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Elkanah Carnell Reed is the Founder and CEO of Eleven Digital, a Founder Institute Silicon Valley portfolio company that acts as a  one-stop-shop for advertiser branded content. Companies like TOMS, AEG, and IPE Cloth rely on Eleven Digital for aggregating all of the relationships needed to buy branded content at scale.  According to Reed,

Eleven Digital enables everyone to watch more of the entertainment that they love than ever before, uninterrupted, because it is funded by the brands.

Branded content is a $100B+ industry as of 2018, with global branded content marketing revenues rising 8% in 2017 to $106.2 billion, according to PQ Media. Worldwide product placement and consumer content marketing revenues have generated double-digit growth for nine consecutive years, with no sign of retreating.

With digital video growing at a staggering pace, it’s no wonder established brands are shifting their ad spend from traditional disruptive ads to integrated digital video. In fact, 60% of ad buyers are increasing their spending on digital video ads, according to IAB Research.

But the challenge many advertisers face is effective targeting: getting ads in front of customers who are likely to buy.

Enter Eleven Digital. The firm is building a marketplace where advertisers can find the exact audience they are seeking and batch-buy branded content at scale to reach them. Reed explains,

Our technology is simple: 1. Publishers offer their inventory across all their distribution sources via Eleven Digital. 2. Brands bid on content integration opportunities. 3. Based on accepted bids, Publishers integrate brands into their content at scale.

Eleven Digital’s COO Malik Reid, also a graduate of FI’s Silicon Valley program, says,

The key to success is closing the gap between advertising and entertainment. Because we’ve established that attention is the biggest commodity companies should go after, companies’ advertising must move more towards becoming entertainment in order to better align with the desires of online video consumers.

Simply making more of traditional ads won’t achieve the results that brands hope for. Reid says,

With the rise of online video content (dominated by YouTube), it’s clear that audiences are flocking away from the usual commercials, and rushing to experience uninterrupted, entertaining content. And while you may think that companies can still capture leads with video ads, think again: studies have shown that adblock adoption on desktop and laptop computers continues to grow on mobile and desktop devices around the world, which means that more and more audiences are tuning out the constant barrage of advertising on their favorite sites.

Reed, who previously founded an Ad-Tech Startup (Scoopr Media) that was featured on Techcrunch, ADWEEK, Yahoo Finance, and Fox News, believes Eleven Digital is the wave of the future.

Our technology transitions brands from being the side dish, like in a Super Bowl ad. Unlocking the power of branded content at scale, the brand is the main dish and the experience the consumer focuses on.

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Graduates of the Founder Institute are creating some of the world's fastest growing startups, having raised over $800M in funding, and building products people love across over 180 cities worldwide.

See the most recent news from our Grads at FI.co/news, or learn more about their stories at FI.co/journey


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