Apr 10 2023
Thought Leadership

Josh Hudgins at Upwave’s “Going Beyond Currency”

On March 30th, Upwave gathered a panel of industry experts, including our EVP of Product, Josh Hudgins, for an installment of their Masters of Brand Measurement series called “Going Beyond Currency,” where they discussed the future of currency and what’s next.


Josh weighed in on a variety of key topics including the innovation and demand we’re seeing from both buyers and sellers for new media currencies. Below are Josh’s hot takes on some of the exciting advancements in the space:

  • On Advanced Audiences: “Advanced audiences, we believe, are critical to what we’re doing from a measurement perspective. And [VideoAmp] was doing it long before it became an issue in currency measurement. What’s been really interesting is watching the enthusiasm with which people are adopting advanced audience-based techniques in currency transactions themselves — seeing them make the leap from traditional demo measurement and start to use advanced audiences in currency measurement. We consider it critical to make sure advanced audiences can be measured in a privacy-safe way. Where we can move audiences around and do the things we need to do with them through cleanrooms and other privacy-enhancing techs to enable and facilitate those transactions.”
  • The Art of Developing the VideoAmp Platform: “The art of platform building, and building products, is figuring out which things you want to invest the most in and standardize around and build performant productized versions of. And what sort of things are the longtail, or managed service approach. That’s the art of building the platform itself.”
  • On Legacy Measurement & Currency: With the example of Thursday Night Football, “It perfectly illustrated the shortcomings you see with the legacy approach and illustrated the need for a more data-centric approach that involves more collaboration and takes into account all the different distribution mechanisms that something like Thursday Night Football on Amazon is going to involve.”
  • On the Upfronts: “The real question is going to be the pace of change.” / “From a VideoAmp perspective, I would characterize what we’re seeing in the Upfronts mostly along the lines of a massive change in the currency space. And we’re seeing lots of demand from both buyers and sellers, not only for what you would traditionally associate with the Upfronts like broad-based, demo-based deals but also lots of interest and demand for more advanced, fine-grained measurement techniques, Data-Driven Linear (DDL), advanced audiences. And a surprising amount of willingness to try new things from both sides of the transaction.”
  • On Privacy: “We’re investing heavily in privacy. We want to think about an approach that’s natively privacy-enhancing. I ultimately believe, deeply, that this is a problem technology can solve. That’s why we’re investing so heavily in things like cleanrooms, we’re investigating some of the new cryptographic techniques that are coming out, like Multi-Party Computation (MPC) based approaches. We’re doing a lot with differential privacy, we’re doing a lot on aggregate-based modeling. So all things that can give you the granularity you want, while still doing things in a way that enhances and preserves the user’s privacy.”
  • In Closing: “There’s been a massive amount of change in the currency space. And when you’re at the ground level, it can feel chaotic and it can feel messy, and sometimes I think it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that it’s tremendously exciting and ultimately going to lead to a world that’s better for buyers, it’s better for sellers and it’s going to be better in the end for the consumers. They’ll get better advertising, their data will be better protected and things will in general be more valuable for both buyers and sellers. It’s an exciting change to be a part of!”