Disney, Comcast, NBC et al addressable standard effort

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A number of US media and technology companies, in collaboration with smart TV company VIZIO, have announced the formation of a consortium dedicated to the development and deployment of a new, open standard for addressable advertising on connected TVs. The effort will open up a direct dynamic ad- management pathway between content owners and TV devices.

Dubbed “Project OAR” for Open Addressable Readythe consortium is working to define technical standards for TV programmers and platforms to deliver more relevant advertising experiences within linear and on-demand formats on smart TVs.

Project OAR allows ad-inventory owners, whether programmers or distributors, the technical means to better monetise every TV impression through segment-based audience targets and addressable insertion.

“TV programmers reach a massive and passionate audience, but have lacked the precision targeting of digital,” said Mike Dean, Senior Vice President, Advanced Advertising and Automation at CBS. “Through OAR, CBS will combine relevance with our reach to deliver a better experience to our viewers and better ROI for our advertisers.”

With OAR, media companies can deliver ads that are relevant to the household and, more importantly, improve the linear viewing experience for consumers. “We all recognise the most important goal of this initiative is to drastically enhance the TV experience for people at home,” said VIZIO Founder and Chief Executive Officer, William Wang.

The consortium has the initial pledge from VIZIO that once the standard is developed it can be deployed on its opt-in footprint of connected TVs, though the protocol will be open and designed to enable any internet-connected TV maker and connected-device company to leverage it.

“Project OAR complements our strategy around new data-set development supportive of our own company insights,” said Jesse Redniss, EVP of Data Strategy, WarnerMedia and GM of the WarnerMedia Innovation Lab. “It’s important for us to come together as an industry and create connective experiences that matter to fans, and that includes how we use data to inform and broaden spaces like addressable TV.”

With oversight from a committee comprised of representatives from Disney’s Media Networks (ABC, ESPN and Freeform), Comcast’s FreeWheel and NBCUniversal, Discovery, CBS, Xandr, Turner, Hearst Television and AMC Networks, the technology will be developed by Inscape, the TV ACR data company owned by VIZIO.

“Project OAR aligns well with FreeWheel’s objective of supporting the industry to deliver scalable, addressable advertising solutions that will help make television an even more valuable platform for brand marketers. Bringing an addressability standard to Smart TVs nicely complements solutions already available from MVPDs,” said Dave Clark, General Manager of FreeWheel, a Comcast company.

The standard promises to solve a lot of problems at once by delivering enhanced advertising products to brands, making the ad-supply chain more efficient, and giving audiences advertising content they are more likely to watch and enjoy.

The OAR standard will be designed to implement a technologically sound, dynamic ad-delivery system while utilising industry privacy best practices. “The standard will define the baseline for ad delivery, impression verification and privacy compliance, but networks will have plenty of room to create unique and enriched advertising experiences,” said Jodie McAfee, SVP at Inscape. “We are making this flexible enough to enable interactivity and other bells and whistles that have yet to be imagined.”

With development now underway, the consortium aims to have a working product to showcase in Spring 2019 with full deployment targeted for early 2020.


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