Coull’s ZPF technology patent approved

Coull’s ZPF technology patent approved

We pride ourselves on being a technology company and so naturally, our tech is at the heart of everything we do. Our amazing dev team have built everything from the ground up and continue to adapt and innovate. Now, we have official recognition of our hard work and unique tech – our very own patent! We’ve had a patent approved for our ‘Zero Point of Failure’ technology – or ZPF for short. Sounds complicated, right? Well, it can be. The system is very intelligent and complex. However, let me put it in simple terms…

What is ZPF?

The patent covers the “process” of design, building and running ZPF. This technology internally manages our server infrastructure, supporting both ad serving and internal tools. This is to ensure the maximum possible up-time for all of our services and avoiding disaster if a server fails.

How does it work?

ZPF makes the components of Coull’s infrastructure interchangeable across various cloud providers. This means we’re not tied to one specific provider and we can isolate any problems.

For the techies amongst you, here’s some extra detail about what ZPF includes…

    • Multiple controllers and providers, meaning there are many versions of the same components
    • High availability of repos
    • A ticketing system that’s integrated to self-document resources
    • High availability of config management and orchestration
    • Using the lowest cost resources, mix and matched on the best providers
  • Agnostic deployments on any supported provider

Where did the idea for ZPF come from?

Meet Gary, our most experienced DevOps guy. He’s been at Coull for an impressive 13 years. Some years ago, Gary had to survive a series of major outages from Amazon’s cloud service. This had serious knock-on effects and left Gary having to rebuild a lot of the infrastructure from scratch. So, he then had the perfect excuse to put into practice some ideas. This is where our Zero Point of Failure tech was born. By removing the dependency on a single provider and backing up components on many servers, he could prevent this from happening again.

ZPF took about 12 months to create and we first deployed this technology in production in 2012. And now, thanks to our ZPF tech, our infrastructure is much more reliable, ensures maximum up-time for our clients and isolates any problems.

Posted by Mark Lee in Coull comment
Winter (and Change) is here… for Over-The-Top (OTT)

Winter (and Change) is here… for Over-The-Top (OTT)

Over-The-Top is Ad Tech’s new best friend

Online video is influencing all generations and consumers are now watching more than eight hours of online content every week Rapidly evolving audience behaviour in 2018 has continued to drive video growth for over-the-top (OTT).

Global markets progressively continue to adopt online video as it becomes more popular, while the U.S remains a leader in Connected TV (CTV) and OTT. The growth of OTT subscribers and global OTT viewing time shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.

Where is OTT really hitting home?

A recent IAB Study found that in the U.S, over two-thirds of adults (that typically watched OTT video) stated that they watch ad-supported OTT video (IAB Video Centre of Excellence). Millennials in the U.S are by far the largest adopters of CTV and OTT, paving the way for the most popular channel through which advertisers can reach these ‘cord-cutting’ audiences.

Further East however, has also been a year of substantial growth for online video. Asia-Pacific (APAC) has witnessed a boom in OTT and CTV devices. Improvements in audience targeting and better quality video ad experiences has led to a spike in video ad spend in the region, with this trend set to continue well into 2019. Japan and Korea, as leaders in the established ad tech market have experienced some growth. However, due to their deep level of market integration, some areas of OTT adoption have been slower coming in comparison to the US – though growth is expected to be much quicker in 2019. So we can expect more innovative techniques and developments to emerge out of that corner of the world within the coming years.

What can advertisers do to achieve meaningful reach?

Previously advertisers had to simply get their ads in front of as many eyes as possible. These days advertisers need to calculate and target their efforts through campaigns based on first-party customer data. As advertisers today are continually pressing for consumer attention and business, personalised ad experiences are becoming the more popular way to do it.

It should come at no surprise that many people aren’t huge fans of seeing ads. Especially when those ads get in the way of our user-experience. Our products are able to solve that problem and add value to any video.

Original approaches and uninhibited user-experiences are what consumers want. Our On-Pause format only displays an advert when a video is paused. An innovative way to utilise unused and non-intrusive space don’t you think?


On-Pause Demo

Our Overstream On-Pause ad format mimics and aligns with the behaviours of TV advertising. Delivering relevant, in-view ads politely, when a user chooses to pause content for whatever reason, such as a tea break, interruption or to replay a section. By not interfering with the user experience or content, users are communicated to at a time of their choosing or expectation.

We’re proud of our Overstream On-Pause ad format. We feel that it can not only deliver content respectfully, but also add value to the users experience online. That’s the real goal at the end of the day right?

Posted by Mark Lee in Coull comment
DMEXCO in a day

DMEXCO in a day

This year we decided to do DMEXCO in one day. Are we crazy? A little bit. But that’s all part of the fun!

Posted by Naomi Sandercock in Coull news
Coull is IAB Gold Standard certified

Coull is IAB Gold Standard certified

We’re thrilled to announce that Coull is now IAB Gold Standard certified. This means that we’re dedicated to building a sustainable future for advertising.

