NBCU to Launch ‘Audience Targeting’ for TV - 01/21/2015

21 Jan, 2015

By: Doug McPherson

The program will begin with categories in which demand for key commercial inventory exceeds supply, according to Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising sales and client partnerships. About a third of NBCU inventory will be set aside to ensure that clients in those categories can buy these top-performing commercials at scale.

Clients will identify their marketing plans and audience targets, and the Audience Targeting Platform will use data from set-top box viewing and several third-party data sources to find matches in NBCU’s inventory and allocate those commercials as part of the client’s TV advertising schedule.

Those ATP findings could be part of conversations that lead up to upfront buys or be purchased as scatter, depending on the client’s preference Yaccarino said.

"Marketers no longer have to choose between digital media’s data-driven targeting and television’s scale and unparalleled ability to communicate via great storytelling,” said Yaccarino. "Now, we are unique in our ability to deliver on our promise of targeting nationally and insights-driven program selections across the entire NBCUniversal portfolio. Video content is more powerful in the presence of data.”

The added targeting capabilities should create inventory that is more valuable to clients and identify value in inventory that previously had been hidden. But unlike some data-driven ad sales in digital, NBCU does not plan to auction this inventory.

Yaccarino said the ATP involved NBCU’s entire inventory, and that having all of NBCU’s sales efforts consolidated and running through a single computer system helped make its entire inventory available through the platform.

NBCUniversal’s launch of an audience targeting platform is the latest in a string of moves the company has made in a bid to take a more data-driven approach to TV advertising. One year ago NBCUniversal announced NBCU+ Powered by Comcast, a platform that allows marketers to match consumer and third-party data for national TV buys with anonymized data from Comcast’s pool of 20 million subscribers.

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