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Streaming Evolution: Loop Media’s Bob Gruters on Bringing TV Everywhere

By August 23, 2023No Comments

Bob Gruters, Chief Revenue Officer of Loop Media, joins Michael Beach to discuss the massive upside of streaming and impact of contextual relevancy for retailers, their customers, and their advertising partners. Watch our latest Screen Wars Thought Leader Interview here and read the full transcript below!

MB: Hey, Bob, welcome to Screen Wars.

BG: Thank you, Michael. Happy to be here.

MB: What’s the story of Loop Media, and what problem do you solve?

BG: We bring streaming services to businesses. As consumers, streaming invaded our lives years ago and took over what was previously happening with linear, but businesses did not adopt it the same way. They continued to use the same solutions they always had. We saw an opportunity to bring them the same things that they were already used to as consumers, but now focused on business people.

MB: I’m very familiar with Loop Media’s product. You can see it everywhere now, at restaurants, bowling alleys, and fitness centers. Is that the use case? You have thousands of locations, right?

BG: We have tens of thousands of locations, and the number is growing. I would say we are 1% done. If we look at penetration, just in the US, or even globally, there still is a lot of room for us to grow. We haven’t even scratched the surface of what’s possible. Our goal is to help any type of retail (like bars and restaurants, universities, nail salons, etc.) create a brand and a vibe, so when you walk in there, it’s not just background white noise. 

We want to match what the business is trying to achieve using a content relevancy perspective. And I mean both small businesses like Bob’s Pizza on the corner, or global ones like a pizza chain with 10,000 locations across the globe. We want to make sure we help them match and give them a really cool environment. We look to even give them the ability to use a digital signage add-on product to communicate with their customers or their employees. It’s literally the point of contact. It’s like a “last click” but in real life, because people are there, they have open minds, and their wallets are out.

MB: Explain to us how it works. You are in a two-sided market here, where you work with businesses and the other side of the shop works with advertisers. How does it work when I see your content in the first place?

BG: It starts with really smart tech. We designed our own CMS. We also have our own ad stack that’s matched to it, and our goal is to provide a seamless technology solution that’s ubiquitous and easy. It is just plug-and-play for a business owner. For example, think that you are the owner of a local business, and now you want to have a service where you can stream content. Well, you’re either going to go traditionally to the linear or digital channels, and you’re going to have TV brought in. Then, you’re going to hope that you’re bringing in the right content. Pretty quickly, you’re going to realize, “Nobody comes to my establishment to watch a two-hour movie. That doesn’t work. I’d love to have curated content for people that are coming in, based on the frequency or the duration of their visit.”

So you are looking for faster content, but you also want brand name content. You want it to be recognizable and enjoyable, informative, engaging, and all those things. With Loop Media, we start by using our technology to have a flawless execution. We go ahead and get content. We curate it for the viewing experience, which is going to be fast-paced and definitely not episodic. And then, we come in, and we talk about how we can give that to you for free. As a business, why would you want to pay for that, if you can avoid paying for it?

Isn’t it great if we can improve your local economy inside your own business? If you are willing to do that, we do it through ad-support, otherwise we can offer you a subscription. We are a programmatic first shop, so we’ll go ahead and monetize this with advertising. We’ll do it in a really non-disruptive way, using something called the squeeze back. We are all used to squeeze back ads in sports, where the content is still happening, but the ad can play and grab your attention. Or we can do full screen, depending on what type of content’s playing. But we’re delivering a really high-quality product that you feel good about, that you, as a business owner, can actually day part, you can program, and you can do things to make sure it works for your business. And you’re not paying for it.

You’re just getting a seamless, wonderful execution, with amazing technology, followed by curated premium brand name content, that’s supported with ads that are not disruptive to your business, but that grab and engage the audience that is there. That’s how we bring our product to life. Those business owners, whether they’re small businesses, or big enterprise organizations, are also customers for us. The second part of our audience is always going to be the advertiser, because we got to have the ads in a wanted environment, and we have to market and sell those ads in a way that they understand who are they reaching, how are they reaching them, and in what context they are reaching them.

The good news is that we are moving into a world where contextual relevancy becomes more important for advertisers. If I am Pepsi, I can promote and support the artists that I spend a lot of my resources on by finding those artists in our music channels. Then, I can make sure that I surround that with my advertising and messaging. It’s a good thing. 

We work with the SSPs and DSPs. We work with clients direct, and we just talk about our value proposition. It’s the ability to reach and engage an audience, when, again, they have open minds and their wallets are out. You have the ability to affect them in real time. And take all of that information and data that you’ve used to reach that consumer, and now, you’re following them right at that point of impact. That moment where the purchase can happen, or it’s about to happen. It completes the funnel from awareness to consideration to conversion. We can help across all three of those levels, but what advertisers and our customers are seeing is that we deliver it in a very transparent way. We’re very open and fair about how we actually offer it and price it. I think it’s been really smart and well received.

