PLAY 2018 Speaker Series - Ilya Degtev

PLAY 2018 Speaker Series - Ilya Degtev

Welcome to our second post of the #PLAY2018 speaker blog series! Here, we’ll introduce you to some of our guest speakers and the sessions scheduled for this year’s event. If you’ve already registered to attend, this series will give you a better understanding of what’s in store. If you haven’t registered yet, this series will hopefully inspire you to join us this May!

Ilya Degtev is Brightcove’s Ad Tech Manager and a member of our Customer Success team. Backed with several years’ experience in media advertising, he currently heads the company’s Advertising Health Check program, a solutions-driven initiative that helps small and large companies with advertising strategies. By providing resources like analyses, implementation overviews, and performance optimization suggestions, Ilya ensures customers get the most out of their advertising efforts. At PLAY, he’ll be leading a workshop on ad health that will identify key challenges, offer troubleshooting tips, and show easy-to-deploy solutions for best media advertising practices.

On a more personal note, Ilya left Russia at nine years-old to come to the U.S., all because his parents promised to feed him pizza upon arrival. He’s a long-time fan of writer George R.R. Martin and his fantasy book series, Game of Thrones, and he’s got all but two titles signed by Mr. Martin himself.

Britta Schellenberg: Hi Ilya! Can you tell our PLAY audience a little bit about yourself?

Ilya Degtev: I’m originally from Russia, and to spare you confusion, my name is pronounced like Homer’s Iliad, without the D. I graduated from Tufts University with a history degree in 2010, which naturally led me to the ad tech space! My career began with a small app developer called HeyWire. I helped the company monetize its texting app and squeeze all possible revenue from the ad networks. Prior to Brightcove, I worked at Adelphic, a programmatic DSP recently acquired by Time, Inc. In light of this experience, I sympathize greatly with Brightcove’s publishers in their pursuit of ad revenue. Overall, I love being a part of a relatively new and growing industry and helping our customers find success.

Britta: What can people expect from your workshop at this year’s PLAY event?

ID: During our advertising health checks, one of the most common questions I hear from media customers is, “How do I improve my fill rate?” As with anything in ad tech, this is a simple question with dozens of complicated answers. The goal of the PLAY 2018 workshop is to offer ideas and simple best practices for improving fill rates and getting the most out of one’s ad supported video content.

Britta: Will there be information people can take back home? And can we expect some audience participation?

ID: Definitely! We’ll be offering tips and advice on both internal Brightcove tools and external ad ecosystem best practices. Specifically, users of DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) and interactive media ads (IMA) should find some action items to take home. I’m also hoping to bring a guest speaker on board, and we’ll be opening the floor to questions as well.

Britta: I believe this is your first time at PLAY. Besides your workshop, will you be attending other sessions and parties? What are you looking forward to most?

ID: I really want to attend the OTT sessions, since OTT is a hot topic now with both advertisers and publishers. With stricter requirements and tracking regulations in place, it’s a challenge to successfully monetize those platforms. Still, it’s a gold despot waiting to be mined.

Britta: One final question: since you live in Boston, can you a recommend three things that people should check out while visiting?

ID: In no particular order, I would recommend going to a Celtics game at TD Garden. The Celts are currently one of the top teams in the NBA Eastern Conference, so it’ll definitely be a good game to watch. If visitors have an interest in art and history, I also suggest taking a trip to the Museum of Fine Arts. Lastly, the Freedom Trail is an absolute must. It’s one of the best ways to see all the famous historical sights of Boston, and in May, you may even survive the weather!


If you’re interested in attending Ilya’s workshop on ad health, it will be held on Tuesday May 22nd, starting at 2pm. Bonus points to participants who come bearing pizza or a personal meeting with George R.R. Martin.

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