Big media companies don't usually buy vendors that want to rip up their historic main funding mechanism. But true[X] wants to reboot the way advertising is delivered by 21st Century Fox, which acquired it for $200 million in December.
What is true[X]'s big idea? Rewarding viewers for interacting with good ads by showing them fewer ads overall, says co-founder Joe Marchese, in this video interview with Beet.TV. Marchese is now President, Advanced Advertising at Fox Networks Group
"If, in one session, it could do the work of 20 exposures, why couldn't we reduce the ad load by 20?," Marchese says. "Why couldn't everybody win? Consumers get less ads, publishers get rewarded for quality and advertisers get a return?"
"You could be watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Fox.com - you click play and it says 'we're going to give you a choice' - you can actively engage with this ad ... when they're done, they can go back in to the show and watch it without commercials."
"Ad load" is a thorny question - too many and viewers may switch away, too few and broadcasters may not get their pay day. For Marchese, the answer is simple: "More ads, more avoidance. Every ad model built for the internet is built for tonnage - billions and trillions of impressions. The goal is to generate as many page views as possible, not the longest engagement. There has to be a model that favors quality over quantity."
The true[X]'s platform now being used by Fox, Viacom, CBS and AT&T.
Marchese's close relationship with 21 Century Fox's James Murdoch incoming CEO is discussed in this article by Emily Steel in The New York Times.
Disclosure: true[X] is a sponsor of Beet.TV's coverage of Cannes Lions.
You can find this post on Beet.TV.