’s technology also uses audience data to provide publishers with a better understanding of their audience through “churn analysis, user journey management and click-through analysis,” it said. Compared to five years ago, publishers are largely shifting their focus from mergers and acquisitions to a “focus on consumer retention, engagement and understanding.”

With the acquisition, the company’s ambition is not just to expand into North America, but to enter a new space, CTV, that is becoming dominant in LATAM, Angelone said. For reference, CTV program spending in the region Exploded by more than 400% in the course of last year.

The CTV space is “super hot,” Angelone said, making this acquisition a “huge step forward” for the company, which currently works with around 3,000 publishers and mobile operators.

Column6, founded in 2018, is a CTV and SSP ad server that works primarily with app publishers through a mix of programmatic and managed service sales in North America, including LATAM. The company met with DigitalReef in the South American markets and quickly married due to their common goals of supporting the growth of streaming in LATAM.

“As a publisher-focused organization, we are always looking [more] inventory opportunities, and DigitalReef has a strong sales and [extensive] relations in Latin America,” Mark Yackanich, CEO of Column6, told AdExchanger. Together, the two are in a good position to help drive the “streaming media ecosystem sourcing” in LATAM, he said.

The merger is the next logical step because, according to DigitalReef’s Angelone, smartphones are the “entry point for content consumption” in the LATAM region.

starting mobile

Smartphones are everywhere. But in South America, mobile devices are the main resource for entertainment.

Most of the younger generations in the region “do not have a television or a computer [desktop]Angelone said, but they have smartphones. That’s why DigitalReef’s business model was primarily focused on mobile devices.

Although mobile devices are the “first screen” in LATAM when it comes to media consumption, that is expected to change quickly. “The region has surpassed the United States in its [pace] of plugging televisions into the wall,” he added.

So as CTV proliferates in the region, DigitalReef plans to incorporate CTV into its mobile strategy. The two outlets use the same “launch motion” needed to support both publishers and apps in South America, Yackanich said.

DigitalReef will use its experience in developing mobile marketing software to implement the same “tools and capabilities” for mobile targeting in CTV.

Although mobile and CTV are structurally very different technology media, face many of the same problems, Yackanich said. “The challenges of management of pods and frequencies in CTV they also exist in over-the-top (OTT) viewing on mobile devices”, which gives much in common to the management of transmission in both mediums.

“DigitalReef has access to portable devices [devices] – and many of them – so [implementing] a mix of programmatic and managed services sales [in CTV] is the most effective way to fill [those gaps] in inventory,” he said.

“With that understanding, I think it should be easy,” he added.

DigitalReef did not share any concrete projections about the combined audience or customer overlap. The next step is to capture the “ripe fruit” of integrating the technology, customers and people of the two companies, Angelone said. It also plans to onboard more buy-side and sell-side clients by offering CTV solutions for LATAM as viewership takes off.

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