Future Today employs IRIS_ID for contextual targeting on ad-supported streaming

Future Today, an AVOD player whose portfolio includes hundreds of owned-and-operated FAST channels, is employing the IRIS_ID from IRIS.TV to help advertisers contextually target viewers using video-level data.

The IRIS_ID is one of the tools that’s been introduced in part to help standardize content identification and metadata from publishers, with the aim to ensure advertisers can reach the audiences they want against certain content on streaming, leveraging video-level data and partners to help with more precise and privacy-compliant targeting data from publishers.

IRIS.TV offers the IRIS_ID, which is pegged as a “persistent content identifier for every video on every screen,” providing a standard framework for video-level data and enabling more transparency in the CTV and video ecosystem. It’s a universal content ID that is attached to every video absorbed into the IRIS.TV platform.

A white paper, commissioned by IRIS.TV and written by TVREV’s Alan Wolk and Jason Damata, laid out how there isn’t uniformity in the metadata around programming on CTV, which each programmer maintaining their own taxonomy. Additionally, there’s not a secure way for publishers to enable the use of their metadata for targeting and reporting on the kind of content an ad ran against.

“Two unfortunate results are a lack of transparency around where ads have run and an inability to use content metadata for targeting and reporting on a global basis,” wrote the study authors, who explained that the IRIS_ID was introduced to solve this issue.  

As for the new enablement of IRIS_ID on Future Today, the company’s portfolio includes free streaming channels such as Fawesome, The LEGO Channel, FilmRise, iFood, WatchFeeFlix, EncourageTV, BratTV and HappyKids. HappyKids in particular has seen scale as the number one AVOD kids and family-themed streaming channel, with over 60,000 TV shows and video with brands such as Cocomelon, Blippi and Mattel, among others. Future Today’s channels are also distributed across major OTT platforms including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Comcast, Samsung and Vizio. It reaches over 50 million households through over 300 channels, with a large catalog of over 275,000 content assets from more than 350 content partners.

Now Future Today is so-called IRIS-enabled supply partner, utilizing the solution to support its proprietary technology platform. IRIS_ID will serve as a signal, which will enable Future Today to allow advertisers “to use their preferred brand suitability and contextual data partners to target its inventory.”

Partners include GumGum, Oracle Advertising, Pixabillity, Reticle, Captify, Kerv, and others. According to IRIS.TV the partners tap machine learning, including computer vision and natural language processing, to analyze each frame in videos and then assign segments from standard contextual taxonomies, such as sentiment, emotion, object recognition, celebrities, logos, brand safety and so on.  

The platform works with publishers to organize this video-level data they supply uniformly, “creating a normalized data model across multiple programmers” with a video then assigned an IRIS_ID, which has all of the classifications analyzed and defined by data partners attached to it, the white paper noted. Partners can find the IRIS_ID through various activation points such as ad servers, SSPs and DSPs.

The report authors highlighted why the IRIS_ID is unique and relevant in the CTV space.

“This is unique in that it finally enables programmers to have control over their data,” TVREV concluded. “Given the massive level of fragmentation in the CTV space, having a standardized extended content ID like the IRIS_ID will allow brands to more easily buy CTV advertising at scale, to utilize larger contextual data sets, to easily align their commercials with more relevant content, and then to verify and measure those ad buys.”

Future Today isn’t the first to sign on for the IRIS_ID. Other partners include AMC Networks, Warner Bros. Discovery, Univision, Hearst, Cox, Nexstar, Vevo, View TV and Vizio Ads.