Interview with Sorosh Tavakoli, Founder and CEO of Videoplaza

What the Video Opportunity Means for Ad Operations

Videoplaza is sponsoring Tom Bowman’s session Video Will Become Television, Television Will Become Video at the OPS Europe event Tuesday in Cologne. In advance of the event we asked Sorosh Tavakoli, Founder and CEO of Videoplaza, a few questions about video, ad operations and the state of the industry.


Video is a hot topic nowadays. Can you give us an introduction to Videoplaza, and what problems you trying to solve?


The shift from linear broadcast TV to the New IP-delivered TV is happening now. We believe this represents a massive opportunity – the biggest advertising medium on this planet is being disrupted. Our goal is to help our broadcast and publisher clients to build a successful business around this new medium. The core of our offering is a sell side ad management platform, built to maximize the value of our client’s audience. Our value proposition is threefold:


  • Empowering our clients to maximize their ad revenues from their IP delivered videos – regardless of where those videos are being consumed
  • Streamlining workflow and increasing efficiencies for ad operations as the complexities are growing exponentially
  • Helping our clients nail down their long-term video strategy



How is Videoplaza going? Give us an update on where you are.


It’s been a great year for the company with a lot of activity. We moved our HQ to London earlier this year and now have 5 offices across Europe. We’re keeping our Engineering team in Stockholm as we continue to invest heavily in R&D. With clients in more than 15 markets, Germany is the latest market we’ve entered, signing our first client last week. We’re expecting loads of activity both at OPS Europe and dmexco in Cologne this week.


The growth in this market is just phenomenal. We are seeing about 600% YoY growth in the volumes of ads we are delivering right now. This is partly driven by us winning new business and partly by our clients growing their volumes, both on the PC and on to new devices.


The market is really busy and there’s a lot happening, what excites you the most right now?


What excites us the most right now is how video is growing out of the PC to live on all the other screens surrounding us. The development is happening far faster than our expectations and we’re suddenly finding ourselves in a world where the PC is only one of many devices that video is consumed on. We are today empowering clients on a wide range of devices including mobile devices, tablets, PC’s, IPTV, Connected TVs and gaming consoles.


Users are expecting a device agnostic experience and we’re focused on helping our clients figure out the associated business models. The revenue opportunity is massive and the publishers who understand this are investing heavily in this area.


What are the big opportunities for media companies around video today?


Most media companies are still transitioning from their traditional heritage – be that print, broadcast or something else – the modern media company is device and medium agnostic delivering news and entertainment regardless of platform and media. What this means is that video is now an opportunity for any media company – not just in terms of editorial but also from a revenue perspective. Suddenly (in most markets) the largest ad budgets are up for grabs for anyone and are not limited only to the broadcasters.


What does this mean for the ad operations community?


First I want to say that I’m happy to see that publishers and broadcasters are increasingly realizing the importance of having healthy and efficient ad operations. As the industry is growing in complexity, a great ad ops team makes you more revenue – it’s that simple.


However, there’s still a lot of work to be done. Ad operation teams are usually understaffed and video is squeezing them even further. Roadmaps are ambitious and ad ops teams need to not only integrate their ad delivery capabilities to new players, devices and technologies; they also have to understand the overall ecosystem, figure out syndication deals, complex commercial break management, interactive formats etc.


We believe the solution to this is really about two things – working with the right product and with the right partner.


The product needs to be built to solve the specific challenges of video, rather than being shoehorned into doing things it wasn’t intended to do. The partner needs to be someone who lives and breathes video that you can turn to for expert knowledge and guidance. We have been extremely focused on these two things and hopefully we’re making a difference.


Attending OPS Europe? Learn more about the session Video Will Become Television, Television Will Become Video.

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