April 6, 2020

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Why We Launched VDX.tv Worldwide

On March 9th, 2020, Exponential announced its roll-out of new, video-driven business division, VDX.tv, in global markets. This announcement is on the heels of our successful launch in the states. Since then, I have fielded a few questions from clients and partners about the purpose of the rebrand, and the future of advanced TV in international markets. So, I thought I would share my take on these two topics.

Scott Kellstedt
Scott Kellstedt
Chief Operating Officer, VDX.tv
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Why We Launched VDX.tv Worldwide

We launched as VDX.tv because we wanted to reinforce our position in the market as a provider of video solutions for brands. VDX stands for video-driven experiences. We deliver those experiences across all screens, including Connected TV (CTV). Our holding company name is still Exponential, but our new brand name better reflects our solutions, and our focus moving forward.

As co-founder, I have been with this business since its inception. Our name is new, but our commitment to offering cutting-edge marketing solutions is not. Neither is our ability to innovate—fast. In fact, our founder’s ability to boldly adapt and innovate is one of the key reasons we are still in business after two decades, while many of our competitors have come and gone. Exponential started almost 20 years ago as Tribal Fusion. Since then, we have offered performance display, in-stream, and mobile advertising solutions to agencies and brands. Now, our goal is to provide a single, consistent, interactive video experience for audiences—wherever they may be consuming content—and a seamless advertising solution that drives real business outcomes for brands.

Why we are all-in on advanced TV

Advanced TV’s importance to both audiences and marketers is on the rise, and our new company name shows clients that we have the technology solutions and know-how they need to navigate this fast-growing media.

So, what exactly is advanced TV? (No worries, you are not the first to ask.) It is a catchall term for any television content beyond linear television, including over the top (OTT), digital video, addressable TV, and data-driven linear. Viewers can watch advanced TV across devices: TV, desktop, or mobile.

We have been monitoring two market trends that indicate a huge future for this type of advertising. Firstly, more households have connected devices, including smart TVs. According to recent research, more than 70% of U.S. broadband households own at least one streaming entertainment product, and 50% own a smart TV. Smart TV and CTV penetration will continue to increase in both the U.S. and UK, according to eMarketer predictions.

Secondly, people are increasingly consuming TV content on their personal devices. Audiences have more choice and control over when and how they watch their favorite programs than ever before. But, this fragmentation causes challenges for advertisers. They need strategies for reaching viewers on the large screen in the living room, as well as on laptops and mobile phones in the household. And they need to reach them with a consistent video experience, regardless of the device, so they can foster meaningful connections that lead to meaningful action.

Advanced TV’s key benefit is that it is addressable, meaning advertisers can show different ads to different households while they are watching the same program. This is an incredible opportunity for brands. They can amplify their broadcast TV commercials to households that matter to them—the ones most likely to become customers—with reduced waste. They can also customize their message to make it more relevant for the consumer, for example by including the location of the nearest restaurant or car dealership. It is local advertising, at scale.

This tactic has value for advertisers across verticals, and it is especially valuable to brands trying to influence a family purchasing decision. Many decisions, such as where to go out to eat, where to go on vacation, and even what vehicle to buy, are made at the household level, so the ability to reach everyone in the household while they are watching TV content on any device is crucial for advertisers. And that’s exactly what VDX does.

Advanced TV’s bright future across markets

International markets—particularly Europe, Australia, and Canada—aren’t far behind the U.S. in terms of advanced TV adoption. CTV inventory availability varies by market, and in some markets, inventory is controlled by a few large providers; but for brands, the challenge is the same, no matter the market. They need ways to reach their audience wherever they are watching TV content.

Clients in the Canadian, EMEA and APAC markets have already reached out to ask about advanced TV solutions, so we know these regions are ready to take advantage of the media’s unique value. I am excited to support these markets. I am also excited to see how advanced TV evolves. Keep in mind the space is just getting started. VDX.tv is positioned to remain on the forefront of tactics and strategies, whether that means embracing new creative best practices, or leveraging cutting-edge targeting or measurement technology.

We are all-in on advanced TV, and I am glad we have a name that reflects that.

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