NBCU Addition Boosts Advanced Ad Effort

More scale for standardized audience buying
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In a move that could advance advanced advertising, NBCUniversal has agreed to join with 21st Century Fox, Turner and Viacom, the partners in OpenAP, a consortium designed to standardize and simplify buying commercials based on specifically selected audiences, rather than using the broader Nielsen demographic ratings, which have been eroding.

NBCU has aggressively pushed its own data-driven targeting capabilities, making it a good match for the OpenAP partners, who have been pestered with questions about who else will sign up since the consortium was announced and had not much to say on the subject other than “stay tuned.”

“I think it’s really positive,” said Mike Law, executive VP, managing director, U.S. Media Investment, Amplifi U.S., part of the Dentsu Aegis Network. “It’s been almost 13 months since they started it, and to get another partner the size of NBCUniversal is a critical next step in terms of the scale of it.”

“Great move for the advanced TV ad sector generally and audience-based buying on TV,” added Dave Morgan, CEO of Simulmedia, a pioneer in data-powered audience based buying. “[It] accelerates standards and buyer adoption.”

In addition to becoming a partner, NBCU is licensing data and technology to OpenAP. More significantly, the four companies, which represent 50% of national broadcast and cable TV entertainment ad inventory, will collaborate on developing technology that will automate, standardize and simplify planning and buying data-based audience-targeted campaigns and the currencies they would be based on.

What of the other big sellers? Disney/ABC Television had no comment. CBS said it “continues to discuss partnership opportunities with OpenAP as well as other Advanced TV platforms.”

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