FEATURE20 January 2016

Making video viral

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If video-ad tech company Unruly wasn’t on the radar before, being bought for millions by Rupert Murdoch’s empire soon brought it to people’s attention. The firm’s insight director Ian Forrester explains to Rob Gray how its data and insight on video shareability will boost News Corp.

Considering the prominence of cute animals in online video, it feels entirely fitting that my interview with Ian Forrester should be conducted with his adorable pug, Lola, snoozing contentedly at my feet. Lola is a regular presence at video-ad tech company Unruly, where she is fussed over like canine royalty. 

Like many a tech start-up, Unruly is based in trendy east London. Its head office – in a side street off vibrant, multicultural Brick Lane – is exactly what you would expect of a young company of this kind: artfully exposed, post-industrial brickwork; clean lines; quirky neon wall signs; indoor bike racks; pug-friendly; and screens – plenty of screens. 

Even a visitor with no idea what Unruly was about would quickly glean a sense of it. But those unaware of the business have become thinner on the ground recently. In September 2015, the company – which was formed in 2006 and became a constituent of the Tech City Future Fifty ...