Adware Beware: How Connatix and GeoEdge want to ensure content safety in 2017
Online threats are becoming more and more advanced, especially when they are disguised as advertising. Recall how Google was forced to disable over 780 million infected ads.
David Kashak, a West Village resident and CEO of native advertising platform Connatix, wants to help.
The 38 year-old entrepreneur recently partnered with GeoEdge, a provider for ad security and ad quality management solutions. The goal, he says, is to guarantee publishers a non-intrusive user experience when it comes to video advertising.
Together, the two companies intend to deflect harmful ads in real-time while proactively blocking malware and “low-quality ads” before user complaints are lodged with publishers.
So far, the New York-based company has done well. Between 2015 and 2016, Connatix went from 500 publishing clients to 1,500 propelling earnings to $15 million in 2016. That’s up from $4 million in 2015. The company also touts that it will make three times that much next year.
I recently spoke with Kashak to learn more about Connatix. Here’s what he had to say:
What trends are you seeing heading into 2017?
We’re seeing a trend toward publishers switching to secure servers and demanding 100 percent HTTPS connection on all ad calls. Today, that means limiting the number of demand sources that we can work with, but in the future we expect all demand partners to support HTTPS connections. The real issue stems from advertisers trying to increase their advertising performance by employing underhanded tactics on users’ browsers like un-muting the sound or scrolling the page. Our “iron dome” solution prevents that from happening.
What does your partnership with GeoEdge entail and is a merger possible?
GeoEdge is a great partner but we are in very different businesses and don’t see any synergy in merging. We have licensed GeoEdge’s world-class ad security and verification tools, which we are integrating into our ad server for real time ability to detect and deflect bad ads before the publisher ever receives a user complaint. It is only one measure in a stack of tools we’re utilizing to achieve our objective of protecting the user experience on our publishers’ sites.
Which countries do you have a presence in?
We have teams in New York, Romania and Israel monitoring the system 24/7. GeoEdge reports all the details surrounding the exact ad and source so we can replicate the issue and isolate the string of code that was designed to foil our video platform technology. Our development team then blocks the code and our ops team opens up the programmatic demand again.
Why should more publishers explore native advertising ?
The real issue is, “How can publishers protect their user experience so that they can continue to grow and engage their audiences?” Connatix is 100 percent focused on user experience. By its very nature, native advertising is the antidote to pop-ups and flash creative, and [we] take this a step further by committing to being the first line of attack to protect our publishers from ad behavior that adversely affects the user experience. We are so committed to protecting our publishers that we are willing to take a revenue hit rather than offend a single site visitor. While most ad tech companies respond to publisher complaints with a nod and a shrug, they continue to engage in poor practices because they don’t want to lose the revenue.
What will be the most important aspect of your job in 2017?
I’m passionate about helping publishers monetize their traffic, especially their mobile traffic. And key to monetization is growing and engaging the audience. We are on the lookout for ads triggering audio-on, scroll hijacking or malware so we can proactively block them.