Zefr, an ad tech company that helps marketers purchase spots in specific videos on YouTube, is tapping TV ad vet Toby Byrne to serve as president.
Byrne previously led ad sales for Fox Networks Group before departing in September 2016 and setting off an eight-month search for his replacement.
Zefr gained some relevance this year amid YouTube brand safety concerns. The company can essentially serve as a watchdog for marketers and only deliver them videos that are deemed brand-safe.
It also targets videos, rather than channels, to find content that is more specific to marketers’ consumers. It then packages this ad inventory and sells it to brands.
Byrne says Zefr delivers contextually targeted ad packages, which is “an important differentiator in creating a safe, relevant and suitable environments for brands.” Byrne believes there will be a greater focus from marketers on premium content and the environment that comes with that type of content.
“Toby understands marketers need to be around certain kinds of content,” says Rich Raddon, co-CEO of Zefr, adding that Byrne brings deep relationships with media agency executives and marketers, and most importantly, an understanding of how to sell premium content.
In his new role, Byrne, who spent more than two decades at Fox, will oversee the overall direction of Zefr’s marketing and sales and lead the company’s expansion into Europe. Byrne had been consulting at the company for the past six months. Zefr will also look to expand its services beyond YouTube video, Raddon says.