Fox, Turner and Viacom Join Forces for New Audience Measurement Platform

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Courtesy of FOX

"While demand for audience targeting has grown significantly, adoption has been limited by the fact that audience buying is not as transparent."

Timing is everything. On the heels of an unexpected three-day outage from vanguard ratings house Nielsen Media, a trio of big media companies announced Wednesday plans for an audience measurement platform of their own.

Fox Networks Group, Turner and Viacom released a joint statement announcing OpenAP — an "advanced audience platform" intended to hone audience targeting and independent measurement in an era of fractured viewing. More details are expected to be released during a April 7 event, but in-house advertising bosses Joe Marchese (Fox), Donna Speciale (Turner) and Sean Moran (Viacom) offered their take in the following joint letter:

“The evolution of television has brought new advances in audience targeting across premium publishers, which is enabling advertisers and agencies to drive more efficiency and more effectiveness with their TV budgets.

While demand for audience targeting has grown significantly, adoption has been limited by the fact that audience buying is not as transparent, as consistent and as easy as traditional guarantees. It doesn’t need to be that complicated. That changes today.

Today, we are proud to introduce OpenAP, television’s first-ever open audience platform. Founded by a consortium of television publishers and operated by a leading independent auditor, OpenAP will deliver cross-publisher targeting and independent measurement for advanced audiences.

This means consistently defined audience targets can be activated across any OpenAP member publisher. It means truly independent measurement and reporting by design, not just reactive third party verification. It means an open platform that supports industry-standard measurement sources and data, not just proprietary, walled-garden, self-governed reporting. It is consistent matching for an advertiser’s custom first-party audiences in the development of cross-publisher media plans.

OpenAP will be a single platform that agencies and advertisers can integrate with their own planning systems to activate advanced audience targeting and independent measurement within premium content. That premium content reaches 93% of all television audiences today, and we hope it will expand if additional publishers join OpenAP in the future. This consortium is a necessity to move our industry forward.

On Friday, April 7, the three of us will gather and share more information about OpenAP with agency, client and media influentials across our industry. We have never been more excited about the future of television and look forward to sharing more with all of you.”

Most TV companies, not just the trio in question, have been vocal about the need for new audience measurement. In 2015, Big Fox became the first broadcast network to shun live-plus-same-day ratings. The network no longer reports or promotes the traditional metric in favor of time-shifted data and, increasingly, comprehensive multiplatform views.