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Axios Live with DoubleVerify CEO Mark Zagorski

Jul 1, 2022
Axios Pro Media Deals Reporter Kerry Flynn and DoubleVerify CEO Mark Zagorski

Axios' Kerry Flynn and DoubleVerify CEO Mark Zagorski. Screenshot

As Netflix prepares its new ad business, DoubleVerify will likely gain a new partner, CEO Mark Zagorski tells Axios.

Why it matters: Netflix's ad business will benefit not only advertisers but the ad tech players that track and manage TV ad dollars.

What he's saying: "We want to work with every platform, so it certainly makes sense for us to work with Netflix but can't comment any discussions that we have," Zagorski says during Axios Pro's live event on Thursday.

Context: DoubleVerify works with many of the major platforms in connected TV, including Roku, Hulu and Amazon, along with digital and social media platforms like Reddit and TikTok.

  • In the long-standing debate about if Netflix would ever introduce ads, Zagorski says it was "inevitable ... based on its growth trajectory and how much it was spending on content."
  • "The alternatives and the ad-supported alternatives started gaining so much traction. Once you throw Disney into the mix and you throw through a Viacom-driven Pluto into the mix, all these different things meant that viewership is going to get cycled away," Zagorski says.

What's next: Zagorski predicts that Netflix will do "exceptionally well" with its ad business.

  • "Delivering ads is not against their core value prop because you don't have to pay for the ads," Zagorski says. "I think it creates more choice, more opportunity."
Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios Visuals

DoubleVerify's stock is down 45% over the past year. But Zagorski says that the business is going strong, even amid the market conditions and other economic uncertainties.

Details: While many businesses cut their ad spend during uncertain times, driving down the revenue of ad platforms, Zagorski says businesses like DoubleVerify are "resilient."

  • "Even in economic downturns, people don't watch less connected television, they don't use their phones less or use their computers less, so it means ad impressions still run," Zagorski says. "We still have to verify every one of those transactions."
  • DoubleVerify debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in April 2021. This is Zagorski's second time running a public company.
  • As CEO of Telaria, Zagorski says he learned "to stay focused on the business and stay focused on the fundamentals, not worry about what's going on in the world around us to too much of an extent because investors want confidence, and that means consistency."
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