NBC Uni eyes Web for TV spot sales

Advertisers can buy demos using set-top box data

First Google. Now NBC Universal is working with Microsoft to test selling TV spots via a suite of Web-based tools.

The two companies announced on Thursday that the NBC Local Media group began selling a select portion of television ad inventory from two networks in Los Angeles last March via Microsoft's Admira platform. Admira is a product of Navic Networks, which Microsoft acquired about a year ago. The platform is designed to enable advertisers to buy specific audience demographics using set-top box data -- and also automatically manage and track inventory.

Following the March test in the Los Angeles market, NBCU said it now plans to begin testing Admira to sell inventory from across its broadcast and cable networks to both small and large advertisers. According to executives, large agencies can use Admira for its planning data, while small advertisers can use the platform to purchase inventory through an automated Web dashboard.

Although similar in nature to its Google TV partnership, Admira does not sell via an auction model.

"This is all about improving ROI for clients and experimenting with next-generation metrics and processes," said Mike Pilot, president of sales and marketing at NBC Universal.
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