With a growing number of Americans viewing television content through smart TVs and connected devices, newly formed startup tvScientific Inc. is creating new ways for advertisers to reach viewers and access valuable data to evaluate the success of campaigns.

The company, which formally launched March 30, is the latest business to spring from Pasadena-based incubator Idealab, which has birthed more than 150 companies since it opened in 1996.

Idealab founder Bill Gross is a co-founder of the new company, along with Jason Fairchild, who serves as tvScientific’s chief executive.

Fairchild previously co-founded ad tech company OpenX Technologies Inc. and served as a vice president at GoTo.com, the influential search site co-founded by Gross in 1998 (it was acquired by Yahoo in 2003).

The founders plan to apply lessons learned at the latter company, which rolled out the first paid search model nearly 25 years ago, to the rapidly expanding market for connected TV advertising, Fairchild said.

“We’re basically doing a version of what GoTo.com did for paid search, except we do it for the TV industry,” said Fairchild.

That means making advertising opportunities accessible and easy to purchase for as many companies as possible.

“What paid search did is make it really simple for advertisers of all sizes — from (Procter & Gamble Co.) to the local flower shop — to sign up for a campaign and to measure the performance of their advertising dollars,” Fairchild said.

Historically, TV advertising has been dominated by a few hundred influential brands, with smaller businesses purchasing leftover ad space in specific regional markets.
Now that millions of consumers watch television using devices connected to the internet, it’s possible for nontraditional TV advertisers to reach a broader audience while major brands are able to more precisely focus their messaging.

“We have to reimagine how television (advertising) is purchased,” Fairchild said.

TvScientific, which has raised $1.5 million in seed funding, announced at launch that its platform will allow businesses of all sizes to purchase ad space with a majority of premium connected TV publishers. Platform users will also have access to key insights into the performance of those ads and the actions generated by them.

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