AOL’s Ackerman departs, takes over as Samba TV’s CRO

Dan Ackerman (Image source: AOL)

Dan Ackerman, formerly SVP of programmatic television at AOL, is jumping aboard Samba TV as its chief revenue officer, the company announced Tuesday.

It’s an interesting jump for Ackerman, who has more than 20 years of experience in digital TV ad sales and business development. Samba TV offers cross-screen analytics for both advertisers and broadcasters as well as related content discovery solutions – some of its products are embedded into smart TVs, for example, and it holds some key patents in these industry segments.

Ackerman told FierceOnlineVideo in a recent Hot Seat interview that bringing television and digital analytics together – both for advertising and viewing – is inevitable.

“I think it's undeniable that they are coming together. At least for the foreseeable near future there will be a separation of events,” he said. “But now that the big programmers, the traditional broadcasters and cable networks, are taking such a lead role in developing the content that consumers want to see on digital screens, I feel like those things are really coming together.”

Samba TV was founded in 2008 as Flingo, raising about $8 million in three rounds of funding before emerging with its Samba platform, which featured automatic content recognition (ACR) technology. Through a partnership with Innovid, the company was able to add interactive advertising to its platform.

In 2015, Samba TV bought Polish startup Filmaster, a movie recommendation engine, for more than $1.13 million (€1 million), adding that technology to its existing platform.

The company said that its revenues have since grown over 600 percent year on year.

Ackerman is joining a team that increasingly is made up of digital advertising and marketing veterans. For example, Samba TV recently attracted YouTube veteran Serena Satyasai aboard as VP of marketing.

“Video viewing fragmentation and time shifting are rapidly accelerating across screens.  Deterministic, cross platform content and ad exposure data is crucial for marketers to identify, target, reach and connect with their prospective audiences,” said Ackerman in a release announcing his appointment. “Samba TV’s technology and deep understanding of how to integrate digital in a meaningful way with television viewing are helping to change the audience measurement and media landscape and set a new standard. I’m excited to be a part of this growing team.”

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