Vevo teams with KERV for shoppable CTV ad formats

Music video network Vevo has teamed up with video analysis company KERV Interactive to power shoppable ad formats for the streamer on connected TV.

The partnership and formats cover Vevo’s CTV app and 20 free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels.

KERV has AI and image recognition (IR) tech that helps identify objects and contextually relevant moments in content, alongside first-party content metadata that allows brands to personalize creatives based on viewers interests, location and contextual inputs, among others. The shoppable ad format for Vevo involves a second screen, which can be employed to match brand’s specific campaign goals. For instance, Vevo said an ad could feature a QR code that drives viewers to a carousel on their mobile device where they can explore and purchase products.

“With shoppable ad experiences proliferating across the biggest screens in the living room, music videos serve as a connective bridge to influence – enabling brands to reach and engage with passionate audiences in new ways while prioritizing the viewer experience,” said Rob Christensen, EVP of Global Sales at Vevo, in a statement. “By transforming ad breaks into natively embedded, customizable experiences, our partnership with KERV is complementary to our CTV programming. As Vevo continues to expand monetization efforts worldwide, we’re helping brands simplify the path to purchase and drive real-time, outcome-based connections between brands, consumers, culture and commerce.”

KERV is one of the company’s helping to power shoppable and interactive content and ad experiences, as well as contextual advertising tools, for brands and streamers. Last month NBCUniversal announced an expansion of its shoppable TV experience to select episodes of six Bravo series on Peacock, with KERV’s technology providing power in the background to identify and match products within content so that viewers can “shop the look.” It’s also one of the data partners helping to power segments for a contextual CTV deal library from IRIS.TV, meant to make contextual CTV buys that target viewers based on content instead of personal identity possible in an easier way. 

A move towards interactivity and shoppable CTV ad experiences comes as consumers have shown interest in interactive formats and signaled they’re ready to act. In an April survey from LG Ad Solutions, 71% of respondents said they like TV ad creatives that include a QR code, while 42% cited a preference for ads that have interactive features. What’s more, 62% reported openness to scanning a QR code from a TV ad in the next 12 months, while 38% said they’re likley to make a purchase after scanning a TV ad QR code. Still, interactivity and shoppability are relatively new formats for CTV, meaning consumers might need time to adapt. Analyst Douglas Montgomery of Aluma Insights previously told StreamTV Insider he doesn’t think consumers are that fond of QR codes and increasing viewer exposure to shoppable TV should continue to be a focus to encourage wider adoption.

As Montgomery wrote last year in an article for STV, “Actualizing the potential of shoppable video advertising rests largely with Gen Z. Growing up as digital natives, they see little difference between traditional television, social media, streaming video, etc. These are just different ways of using a screen.”

Vevo, meanwhile, counts more than 900,000 music videos in its library and is working to expand advertising capabilities for its music video app and free streaming channels that have distribution across major CTV platforms. In 2023 the company introduced programming blocks grouped by similar visual and mood elements, powered by AI tech from Hive, meant to help advertisers target in a more nuanced and contextual manner. However, it’s not totally removing a human touch. Last month Vevo partnered with Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy team to have 12 players curate an hour-long music video programming block and each personally add their favorite music videos – in a move to both extend the club’s reach and give Vevo a chance to curate culturally relevant content. Through the joint program the music video block, along with reasons why players pick certain music, airs ahead of LA Galaxy game days across the Vevo network including its flagship ‘Vevo Pop’ channel, on YouTube and Vevo’s CTV app.

“We’re proud to be working with Vevo to provide AI-powered CTV solutions that will reimagine how advertisers engage with streaming audiences – all in a turnkey, streamlined way,” said Brad Quinn, VP Publisher Partnerships at KERV, in a statement. “As brands continue to seek out new technology to connect with their audiences in a more personalized manner, this partnership positions Vevo as an innovative leader – providing a lean-in experience for viewers and tangible outcomes for brands.”

And Vevo’s been teaming up to enhance CTV ad buying capabilities to make it easier for brands that want to invest dollars. That includes through a February partnership with PubMatic to expand programmatic CTV buying, following a November agreement with ad server Publica by Integral Ad Science to open up programmatic opportunities for Vevo's CTV ad inventory.