At DoubleVerify, our people are one of our strongest assets, helping to drive innovation and creativity to the community around us. Our employees pride themselves on being “all in” by continually meeting the challenges in our industry with a spirit of ingenuity and invention. One DVer in particular, Aron Schatz, Director of Product Management, Publisher Products, was recently recognized by IAB Tech Lab for going above and beyond to help produce and develop standards that allow the digital industry to continue to thrive. His dedication earned him his third IAB Tech Lab Service Excellence award for his work with the Digital Video Technical Standards working group.
Guided by the mission to develop foundational technology and standards, the IAB Tech Lab enables growth and trust in the digital media ecosystem. The Digital Video Technical Standards Working Group owns the advancement of the IAB’s video-focused technical specs, which are Digital Video Ad Serving Template (VAST), Secure Interactive Media Interface Definition (SIMID), and Video Multiple Ad Playlist (VMAP). Members of the team include CTOs, Heads of Product, Developers, Directors/VPs of Engineering, Directors/VPs of Product, Product Managers, Platform/Product Architects and Technical Leads from our industry.
Aron’s award will be officially announced at IAB Tech Lab Summit: Renaissance on October 13-14th, 2021. To highlight this achievement, we spoke with Aron about his work at DV and with IAB Tech Lab.
Congratulations on your IAB Tech Lab award! Can you tell us a little bit more about you and your current role at DV?
I actually went to school for computer engineering but wasn’t particularly interested in writing code, which is how I fell into product management. I started working in the advertising industry back in 2009 at my first startup, Mocean Mobile (which was later acquired by PubMatic). Since then, I’ve worked at companies that run the spectrum of the industry such as mobile, ad servers, DSPs and platforms focused on the publisher side.
Most of the industry thinks of DV as an advertiser-focused company dealing with measurement and anti-fraud technologies, but I joined DV to work on the publisher side of the business. DV has a growing base of publishers with products to help them sell their inventory. My role is to continually bring two specific product lines ahead of the market needs and remain competitive with other players. More specifically, I manage Campaign Delivery and Unified Analytics along with Industry Benchmarks. Overall, this can be thought of as an entire revenue analytics suite of products for publishers. You can learn more about our suite of publisher solutions here.
Can you tell us about some of the work you’ve been doing with IAB Tech Lab, specifically around digital video?
As someone who really enjoys new and emerging technologies, digital video is something that sparked my interest a number of years ago. Since joining the IAB Tech Lab’s digital video working group, I’ve been involved with helping to craft standards such as VAST 4.1 and VAST 4.2 along with the replacement for VPAID, which is called SIMID. A core group of my peers helped create SIMID in order to take interactive video to the next level, which is one of those formats that can be very rich and impactful for advertisers and consumers alike.
How exactly does SIMID take the interactive video experience to the next level?
SIMID was built from the ground up to be a next-generation standard for today’s market needs and beyond. Not only is the standard secure, it puts the control in the publishers’ hands to ensure that a valuable consumer experience is maintained.
The best way to compare user experience between SIMID and the older VPAID is the buffering. Everyone remembers what happened when a pre-roll video ad using VPAID did client-side decisioning — buffering, buffering and more buffering. It was an unacceptable consumer experience and publishers pushed hard against it.
With SIMID, all of the focus is on interactivity. Publishers no longer need to worry about consumer experiences for ads since they are in control and can make sure that ads do not negatively impact consumers. As a result, interactive video is once again possible in a safe and secure way.
Why do you believe you’ve earned this award?
This is the third service excellence award that I’ve received from the IAB and the Tech Lab. I am honored to be at the forefront of this industry by collaborating on new ideas and innovative technologies that ultimately improve the impact of digital media experiences. And while the award is a nice feather in my cap, the actual use of the standards that I helped create is by far the best reward.
How do you believe your work with the IAB Tech Lab is benefiting the industry?
All you need to do is look back at some of the obstacles our industry has faced with VPAID and see how standards such as SIMID have paved the way for having that two-way conversation with consumers. Having the right technical standards put in place allows for all parties to be engaged with not only improving our industry but also enabling those rich consumer experiences that people have come to expect.
What’s in store for the IAB Tech Lab in the coming future?
I hope it is VAST 5.0 with JSON support for the video side. We’re also expected to roll out SIMID 1.1 in the near future, but more to come. I’m also really excited to be co-chair of a relatively new working group for SHARC, which will finally merge MRAID and SafeFrame together with a brand new and modern rich media standard. Look forward to that in the future months.
Anything else you’d like us to know about you or your work with the IAB Tech Lab?
The IAB Tech Lab is made up of member companies, and I’m very passionate about collaborating with everyone to create these technical standards and see them implemented. We need more folks from other companies to do the same. The more people lending a hand in this process, the better the outcome will be. In fact, you don’t even need to be technical. There are lots of opportunities to make a difference.
Any advice for people who want to get involved with the IAB Working Group?
Get in touch with the IAB and find out how you can help craft the next generation of standards in the advertising industry. If you don’t know where to start, get in touch with me and let’s have a conversation. This industry is better with more collaboration.