Looking at the growth of connected TV, ad tech company Beachfront said it hired Marni Rommel as VP business development as it looks to get media companies to adopt its ad serving and decisioning systems.
Rommel, previously senior director of global partnerships at Verizon Media, joins Beachfront in the midst of an expansion. The company said it increased headcount by 20% in 2021 and expects to grow by another 40% in 2022.
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“I’m thrilled to bring Marni on to the team at Beachfront. Her expertise in leading customers through strategic plans and effortlessly managing complex media partnerships will be vital to our continued momentum and growth,” said Chris Maccaro, CEO of Beachfront. “We’re all very excited to drive towards — and exceed — our goals at Beachfront of redefining and transforming the television advertising market. Marni will play a pivotal role in this progress, and I am excited to see what the future holds.”
Rommel told Broadcasting+Cable she sees opportunity in Beachfront’s ability to help media companies monetize content across both traditional distribution platforms and the fast-growing connected TV space.
“Traditional linear isn’t going anywhere. I still have my cable. It’s declining, but I think it’s stabilizing, so I definitely think converged TV is here to stay,” Rommel said.
It’s also clear that ad-supported streaming will be growing, with Disney Plus and Netflix throwing their hats into the ring. “The rest of the year will be exciting. Everyone’s coming out with an AVOD,” she said.
But while more advertisers are turning to CTV to reach streaming viewers, there are challenges, and Beachfront is trying to clear those hurdles.
“There’s no standardization. Everything is fragmented. We need to make it easier for both the media buyers and the seller to buy and sell their inventory. I think it’s on us, the technology partners, to solve for that,” Rommel said. “Beachfront has this fabulous technology. We have the partnership we have, and I really think that sets us apart.”
Beachfront works with Canoe, the ad tech company owned by Comcast, Charter Communications and Cox, and with Frontier Communications to get ads into cable homes. Its decisioning system is also used by Vizio’s direct response clients. It competes with Comcast’s FreeWheel tech unit and other ad-serving companies.
Rommel likes the fact that Beachfront is a smaller company at this point. “We’re nimble. We can move on the fly. We can build things very fast, much faster than some other companies.”
Beachfront technology provides bid level data and log level data in its user interface. Its system does ad pod construction, addressing competitive separation and creative duplication. It also offers publisher-friendly pricing, she said.
Rommel was with Verizon’s media unit when it was sold to Apollo Global Management and left in January. She likes how Beachfront has reinvented itself over the past four years, building its technology and creating partnerships.
After working for a big company, she was ready to join a “people may not know about all the cool things that Beachfront’s doing,” she said. Her job now is to change that. ■