NBCUniversal Joins TV Coalition for Evolving Measurement and Ad Buys

The Good Place S01E13 Still - Publicity - H 2017
Vivian Zink/NBC

Fox, Turner and Viacom previously announced data push OpenAP; now all four companies will share technology to better serve clients.

The cooperative push for better TV advertising continues. After 2017 brought news that Fox, Turner and Viacom had agreed to team up on a new means for audience measurement, NBCUniversal has joined the trio exactly one year later for a multiyear partnership focused on new platforms for automated ad buys and cross-platform measurement.

This deal marks a marriage of sorts between NBCUniversal’s proprietary Audience Studio data and OpenAP, the standardized data set launched by Fox, Turner and Viacom in April of last year. It's an unconventional partnership, to say the least, and one that reflects a unified front in the face of declining TV ad commitments.

“We have spent the last four years developing the industry’s best tools to empower advertisers to better target their marketing campaigns to desired audiences," said Krishan BhatiaNBCU exec vp business operations and strategies. "We’re excited to unleash the capabilities of our Audience Studio for the rest of the industry and share our underlying technology to propel the entire business forward.”

NBCU teaming up with three competitors comes as cable brands are making their pitches to Madison Avenue media buyers in New York with presentations and spiel-heavy dinners. The broadcast networks make their annual case for advertising dollars in May.

“OpenAP was formed with a clear mission: to bring the industry together in order to advance the experience, efficiency and effectiveness of advertising," said Fox president of ad revenue Joe Marchese, Turner president of ad sales Donna Speciale and Viacom head of marketing and partner solutions Sean Moran in a joint statement. "With NBCUniversal aligning with the consortium, we are all accelerating the industry’s efforts in providing more premium scale to drive greater adoption of advanced audience targeting, while laying the groundwork for future innovation.”

OpenAP will now have full use of Audience Graph, NBCU's enterprise data asset. It's described as a single centralized store of audience attributes to create and evaluate audience targets for use in media plan optimization. The deal also includes access to NBCU's Data Sync, a scalable, cloud-based data infrastructure.

According to the group, the expanded platform will allow marketers a one-stop shop for TV campaigns across a portfolio comprising 50 percent of total TV inventory across national broadcast and cable entertainment.