2020 has been a year to remember in countless ways and there is no doubt that this year will leave a mark in history.
Kiosked is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this fall, and while we could not celebrate in the way we initially planned, we are very happy and proud of what we have accomplished during the past decade, and that we have survived this difficult year successfully. Let’s have a glimpse down memory lane to see how we got to the point where we are today.
How everything started
In November 2020 Kiosked passed a rare milestone for any company by turning 10 years old. A decade of business is not given, and especially rare within the advertising technology industry. Kiosked has not always looked like it does today, in fact, we started off with a completely different product than the one we offer today.
In spring 2010, Kiosked founders Antti and Micke were working on a CPG project and were trying to figure out how to sell the product online. They wanted to build a new type of ad format to promote their product and this project eventually led to the founding of intags, which stands for intelligent tags. The first prototype of the Kiosked we know today was born.
Kiosked’s initial product
Originally Kiosked was an ‘e-commerce overlay technology’ allowing online publishers to turn images and videos on their websites into storefronts. The initial name intags was changed to Kiosked, as the imaged tagging technology turned images and videos into small online ‘kiosks’, and Kiosked was, therefore, a better fit name-wise.
The product concept was perceived as extremely innovative and it won multiple start-up and advertising industry awards during its first years. Hundreds of publishers signed up to utilize the technology and thousands of web stores were connected to Kiosked’s product feed. Like with many innovations, timing is extremely crucial and unfortunately, Kiosked seemed to be before its time. Consumers were opening the ‘kiosks’ but very few transactions were made. People were not ready to buy on impulse online back in 2012, one thing that has developed tremendously in the past few years.
Why the initial product was changed
In early 2014 Kiosked was in a situation where it had to make a decision – to shut down or pivot. We chose the latter and changed the platform’s focus from transactions to advertising, as programmatic advertising had started to make waves around this time. Luckily the pivot was fairly simple thanks to the technical similarities of the platforms. First, you need to identify visual components on a web page. Second, you need to understand their dimensions, and third, you need to be able to draw new “containers” based on given coordinates. Instead of being connected to a product feed, the new product was connected to an RTB module that called for suitable banner ads. In April 2014 the first ads went live and the second chapter of Kiosked was born. The company decided to keep the name Kiosked as it was already well known and integrated on the market, although the name per se did not have anything to do with the new business unit.
Kiosked has successfully continued to succeed and grow in the programmatic advertising industry from 2014 until this day. The business model has changed a few times, as it does when companies are growing and going through ups and downs. Our technology is constantly being developed to match ongoing requirements, policies, and trends, and Kiosked has never been as strong and steady as it is today.
Programmatic advertising in the future
Ad tech is one the fastest evolving industries in the world – it’s firm but fair and everyone has an opportunity to succeed. Every change creates new opportunities and very few companies can sit still and enjoy the ride without constantly improving and evolving themselves. The covid -19 pandemic was one of the many equalizer events for the industry, those who were well-positioned weathered it well, and those who weren’t, hit a rock wall. Kiosked is built on a great piece of great technology and together with constant research and development, Kiosked has been standing tall through both better and worse times in the industry’s history.
Data privacy and usage of user-specific data are clearly the next big pivot points for the industry. Machine learning and AI will have a significant impact on how programmatic advertising is being run and we can expect a lot smarter targeting opportunities than ‘site visits’ in the future. It’s not clear what will happen and the only thing sure is that this will create new growth opportunities for those who innovate to match the needs of tomorrow.
Thank you for the past decade
We want to thank everyone involved in making Kiosked what it is today. Foremost we want to thank our employees, for believing in Kiosked and for always running that extra mile with us, your dedication has been invaluable. We also want to thank all our clients, stakeholders, partners, and board member for choosing to work together with us during the past decade. Cheers for the upcoming 10 years, let’s make history together.