Tremor International’s Chief Product Officer, Karim Rayes, looks to the Past and Predicts a Bright Future

2021 was an eventful year, for ad tech and for the world at large – from shifting consumer habits to our stilted return to office life. 2022 has shown no signs of slowing down, and as we head into the middle of Q2, now feels like the right time to reflect on the past year and focus on what lies ahead…

What would you say the last year brought to Tremor International?

2021 certainly was eventful, especially for Tremor International. Our end-to-end platform drove record-setting results – a clear indicator that it is boosting our clients’ and customers’ campaign performance in turn.

But numbers only tell part of the story. Tremor evolved as a company in a variety of exciting ways. We went public on the NASDAQ exchange, we further built out our end-to-end platform through the acquisition of Spearad, our addressable TV ad management platform, and we saw exciting innovation across all areas of our company – from the buy- and sell-sides to our dynamic creative solutions.

Our evolution and growth were also driven externally, as consumers are increasingly turning their attention to Connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) video services, which is elevating our success. As a video-first platform, we believe we are well-positioned to enable our clients to capitalize on this evolution.

Finally, while it was technically 2022, I am exceptionally proud of our new Tremor International brand, launched through collaborative, cross-functional, all-internal effort. Our new look reflects our company’s values, rooted in innovation, commitment, collaboration, authenticity, and no ego.

Speaking of evolution, we have also seen a number of changes in the privacy space recently, including the perpetual deprecation of third-party cookies and the changes in access to mobile ID. How is Tremor International equipped to tackle these challenges in the coming year?

Privacy challenges have long been a theme in our industry – 2021 was no exception, and we expect 2022 will include more of the same. That said, we are well-positioned to address these challenges for a number of reasons.

Because our DSP and SSP – Tremor Video and Unruly – share the same audience graph, we are able to significantly reduce data loss when synchronizing platforms. We are also improving our graph’s capabilities for 2022 as we are building solutions to consolidate and manage the fragmentation created in market from the various universal ID solutions that were introduced. We also aim to provide both advertisers and publishers with solutions that are not dependent on third-party cookies, enhancing audience targeting and expanding household addressability and reach – frequently through CTV (our primary area of expertise).

In December, we also introduced content-level targeting, allowing buyers to tap into traditional linear TV buying tactics leveraging granular video-based content attributes (e.g. genre, rating, etc.) for contextual targeting within CTV and OTT environments..

As a result, we are confident we will be able to continue to meet our clients’ needs in a compliant, privacy-led fashion.

Supply chain constraints and inflation were additional challenges we saw emerge in 2021. How has Tremor International addressed such obstacles to be successful in 2022?

As an industry, we collectively saw the impact of these issues in reduced ad spend, particularly from sectors like automotive (due to chip shortages) in the last quarter of 2021. However, these issues have been offset by increased demand and growth in other segments, such as CPG. We believe it’s one of the many benefits of having such a highly diversified client base across our end-to-end platform.

We have also made great strides in strengthening our offering within CTV, which provides an additional safeguard.

Tell us more about how Tremor International’s strengthened its CTV offering.

In 2021, we launched and strengthened a variety of CTV-focused partnerships and products, while also acquiring an advanced TV management and unified demand mediation platform, Spearad.

More specifically, starting in May 2022, we penned what we see as a truly unique and powerful partnership with VIDAA – the operating system for Hisense, Toshiba, etc. – which will provide access to VIDAA’s distribution, reaching approximately 20 million smart TVs worldwide and expected to grow to more than 40 million in coming years. This will make us the only end-to-end technology platform with direct access to TV OEM ACR data for targeting purposes, outside the walled gardens. It is a huge win!

The addition of Spearad’s technology is also enabling us to capture an even larger segment of global CTV inventory through current and future media partners, elevating control and maximizing revenue opportunities for our clients. We expect this acquisition, as well as the VIDAA partnership, will open additional doors for us (and our clients) across the globe,

Last fall, we also announced our Programmatic TV Marketplace, – a centralized platform for planning TV campaigns. It grants advertisers access to a transparent, diversified marketplace – featuring premium, TV-centric supply and curated PMP packages – which enables them to streamline costs, inventory, and reach while simultaneously solidifying our investment in CTV.

Sounds like Tremor International had a banner year. Outside of TI’s wins and accomplishments, what was your proudest personal moment of 2021? And what are you most excited about in 2022?

We have planned and developed on our end-to-end programmatic platform for many years. It was a huge effort by the whole team to integrate all the great companies we have acquired over the recent years while continuing to innovate and serve our clients’ needs. We saw the results of those efforts in 2021, both through our growth numbers and the customer feedback we have been getting. I am very proud of the whole Tremor International team and their ability to execute.

In 2022, I am excited about continuing to evolve our advanced TV solutions, leveraging the strategic deal with VIDAA as well as the integration of the Spearad platform to our end-to-end ecosystem. I think our strong collection of integrated assets will enable us to push the envelope of what is possible in advanced television and am very excited about bringing these solutions to our customers.