Fox, Turner, Viacom execs update on consortium progress

Ad-sales executives from the media players in OpenAP – namely Fox Networks, Turner Broadcasting and Viacom – say the effort should help each do more data-enhanced ad sales in the coming upfront auction.

Launched last September, OpenAP is a collaboration of rival programmers aimed at standardizing how advertisers identify audience segments going beyond age and gender demographics. As Viacom senior VP of product management, advanced advertising Gabe Bevilacqua put it: “We want to make buying horror-movie fans and pickup-truck intenders as easy as adults 18-49.”

Nearly 800 agency accounts have been created to use the system, he said. “Segments are being created, they are being shared, posts are coming through.” That’s compared to about 90 accounts reported in this early update last October. 

The executives on a panel Monday at the Advanced Advertising event at the Stewart Hotel also included Dan Aversano, senior VP of ad innovation and programmatic solutions at Turner Ignite, and Noah Levine, senior VP of advertising data and technology solutions at Fox Networks Group. They said the intent has not been to help advertisers identify targets, but to help them reach those targets once identified. Said Aversano: “It’s about activation, not segmentation.”

Levine told moderator Tim Hanlon, CEO of The Vertere Group, “what we’ve learned is every automotive company identifies an auto intender differently.”

Levine said the OpenAP effort has given added impetus to Fox’s audience-based ad sales (as opposed to selling against a show or daypart) in the upfronts. “We’re going big in terms of audience-based selling at the upfront,” he said, and added that Fox is going to move beyond adding data refinements to targeting audience segments to increasing a focus on addressable ads, targeting specific households.

Aversano and Bevilacqua also said advanced-ad sales would be a bigger part of the mix this upfront. “We’re not testing this stuff anymore,” Aversano said. “This stuff works.”   

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