MB: People are familiar now with the digital out of home. It’s really becoming a big channel for delivery of video, right?

BG: You know what I think about all this jargon that we use in the industry? It’s just TV. It’s always been just TV. If you said to the average person, “You watch linear TV,” they’d look at you, scratch their head, and say, “I don’t know what you mean.” Or, “You’re watching streaming TV.” They’re like, “Huh? I’m just watching TV.” I remember when I was an ex-agency person, and the really expensive CPMs that ESPN would charge. A big part of that was that they had great reach of men. And when you look at that, and you broke it down, you realize that, while their content was playing in the home, it was also playing on the TVs of the places that we went to. It would play on TVs at bars, restaurants, lounges, or wherever we were going.

They actually were really smart. They were already charging you for that exposure outside the home. TV is going to keep evolving. It’s the distribution mechanism. What we’re really talking about is, can you get great premium content to the people who want to watch it, in the places where they’re aggregated, where they’re spending their time? That is essentially what we do, and what this ecosystem is. It’s the extension of that TV viewing experience, and it marries right to and beautifully with what you’re doing, either inside of your home, on your device, whatever your device is. Loop Media is all those things. It completes the full video spectrum and picture.

MB: Do you think that the advertiser, whether it’s the agency or the end brand, understands where this fits in the overall video plan?

BG: Yeah, I think, one step at a time, we can help them understand. It is on us to go ahead and educate and reeducate, and make sure that we’re not only selling this, but also giving them the information to make informed decisions. Like I said, I’m a former media director. When I was trying to surround a consumer, a potential buyer, an existing buyer, etc., I wanted to make sure that I was relevant at that moment. And as we go in this, and we talk about how somebody views in an out-of-home location, we have to talk about the context of it. The beauty of what we do is that we have the ability to do more than just engage that individual that they were reaching. Now, we’re getting them and we’re actually delivering a larger audience.

Think about it this way, we’re video that delivers faster, and more efficiently, because you’re able to reach many people with one single impression. It creates a level of efficacy, that compliments what they’re doing. Our goal is to educate. We have to articulate, and we have to make sure that there is a comprehension of what this does to the overall mix. If you’re sitting there as a buyer today, you’re going to say, “I want to have the most complete picture of my customer, and I want to know the most interesting and powerful ways to affect them throughout their entire journey.” 

We’ve always talked about customer journey. This is that fitting piece of, “How does it come together? How do I really achieve that?” This is a great solution.

MB: The skills of linear and digital buyers are starting to mix, but we still have that division primarily. And, I could see this fitting into both skill sets. You got a mass reach approach on TV, and you’re looking at a geography, and you’ve got a lot of elements of digital in the ad as well. Who do you think is a better fit in the short term?

BG: I don’t know. That’s a tough question. The media industry loves to put things in buckets. As you do planning, allocation, and reporting, even if you’re just trying to create a ROAS experiment, it’s so much easier to say, “This is what delivered what.” And it becomes a little easier for them, but on our side, it becomes a bit more complicated. 

When we talk to clients or their agencies, nine times out of 10, they put us into the CTV bucket, because that’s where they’ve got more opportunity. Their budget is bigger in that particular area, so we can help achieve that. And because we extend reach, and we do it so efficiently, we’re a reach extender at a super efficient price for them.

Then there are other spaces and places, where people have been really immersed in out of home, and they love the ability to now have a digital component there. They look at this as a great way to build out of home. We say it all the time, we deliver TV. We are a TV product, delivering TV impressions. It’s up to how it works for you, how you want to budget and bias. But most of the time, when we talk at the client and the agency level, they tell us, “You’re CTV.” Now, when you go to the linear versus digital part of your question, I think that happens behind closed doors, and I’m not sure if that’s a discussion or if it’s an allocation or reallocation process. But we know that we deal with everybody, and if they have certain parameters or guidelines that we have to follow, we just follow. We want to be as user-friendly as possible. We can’t be a newer media type and be hard. Hard equals not used.

MB: Sure. Hard equals no revenue.

BG: Exactly.

MB: Looking at the big picture, where do you see Loop Media going? And where do you see it in five years?

BG: I see Loop Media globalized, doing what we do best and bringing streaming to businesses for free, wherever they want it, or with a subscription. I see the landscape of television getting less cloudy, and people understanding that thanks to digital, TV is now possible everywhere. TV can be anywhere the consumers are willing to take on that viewing experience, all the time. I think that we will understand how to curate. Think about what happened with mobile. Mobile curated content, because you are going to watch it for about three seconds, and they started to curate that content. Everyone accepts now that a mobile view is a really important view in the marketing mix.