Posted by Naomi Sandercock in Coull news, Press releases
How to have a successful DMEXCO 2018

How to have a successful DMEXCO 2018

DMEXCO 2018 will be a great place to network and learn about new opportunities. But you need to be prepared. Here’s our guide, so you can have a successful DMEXCO.

Posted by Naomi Sandercock in Coull comment
Our accountant, Eriona, reviews the 2017 IAB Adspend results

Our accountant, Eriona, reviews the 2017 IAB Adspend results

Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure can buy a lot of advertising. Last year, the UK's digital Adspend was estimated to be a whopping £11.55 billion. But what does this mean for Coull and the rest of the advertising industry?

Eriona, Coull accountant, reviews IAB Adspend

Eriona, Management Accountant at Coull

Our new Management Accountant, Eriona, is here to give you the low-down on the IAB’s 2017 Adspend figures and what they mean for this following year.

Plants growing

[source: giphy]

The industry is thriving

It’s clear to see that the UK digital advertising market has healthy growth, there’s year-on-year growth of 14.3%, whereas, TV advertising saw a -3.2% dip in growth. The online advertising industry is now worth £11.55 billion, this is good news for many businesses in the industry, such as ad tech, because it shows the continuing success and money being put into the industry. As for advertisers, digital ads offers much more efficient and flexible options compared to traditional, offline advertising.


Man driving

[source: giphy]

Video is in the driving seat

We know that there’s accelerated growth in the industry, but what is driving this? Video! For the first time, online video has become the largest display format, with an impressive 47% year-on-year growth. Not only this, spend on video surpassed the £1 billion mark in the last year. This evidently demonstrates how important video is to advertisers.


Phone scrolling gif

[source: giphy]

Smartphones are also driving growth

It’s interesting to see that 2017 was the first year that UK adults spent more time online on smartphones than on computers and tablets combined, with smartphones accounting for 59% of time in the final quarter of 2017. As we can see, advertisers have noticed this change in media consumption because they spent £5.2 billion on smartphone ads last year - a 37.4% increase on 2016. As smartphones are becoming increasingly popular, we're expecting the ad spend on mobile to increase too.


What’s next?

Mobile video will rule

One thing’s for sure, video and mobile will be centre stage in the following year - video as the hottest format and mobile as the most popular platform. So we’re expecting these two to continue to be the main drivers of growth.

A more creative focus

There’s been a recent industry focus on improving ad quality, specifically mobile ads. As the IAB’s Fit For Purpose research shows, “a statistically significant percentage increase in several key brand metrics including, brand consideration (+56%), trust (+33%) and perception of premium (+21%) for the smartphone-optimised ads.”

For better mobile ads, the IAB recommends:

  • Thinking about how the ad will be executed on a smartphone from the start of the creative process
  • Including brand messaging upfront from the start of the ad
  • Testing ads on different screen sizes to ensure text and imagery are clear

So no doubt, creativity in the mobile/video space will flourish as more and more advertisers put more thought and more spend on these formats.

Turning the tables on the duopoly

It’s no secret that the Facebook/Google duopoly is dominating the advertising market, but that doesn’t come without its struggles. Both companies have appeared in the news recently, with the Cambridge Analytica scandal and brand safety troubles on YouTube. This has resulted in a surge of people deleting Facebook and advertisers pulling their spend from YouTube.

This is giving smaller businesses an opportunity to compete with viable alternatives or partnerships. There’s already a huge amount of company consolidation taking place and forecasted, such as telco AT&T are in talks to buy ad tech business, AppNexus. Partnerships between independent publishers could also pose a challenge against the duopoly, like the joint advertising platform for News UK, Telegraph and Guardian.

Could this be the beginning of the tables turning?

The future for Coull

It’s especially exciting times for Coull because we centre our business and technology around video. We strive on being at the forefront of innovation in the video space and it’s great to see that video is now the largest display ad format. We’re proud to be part of a thriving industry.


A little bit about Eriona

Although Eriona has lived in the tech-centred Bristol for the past 19 years, she is originally from Albania. She has 3 years of finance experience in companies such as HSBC and BDO and is now training to become a chartered accountant.

Her role at Coull is varied but it mainly encompasses the managing of accounts, reporting, invoices and banking. Not only this, she is delving into the world of ad tech and learning about the digital advertising landscape.

Eriona was first drawn to digital advertising because of the huge growth in the industry and she was intrigued in seeing the future of online advertising. Then, she came across Coull, “after some research, I found Coull and their exciting technology. The OverStream Suite itself really interests me because of its versatility in the market and its potential to disrupt many segments of the digital ad market, such as video and display.”

Posted by Naomi Sandercock in Coull comment
Introducing…our Ad Ops intern

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On the best of days, advertising is not the easiest industry to navigate. But someone who is prepared for the challenge is our newest team member, Mark.

Posted by Naomi Sandercock in Coull news