Integral Ad Science Acquires Context to Power Contextual Video Advertising

When many in adtech think about contextual advertising, they likely now think about privacy and context’s power to drive advertising based on its relevance to user experiences, not granular and sometimes invasive data on user behavior. But advertisers have also prized contextual advertising for years for its ability to connect them with brand-suitable environments.

In that light, it makes plenty of sense why Integral Ad Science, a company that allows contextual targeting and also helps advertisers ensure they’re getting views from real people in brand-suitable contexts, has just acquired Context, which powers analyses of images and videos.

Combined, the companies are suited to ride the wave of recent interest in context in adtech, helping brands navigate the choppy waters of digital media with confidence that they are reaching audiences interested in their messages — and not capitalizing on attention to toxic or brand-unsafe visual content.

Contextual Video Advertising is a Hot Ticket

Contextual video advertising combines two hot adtech trends: shifts toward, well, context and video.

As I mentioned above, context gives advertisers the power to reach audiences interested in their content because it pairs ads with content to which they are relevant. That is an especially useful power in the imminent cookieless era of advertising, when brands will have a harder time leveraging third-party audience data to drive ad campaigns.

Adtech players generally believe video is more engaging and more likely to drive audience engagement than text. But there is less video content on the internet than text, making it harder for the machines that power contextual ads to drive sophisticated contextual video advertising. Partnerships like that between Integral Ad Science and Context will gradually change that.

What Integral Ad Science and Context Are Saying

IAS purchased Context in a cash and stock deal for an undisclosed sum.

IAS touted Context’s ability to accelerate its product development, especially for social media and CTV.

Context CEO Jack Habra is joining IAS and said the acquisition will help the former achieve its “full potential.”

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018 and compiled the daily newsletter since 2016. Joe is a journalist who has written widely about technology, business, and politics. You can contact him at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.