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Pixalate launches world’s first Connected TV (CSTI) rankings to benchmark the quality of programmatic ad sellers across Roku, Amazon, Samsung devices

Jun 29, 2020 6:00:00 AM

An analysis of OTT/CTV traffic quality including household reach, invalid traffic (IVT), and more: Telaria, FreeWheel, Verizon Media top Q1 2020 rankings

PALO ALTO, Calif., June 29, 2020 -- Pixalate, a global ad fraud intelligence and marketing compliance platform, today announced the first-ever Connected TV/OTT Seller Trust Index (CSTI), a breakthrough addition to Pixalate’s suite of programmatic seller quality rankings.

Pixalate’s new CSTI ranks the overall quality of programmatic sellers across three major OTT/CTV platforms: Roku, Amazon, and Samsung. Among the top current performers are Telaria, FreeWheel, and Verizon Media.

The CTV Seller Trust Index is the world’s first quality-based ranking system for programmatic OTT/CTV sellers.

Pixalate’s Seller Trust Indexes are the worldwide standards in programmatic advertising quality ratings. The indexes evaluate and rank the quality and integrity of key sellers in the programmatic supply chain across channels, platforms, and devices. 

“CTV is a complex, fundamentally different media environment with fragmentation, ad fraud, and a lack of transparency that deteriorates trust in the supply chain,” said Jalal Nasir, CEO of Pixalate. “Advertisers need help navigating CTV and, as the pioneers of global programmatic trust ratings, we believe CTV accountability represents a critical breakthrough for the industry.” 

The new CSTI rankings are derived from Pixalate’s analysis of overall traffic quality based on multiple factors, including but not limited to: 

  • Household Reach: The percentage of households, and OTT/CTV devices within each h­­­ousehold, reachable on the seller’s platform 
  • Channel Share: Based on each seller’s access to inventory and popular apps
  • Invalid Traffic (IVT): Based on each seller’s IVT-free inventory
  • SSAI Transparency: Based on each seller’s transparent, IVT-free Server-Side Ad Insertion (SSAI) inventory
  • Channel Integrity: Based on each seller’s inventory that originates from the declared OTT/CTV apps 

Pixalate introduced the Seller Trust Indexes in 2014 and remains committed to improving the programmatic advertising supply chain with transparency. Pixalate maintains MRC accreditation for the detection and filtration of invalid traffic across OTT/CTV devices and holds MRC accreditation for 12 SSAI measurement metrics.

Telaria, FreeWheel, Verizon Media top first-ever CSTI rankings

The full CSTI includes analysis on over a dozen of the biggest OTT/CTV sellers across Roku, Amazon, and Samsung OTT/CTV platforms.

Below are the top three sellers from each major device type on our Q1 2020 CSTI rankings: 

Top 3 programmatic OTT/CTV sellers on Roku devices (CSTI, Q1 2020) 

  1. Telaria
  2. FreeWheel
  3. Xandr Monetize

Top 3 programmatic OTT/CTV sellers on Amazon devices (CSTI, Q1 2020)

  1. FreeWheel
  2. Verizon Media
  3. Amazon 

“FreeWheel has always been focused on maintaining standards and building trust with both buyers and sellers to ensure that premium video maintains the place it deserves within the media mix,” said Carl Kalapesi, Chief Operating Officer, FreeWheel. “As the video landscape has gotten more complex, we have sharpened our focus in this area, and we are pleased to see the industry take notice in this way.” 

Top 3 programmatic OTT/CTV sellers on Samsung devices (CSTI, Q1 2020) 

  1. Verizon Media
  2. SpotX
  3. FreeWheel 

“Trust and transparency are at the heart of our ad platforms," said Greg MacDonald, VP, Marketplace Partnerships at Verizon Media. "With the rise of emerging channels like CTV, Verizon Media is committed to providing premium access to top-tier inventory and offering fraud protection and brand safety for buyers and sellers alike. Our full-stack omnichannel approach helps us better serve the ad industry as a whole."

64% of U.S. households now reachable by programmatic OTT/CTV, but quality is the primary threat to the continued growth 

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of U.S. households are reachable by OTT/CTV programmatic advertisers, according to Pixalate’s Q2 2020 data — up from 50% in Q4 2019 — and OTT/CTV ad spend is on the rise.

According to eMarketer, CTV ad spend will grow by 28% in 2020 before eclipsing the $10 billion mark in 2021. The CTV advertising industry is looking like a “big winner” in 2020 (AdExchanger), and programmatic OTT/CTV has offered “weary buyers flexibility” in the face of a global economic downturn (Adweek). 

As programmatic OTT/CTV advertising blossoms, however, quality concerns are rising to the surface. Multiple ad fraud schemes have targeted OTT/CTV advertising budgets in 2020, including political ad budgets in an election year. 

What’s new with Pixalate’s Seller Trust Indexes in 2020 

In addition to the introduction of the CTV Seller Trust Index, Pixalate has also made adjustments to its existing GSTI and MSTI rankings. Below is a summary of each index:  

  • Global Seller Trust Index (GSTI): Video and display programmatic advertising across desktop and mobile web environments; includes one set of US-only rankings and another set of International (non-US) rankings 
  • Mobile Seller Trust Index (MSTI): Video and display programmatic advertising across mobile in-app environments; global rankings 
  • Connected TV Seller Trust Index (CSTI): Video and display programmatic advertising across Connected TV/OTT device types; global rankings

Pixalate has sunset its Video Seller Trust Index (VSTI), first introduced in 2016. Video advertising is now calculated into each index.

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About Pixalate

Pixalate, a global ad fraud intelligence and marketing compliance platform, works with brands and platforms to prevent invalid traffic and improve ad inventory quality. We offer the only system of coordinated solutions across display, app, video, and OTT/CTV for better detection and elimination of ad fraud. Pixalate is an MRC-accredited service for the detection and filtration of sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT) across desktop and mobile web, mobile in-app, and OTT/CTV advertising. www.pixalate.com


The content of this press release, and the Q1 2020 Seller Trust Indexes (the "Indexes"), reflect Pixalate's opinions with respect to factors that Pixalate believes can be useful to the digital media industry. As cited in the Indexes and referenced in the Indexes’ key findings reproduced herein, the ratings and rankings of the Indexes are based on a number of categories (e.g., “Household Reach”) and Pixalate’s opinions regarding the relative performance of each firm with respect to the categories. The data is derived from programmatic advertising transactions, as measured by Pixalate. The Indexes examine U.S., global, and International (non-U.S.) advertising activity, respectively. Any insights shared are grounded in Pixalate's proprietary technology and analytics, which Pixalate is continuously evaluating and updating. Any references to outside sources in the Indexes and herein should not be construed as endorsements. Pixalate's opinions are just that, opinions, which means that they are neither facts nor guarantees.




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