Q&A with Sarah Lewis, Global EMEA Director for CTV and Sales Manager Sonia Fernández

ShowHeroes was founded with the aim of “becoming the largest independent video company in Europe.” Since 2016, the group has grown by consolidating its position in the market, standing out for its contextual and semantic technology as well as for “offering a secure and reliable alternative for serving video campaigns.”


Through Sarah Lewis, Global EMEA Director for CTV; and Sonia Fernández, Sales Manager Spain at the company, we delve into the world of connected TV to learn about its present and future as well as all the options it offers both advertisers and consumers.

Connected TV (CTV) is a worldwide trend. What is the current market situation in Spain?

According to a study published by Spotx in 2020, 59% of Spanish viewers report watching TV via CTV as their first choice vs. linear TV. We can refer to Spain as an immature market, but more and more viewers are choosing to watch quality, on-demand content.


Connected TV is a trend that spread from the USA and that is unstoppable in the market.

What makes CTV so relevant and attractive to different market players?

We could list several reasons focusing on what the needs of the viewer are. If we take into account that users are used to the consumption of advertising on linear TV, we know that they are willing to watch advertising as long as the content is sufficiently relevant to them. This represents a great opportunity for advertisers to reach their target audience through non-intrusive targeted advertising. On the other hand, subscription-based OTT (SVOD) platforms have their limitations as viewers do not want to spend large amounts of money on too much content. They decide which content is the most interesting and are left with 2 platforms on average to consume it. The rest accept advertising as a bargaining chip.

Who are the key players in our market?

Traditional TV channels such as Grupo Atresmedia, Mediaset, Movistar, etc. Independent providers such as Rakuten TV. These are AVOD models that allow viewers to watch free streaming in exchange for advertising interruptions.


And finally, device manufacturers. They were originally hardware suppliers and have transformed themselves into platform operators entering a completely new business segment. Samsung and LG are now expanding what they offer, bundling and marketing a wide variety of content.

What are the main challenges of advertising in CTV today?

We could mention three major challenges: The first is that there is a high degree of fragmentation in the market. The same inventory is accessible through multiple suppliers. Advertisers may have access to as much inventory as possible through different options and may find it difficult to plan a campaign. At ShowHeroes, we bundle these sources and make it easy for advertisers and agencies to book their campaigns in one Deal.


The second is measurement: We do not have a single way of measuring, which is why progress in this field is slower. The company GFK is creating an AI-developed platform globally to measure more efficiently.


And finally, orientation: There is an opportunity to introduce content-based targeting to the market. This is something that has long been demanded in the market and is beneficial for both buyers and viewers.

What kind of solutions are available on the market?

Many CTV providers work with basic keyword or object recognition as well as frame analysis to determine the context of digital video. But these tools are not sophisticated enough when streaming video content is too fast.


At ShowHeroes Group we have introduced our semantic solution targeting CTV: SemanticHero allows for a rich and nuanced understanding of the context in the CTV inventory. It is an AI-based approach that uses a combination of metadata and EPG data to fully understand the meaning of content on CTV.


Sonia Fernández

How can advertisers take advantage of the new possibilities that Connected TV offers?

The Spanish market is at an emerging point in all aspects of connected TV. Advertisers are looking for alternatives to linear TV that allow them to adapt to changes in consumption and to reach a wider target audience.


Semantic Hero for CTV opens up a wide range of possibilities for advertisers. Those who have worked with us already know that we have a very strong track record in the cookieless environment and this is a technology that has been refined over the years.  We are pioneers in applying “SemanticHero” to connected TV with technology. In other European markets, it is working very well and we aim to offer Spain an alternative to the CTV offer currently on the market.

What benefits can it have for them as well as for the audience?

Viewers are moving away from linear TV to on-demand content and ShowHeroes wants to help advertisers adapt to this rapidly changing environment.


SemanticHero on CTV allows advertisers to reach out to their target audience in a precise and friendly-user solution. The audiovisual content will be related to the advertisement that we will impact, thus generating greater brand recall. We offer advertisers the possibility to run multi-device video campaigns on a single platform to reach a wider audience.

How does SemanticHero work?

SemanticHero integrates directly into the Publisher to access a wide range of data, video metadata, EPG data, and keyword analysis. This information is extracted and entered into our database. The semantic concepts and the sentiment of the content are then identified in order to understand the context in detail. This data is processed for CTV’s ad targeting, which allows to accurately match a brand with positive and relevant content.


An example could be an advert for a range of electric cars paired with premium CTV content on automotive, sustainability, or eco-technology.

Who are your competitors?

There are only two providers in Europe with contextual and semantic technology. However, it is a simpler segmentation.


At ShowHeroes we go further. We reach a higher level of precision when it comes to segmenting taking into account the “sentimental and semantic” context of the audiovisual content. Right now in Spain, CTV is not working contextually as Showheroes does.

What can we expect in the Spanish CTV market in the near future?

In the long term, viewer demand for CTV content will increase and will therefore lead to much more exclusive and high-quality content being produced. Viewers choose what content they want to watch based on what OTTs they have installed (AVOD) or premium content worth paying for (SVOD) and hybrid models (TVOD) where content can be paid for or not depending on the viewers’ interest.

What do you expect from the launch of this new CTV product?

For the company, it was an international launch and the reception abroad has been excellent.

Read the original article posted on in Spanish.


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