As a company that prides itself on working with talented individuals who continually meet the challenges in our industry with a spirit of ingenuity and invention, DV proudly recognizes Pieter Mees (VP, Video and Publisher Product) for his IAB Tech Lab Service Excellence award. Guided by the mission to develop foundational technology and standards, the IAB Tech Lab enables growth and trust in the digital media ecosystem. This award honors members who go above and beyond to help the IAB Tech Lab produce and develop standards that enable the digital industry to continue to thrive. The award was officially announced at the Tech Lab REB00T 2020 Summit, which took place on September 15-17th.
Born in Belgium, Pieter obtained his Master of Science in Civil Engineering & Computer Sciences at Ghent University. In 2010, he co-founded his second company, Zentrick, for which he eventually raised Series A funding to open an office in New York. DoubleVerify acquired Zentrick in 2019, with Pieter serving as the company’s CTO. Since the acquisition, Pieter has served as DV’s Vice President, developing DV’s video and publisher products.
To highlight his most recent achievement, we spoke with Pieter about his work at DV and with the IAB Tech Lab.
Congratulations on your IAB Tech Lab award! Can you tell us a little bit more about your role at DV?
I oversee product and engineering for two distinct product areas. The first is our video solutions for DV’s buy-side customers, delivered through the DV Video OmniTag. The second, our suite of publisher products that was recently announced as the DV Publisher Suite.
My role is to ensure that DV continues to lead the market in terms of video and publisher products and maximize their value for our customers.
Please tell us about some of the work you’ve been doing with IAB Tech Lab?
I’ve been working with a number of amazingly talented people from across the whole ad tech industry to “build a better industry” by designing and codifying the next generation of industry specifications. More specifically, I focus on the specifications related to video advertising. These specifications are the de facto standards for video ad delivery across the whole world and used across trillions of transactions a month.
Most commonly known is VAST or the Video Ad Serving Template, where I was (among many others) a co-author of VAST 4.1 and VAST 4.2
In the past year, we also defined a series of new innovative standards called SIMID and CATS that solve specific needs in the video ad ecosystem. They are designed to better handle some key industry trends like server-side ad insertion and the eventual deprecation of VPAID — something that will be music to the ears of our publisher customers.
What does this award mean to you and your team? Why do you believe you earned the award?
I think this award is a great recognition of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes to build consensus and write these standards with all stakeholders across the industry. Often, these efforts only translate into effective change years down the road, as it can take a long time for a material part of the ecosystem to adopt new technology specifications.
There are several winners of the award each year, and I think that accurately reflects the fact that these things don’t happen in a vacuum. Lots of people contribute each in their specific areas of expertise. I’m receiving this award for the second time now (previously in 2018), and I think that reflects the long-term commitment we’re making to play an outsized role in defining the next decade of ad tech.
How does your work with the IAB Tech Lab benefit the industry, as well as DV and its clients?
The standards that are defined by the IAB Tech Lab working groups power just about every online video ad in the world. That means tens of billions of media dollars are transacted through these specifications every single year.
As technology evolves, the standards need to evolve with it. Updating and improving these standards helps us build better user experiences, unlock new business opportunities, support making the industry privacy-proof, ensure interoperability and safeguard an open ecosystem.
The work I’ve been focusing on at the IAB Tech Lab is around moving three key conversations forward that our customers care about:
- Building the road to an eventual deprecation of VPAID without losing critical capabilities for the buy-side. As VPAID is creating a lot of headaches for the sell-side of the industry, this is an important issue for our publisher customers.
- Making sure CTV and server-side ad insertion are supported just as well as more traditional digital video ads.
- Creating the pathways for more transparency and interoperability in the industry.
What’s in store for the IAB Tech Lab in the coming future?
I’ll leave announcements to the IAB Tech Lab team themselves, but there are several interesting projects underway.
Anything else you’d like us to know about you or your work with the IAB Tech Lab?
To people who would like to help shape the future, I’d like to invite them to join our working groups and help us figure out some of the most complex problems in the industry!