Analyst Says OpenAP Could Help TV Recover Digital Dollars

Positive for comScore; ‘slight negative’ for Nielsen

The TV industry alliance formed by Viacom, Turner and Fox could help TV in its battle with digital media for advertising dollars, analyst Tom Eagan of Telsey Advisory Group said.

The coalition, OpenAP, held a meeting Friday introducing media buyers to its plans and announcing that Accenture would act as the third-party validator of its platform and that both Nielsen and comScore data would be incorporated.

Most large TV operations have begun creating data-driven advertising products designed to provide marketers with the kind of precision targeting and verifiable results that digital has promised. But those data-driven projects have differed from network to network, creating confusion and complexity for media buyers and clients.

“We view the recent launch of OpenAP as a distinct positive,” said Eagan in a note Monday morning. "By creating consistently defined audience targets across a broad array of the industry’s cable networks, the coalition allows marketers to finally deploy advanced advertising techniques on linear TV at scale.”

This is a particularly good time for OpenAP to launch, with marketers confronting issues with digital advertising ranging from fraud to viewability and most recently exposure to objectionable content, Eagan notes.

“For TV networks, this ability to provide augmented audience targeting could help migrate some of the ad dollars that have siphoned to digital back to TV,” he said.

Eagan also said he expects other cable networks, including Disney and Scripps Networks Interactive to join up with OpenAP.

On the measurement side, Eagan sees OpenAP as a positive for comScore but a “slight negative” for Nielsen.

“Should OpenAP's efforts prove successful, it could reduce the hegemony of Nielsen’s age/sex demo rating as the industry's de facto planning metric for TV advertising,” Eagan said. “Conversely, for comScore, OpenAP could increase the use of its TV ratings data as a media planning tool. All that said, it will likely take several years until we can assess the impact of OpenAP”