So, in five years, people will look at the way we curate content, whether it is 30 seconds, three and a half minutes, or whatever that is. They will start looking at this as just another evolution in the curation of content, married back to the customer and how they view. So there will be widespread acceptance, understanding of the budgeting buckets, and we will be part of the overall TV landscape. We’re a smart industry. We’re going to figure this out, and we’re going to realize that TV is TV, and that we are part of that. We help achieve client outcomes the way that they want to measure them.

MB: Excellent. I will get you out of here with a couple more questions. One is a really big picture one. I know you got your media director hat in the video space. If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing on the video ad space, what would it be, and why?

BG: I think we should have a ubiquitous measurement system. A system where we could actually look at it and know what an impression is worth across all different video delivery channels. You could also put that into your magic hat, and actually get a deduped ad impression, a reach number, a frequency number. At the same time, you could marry data across all of those different impressions, to really achieve what you want. We need to work on getting smarter, measurable outcomes. But that is truly a fantasy. Because, as we look at everything, cross measurement is still the holy grail for all of us. Attribution across things has been the most difficult, grandiose topic that we all want to accomplish and tackle, but haven’t been able to. 

So, it would be measurement and attribution in a really ubiquitous manner.

MB: That’s a great one. It looks like a thing where we go two steps forward, one step back, but we are definitely getting there. It seems like new ads are popping up in new streaming services just as fast as we can solve that.

BG: I don’t think that’s going to change. We will go wherever technology takes us and affords us this opportunity to enjoy video. I can remember my first flip phone. If you told me I was going to be able to watch TV and not only TV, but also watch something called Netflix on that, I would’ve said that you are crazy. We have to keep an open mind to what’s coming and what we can’t even imagine. That’s where we have to be as consumers and professionals. We all watch how in Tom Cruise movies, he has his contact lens telling him everything in the world that he ever needs to know. Is that really that far off? Probably not.

MB: It’s wild. Think about it, the same stuff we saw 10 or 15 years ago is actually happening. You got to assume it’s close.

BG: So true.

MB: Well, Bob, I really enjoyed the conversation. I know our audience will as well. Where’s the best place to find out about you and Loop Media?

BG: You can go to Loop.TV at any moment in time, or you could find us on LinkedIn. We have a pretty strong presence there. We’re on all the social channels, but you can always find me at [email protected], at any time. We have a whole group that is ready to work with anybody and solve any kind of problems you might have.

MB: Excellent. Well, I’m grateful for your time. Thank you.

BG: Thank you, Michael. I appreciate it.

Bob Gruters is a Chief Revenue Officer and senior sales & marketing executive with over two decades of media and marketing industry leadership experience, including Sony, Viacom, Univision, Revolt, Facebook, Digital Trends Media Group, and Digital Loop. Throughout his career, Bob has built high-performance sales and marketing teams who delivered billion-dollar revenue successes. He works collaboratively with senior and company decision-makers and embraces an energizing head-and-heart leadership style that brings people and teams together. In his current role as Chief Revenue Officer of Media Loop, Bob established the company as a key disruptor company in the CTV and DOOH media space and enabled going public on the NYSE by securing the required funding and investments.

Prior to joining Media Loop, he served as Chief Revenue Officer of Digital Trends Media Group, where he revived the GTM strategy and redesigned a modern-day performance-based sales, marketing, and partnerships organization.
Before being recruited by Digital Trends Media Group, Bob served as Facebook’s Group Head of Sales Emerging Entertainment & Technology. In this role, he led the rapid growth and sustainable development of multiple vertical industries with a team of 120 people across entertainment, technology, telecommunications, and restaurants. Before he engaged with Facebook, he served as Revolt Media & TV’s Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing and built the business side of Sean Combs’ (“P Diddy”) newest business venture, a new, multi-platform media enterprise focused on music and hip-hop culture targeting millennials. From 2009 to 2013, Bob was Senior Vice President, Client Development Group with Univision Communications. During this time, he doubled company-wide revenue, $1B+ YOY, by cooperatively leading a pioneering, in-house, client-facing business development consultancy team. Bob’s prior leadership roles include Vice President, Business Development at Viacom, Director of Marketing Services at The New Yorker, and Media Director at Sony Electronics.

When not driving corporate sales and marketing initiatives, Bob volunteers on the board of the T. Howard Foundation, and as a Member of the UN’s World Food Program Impact Council. Bob holds a Bachelor of Arts, Communications, Advertising from Rowan University. Committed to lifelong learning, he continuously hones his leadership skills through ongoing education, most recently demonstrated by his Edge Academy Certification in Marketing and the IAB Data 360 Certification.

Cross Screen Media is a leading CTV activation managed service for marketers and agencies, built on a proprietary technology platform that enables advertisers to plan and measure advertising across Connected TV and audience-driven Linear TV at the local level. We seamlessly fit into existing workflows to help agencies scale, differentiate and deliver high-impact campaigns for their clients. For more information, visit

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.