WarnerMedia Bails on Ad Sales Consortium OpenAP

Claws - Publicity -  TNT- H 2016
Courtesy of Tony Kelly/TNT

Turner had been a founding partner in the young program to offer audience-based buying across networks.

WarnerMedia will be going it alone when it comes to measurement and ad sales. The TV group, now under the AT&T umbrella, announced Friday that it will no longer be a partner in OpenAP — the relatively young consortium of networks trying to offer more comprehensive audience numbers to advertisers.

“As our company has transformed, our advanced advertising strategy has evolved,” a WarnerMedia Ad Sales spokesman said in a statement. “As a result, we are withdrawing from OpenAP. We appreciate what OpenAP has supported to this point in widening the adoption of audience-based buying on television.”

OpenAP started in 2017 with Fox, Turner and Viacom joining forces to tout a new audience measurement platform. It’s interesting to note that two of those three were dramatically affected by subsequent mergers and acquisitions. NBCUniversal joined in 2018.

OpenAP utilizes data from Nielsen, comScore and others to allow advertisers to target consumers beyond standard categories of age and gender. It counts board members and a product council made up of execs from its different participating companies. Turner’s Donna Speciale and Dan Riess both sat on the board.

In 2018, OpenAP became a relatively significant talking point during upfront sales — especially after getting a boost from NBCUniversal and its own proprietary measurement tool, Audience Studio.

OpenAP issued the following statement: “OpenAP is a strong and collaborative effort among leading television publishers dedicated to further increasing the effectiveness, transparency and security of the video advertising business for both viewers and brands. Fox, NBCUniversal and Viacom remain committed to working together in pursuit of a premium, open, independently verified marketplace that will continue to transform the industry. Over the next few months, we will be growing and expanding the OpenAP platform to simplify audience buying at scale, and you’ll hear more from us on these exciting developments in the coming days.”