| NEW YORK, March 15
NEW YORK, March 15 Major U.S. media companies
Time Warner Inc’s Turner, Viacom Inc and 21st
Century Fox Inc’s Fox Networks Group will launch
OpenAP, a program for advertisers to laser focus their
commercials at specific audiences on television.
With the TV upfront season weeks away, advertisers are
seeking audiences beyond the ones measured by Nielsen,
which are based on age, gender and income, mimicking ad buying
on the digital side.
Over the next two months, most major U.S. media companies
will sell the bulk of their TV ad inventory for the next year in
what is known as the upfront market.
Many media companies have come up with their own ways to
allow ad buyers to target audience segments, such as an
automaker that only wants to reach viewers looking to buy a new
Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal unit recently said it
would sell $1 billion of its ad inventory during this year’s
upfront market using its in-house Audience Targeting Platform,
rather than Nielsen.
Turner, Viacom and Fox say this type of media buying doesn’t
work if each company uses its own set of data on its own system.
Advertisers are distrustful on the digital side because major
players like Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's
Google create their own measurements, akin to grading their own
homework, they say.
Targeted advertising has mostly been deployed for smaller and
one-time ad deals, but "each upfront we’ve been getting more
interest and more negotiations on audience buying," said Donna
Speciale, Turner’s president of advertising sales.
OpenAP's goal is to allow an advertiser or an agency to
define an audience segment or work with the networks to create
one, then target that segment across all three companies' TV
“We still handle pricing, inventory, management and
negotiations separately,” said Joe Marchese, president of
Advanced Ad products at Fox Networks Group. “But we now have a
standard definition (of a particular audience segment) so the
client only has to do it once.”
A third-party auditor will measure how many times an
advertiser’s commercial runs in front of the particular
The three companies sent a letter about OpenAP to
advertisers and agencies on Wednesday, and plan a formal event
next month, where they will unveil specifics.
“Our hope is that it becomes widely adopted across the TV
universe,” said Sean Moran, head of marketing and partner
solutions at Viacom.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)