Viacom Adds Engagement Ads Through TrueX Deal (Exclusive)

This is the first new deal that ad tech firm TrueX has signed since it was acquired by 21st Century Fox.

TrueX, the ad tech company that was acquired by 21st Century Fox in December, has pacted with Viacom to bring its engagement advertising to the media company's portfolio of networks. 

TrueX serves online video audiences with opt-in ads that they can engage with for a period of time instead of seeing the standard series of ads throughout a long piece of video content. Viacom will offer those ads on video's across its portfolio, including the websites for MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central. Using the new technology someone midway through watching a video on the VH1 website, for example, would be given the option between engaging in a 30-second TrueX ad or watching a standard mid-roll ad, which would typically be much longer. 

John Halley, Viacom's chief operating officer of ad sales, tells The Hollywood Reporter that he likes TrueX ads because they reward engagement rather than the number of ad impressions. "It's a win for long-form content providers like Viacom because it allows us to distinguish the ad for long-form," he explains. "We think engagement can be a really important part of advertising going forward." 

This is the first deal that Los Angeles-based TrueX has struck since Fox acquired the company for a reported $200 million late last year. CEO Joe Marchese says the goal is to serve the whole industry. "We want our engagement ads to replace longer commercial breaks," he says. "The heavy ad load isn't being tolerated by consumers anymore. We want to build a consensus around this being a standard ad format." 

TrueX also works with streamers DramaFever and CrunchyRoll and music service Pandora.