Teads, the global media platform operates a leading, cloud-based, end-to-end technology platform that enables programmatic digital advertising across a global ecosystem of quality digital media. As an end-to-end solution, Teads’ modular platform allows partners to leverage buy-side, sell-side, creative, data and AI optimisation technologies.
Teads partners with the leading marketers, agencies and publishers through a team of more than 1,000 people across 39 offices in 30 countries.
Campaign India speaks with Christian Guinot the CEO at Teads in APAC.
How does Teads work for both advertisers and publishers?
Christian Guinot (CG): Teads was created as a tech company, about 10 years ago. We invented the 'Outstream' technology (embedding video players into the main content of the article), creating, inRead, our flagship ad format. At the inception, we were mainly catering to the publishers, and video advertising itself had its limitations as most brands did not create videos at the time.
Teads stand for quality. Today, we offer agencies and brands a single point of access to run advertising campaigns within the most premium publishers all over the world, reaching 1.9 billion users globally and 805 million in APAC. Our reach in India is growing steadily and is currently at 450 million with further potential to grow. We focus on user-friendly formats and provide creative optimisation for mobile, particularly important for video as many films are TV commercials, produced for TV, not for mobile. We are a credible alternative to Youtube and Facebook and often provide superior performance.
For instance, the average time in a Facebook video in view on the news feed is only 1.5 seconds, while the average time in-view that we register is above 10 seconds. The difference is the way we operate and make sure to run ads only in premium brand-safe environments. We ensure brand safety via partners like Grapeshot, IAS and double verify among others.
Do advertisers reach out to a publisher of their choice, or do they get access to everyone?
CG: Simply put, yes, advertisers choose publishers of their choice. We offer two ways of accessing our publisher inventory. This is either via DSPs or a traditional managed service. This is our main access channel - a Teads Ad Manager (TAM) platform, which can be operated either as TAM self-serve or as managed TAM.
You rely heavily on AI. How reliable is it in the whole process?
CG: Yes truly we depend on AI heavily. It is so efficient and works extremely well for our business. If you ask me what makes AI this efficient I would say - data quality + data scale + smart humans!
Our AI reaches over 1.9 billion users monthly and gains seven billion impressions by scanning quality and details like topics, brands of interest, country, time, the pattern of content consumption and many other “signals” that feed our AI and machine learnings. Of course, we still have our brilliant team of engineers to constantly explore and improve our systems and algorithms to better serve our clients.
Our AI systems are already well equipped with more than three years of historical data that we are already successfully translating to run cookieless campaigns for brands like Nissan in India, as we move towards the cookieless era.
What are the challenges of being in a cookieless environment?
CG: It's a bit like moving into the matrix. We don't see anything, but we need to guess where it is. In 2021, with the announcements on data privacy, the biggest challenge digital marketers talked about was their cookieless strategies and if there are options designed to future-proof targeting effectiveness in the post-cookie era. The main concern is that a new privacy-centric solution ready to replace historical measurement practices is yet to emerge. With advertisers on the brink of losing important measurement functions, costs to maintain campaign ROAS could increase by as much as 200%.
You have various ad solutions on your platform. Are these customisable for different advertisers?
CG: We believe in constantly evolving and bringing new solutions to the market, and to do so we need to be agile and customisable. Our cutting-edge creative service called the Teads Studio can provide best-in-class assets that can be either created from scratch or just enhanced from existing assets. It is well known and has been demonstrated that two-thirds of the advertising effectiveness comes from the creative and providing this at no additional costs sets us apart from the rest of the players in the market.
Almost 65% of our clients in India, predominantly global clients, are now using our Creative Studio to customise in-market. Samsung is one of the most prominent brands currently utilising Teads Studio extensively.
How many publishers and advertisers do you have on board as clients so far?
CG: We are currently at our launch phase for India with a small team but we are growing and hiring fast. Currently, we work with more than 2,500 websites in India which are local or region-specific. We also work globally, with more than 10,000 websites and publishers, which include prestigious ones like CNN, BBC, and The Guardian are working exclusively with Teads!
Of course, we can directly offer all of this huge inventory made with combined local supply and global supply (that can be used with Indian IPs only if required) to our clients and brands.
Can you name a few Indian clients that you have?
CG: Teads currently works with clients like Apple, Google, Samsung, Unilever, Nissan, and Vodafone to name a few. There are many others and we are currently onboarding new clients as we speak who are extremely excited to test our technology solutions like cookieless or our
TeadsCare solutions that are now available for clients to use.
Name the publishers you work with currently...
CG: In India, we currently work with the likes of The Times of India, India Today, Jagran, Moneycontrol, News18 etc.
We plan to constantly grow our inventory and help brands scale their campaigns in safe environments. This will also help launch new technology products like our cookieless translator to prepare the brands before the cookieless era… and that will come fast!
Your site also mentions the presence of proprietary data solutions to ensure accuracy. Where do you source this data from?
CG: There are two things here:
Firstly, we have 1PD or first-party data that is collected from our direct integration with publishers: use content consumption to create Teads demographic segments by grouping users together if they show similar online behaviours. From there, the groupings are validated with external measurement providers like Nielsen to confirm they meet or exceed accuracy benchmarks per market. We also analyse content consumption to create Teads Interest segments. How do we define interest? Over 30 days a user’s content consumption habit is compared to the average user behaviour in that country.
Then, for cookieless targeting, we can apply the same profiling approach in real-time without using or creating any user ids. We only rely on publisher signals, device information and our AI, to predict with precision the user profile behind and send ad opportunities that fit that specific audience.
Tell us about your plans for the Indian market now. Do you have anything specific in mind?
CG: We are finalising the launch of Teads India as a legal entity as we speak. Then the plan already engaged is to grow steadily with two offices, one in Gurugram and one in Mumbai. We have small teams on the ground in these 2 cities, but we are hiring steadily for different roles (sales, platform specialist, publisher development, AdOps) to make sure we are ramping up fast in the market, addressing our client needs and making sure we deliver!
As we speak we have already identified and are talking to potential candidates to join us.
Who will head the Indian market?
CG: Tarun Ummat will lead Teads India development, starting with a team of seven-eight people as we speak, split between Gurugram and Mumbai. Tarun is a seasoned digital and adtech lead, with more than 15 years of experience in India. He has spent the last years in Beijing and Singapore.
He is moving now, with his family, from Teads Singapore where he has been working over the last five years, demonstrating strong sales performances and leadership, to make Teads India a success.
I will also be personally very engaged in this development as I am a strong believer in Teads potential in India.
What are your expectations from the Indian market?
CG: India is a very big yet fiercely competitive market with a lot of advertising opportunities. Over the last five years, we have successfully grown our business in Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia, and Korea. We aim to replicate that and have a great start in India as well. Our advantage is our superior technology like our formats or our TAM platform with the added value of our great services like our studio team which I am confident will place us apart even in a big market like India.
Beyond our tech or services, Teads is also leading and investing significantly in the future of advertising, with concrete solutions to offer when it is about making our client advertising more sustainable, more responsible (this is our TeadsCare product), or when we go beyond traditional KPIs by developing a full Teads Attention program which will enable to measure and optimize our client campaigns on user ad attention and engagement.
Overall we are both bullish and ambitious about India. Success and growth will take time of course but I am very confident that our tech, our data, our solutions and services will align here with the positioning we have in other markets and that we are supporting, meaning a true alternative and complement to Facebook, and YouTube.