Advanced Television

Disney Advertising unveils real-time ad exchange

March 3, 2021

At the first-ever Disney Platform Tech Showcase on March 2nd, Disney Advertising Sales highlighted the Company’s investments in technology and innovation – unveiling strategies and solutions around data-driven precision, premium ad experiences and frictionless transactions for marketers.

“Disney is a global leader of excellent storytelling with award-winning franchises that capture the hearts and minds of consumers. On top of that, Disney is leading the charge in enabling unmatched advertising experiences that continue to drive innovation, precision and impact,” said Rita Ferro, President, Disney Advertising Sales. “Leaning into our impressive first-party data, automation that drives performance and the ability to measure campaigns to optimise media buys across screens, we are pushing innovation on multiple levels.”

The Disney Platform is a combined set of data, technology and creative capabilities that empowers advertisers to buy once and deliver everywhere, addressing the market’s needs for an automated and fully addressable future.

“The Disney Platform will be unrivaled in driving business impact across marketing objectives,” said Lisa Valentino, Executive Vice President, Client Solutions & Addressable Enablement, Disney Advertising Sales. “This new way of doing business will be optimizable in real-time through our programmatic offerings. The buys will be data-enabled with precision targeting and built on Disney’s audience graph that can be complimented with marketer’s own data.”

Disney says its investments in a unified digital addressable platform will “unleash a market-leading portfolio of capabilities that will help clients take full advantage of the Disney Platform”. Together, Disney Advertising Sales and the Technology team at Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution (DMED) are building a highly-advanced and data-informed audience-based ad server that sits at the centre of the Disney Platform, ensuring advertisers maximise yield on their advertising spend.

“As Disney embarks on a single unified ad platform across linear and digital that addresses this reality and market opportunity, we expect convergence to continue in three distinct areas: planning and forecasting, reporting and measurement and cross-channel optimisation. We want advertisers to be able to buy once, deliver everywhere and have common measurement for real-time optimising campaign results with Disney,” said Jeremy Helfand, Senior Vice President, Head of Advertising Platforms, Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution.

The recent launch of Disney Hulu XP was the first step to convergence at Disney, enabling advertisers to buy once and deliver to audiences across Hulu and Disney’s addressable inventory. This allows advertisers to buy and manage inventory programmatically across Disney properties. On the linear side of the business, Disney Advertising Sales will head into the Upfront with a single linear ad platform to enable linear cross-channel audience buying.

Disney Advertising Sales has seen demand for data capabilities grow with clients: the number of campaigns using data of any kind to target audiences has increased 56 per ent year-over-year, representing 110 per cent revenue growth in the same timeframe.

With the deprecation of third-party cookies, the Disney Audience Graph becomes increasingly essential. Now, Disney has taken the next step to leverage this proprietary Audience Graph to pull all of its first-party data and advanced modeling capabilities under one umbrella: Disney Select.

With Disney Select, marketers can select desired audiences from Disney’s extensive library of first-party segments that are designed to meet client needs like buyer behaviour, household characteristics and psychographics.

Disney has developed these segments to meet advertiser KPIs, specific to categories and desired outcomes. The segments are designed for maximum scale, built with integrity and activated across the portfolio of available Disney inventory, inclusive of Hulu.

Disney Advertising Sales Delivers Cross-Platform Measurable Results

With Digital Ad Ratings for Connected TV, Disney has integrated its full portfolio, both linear and digital, into Nielsen Media Impact to allow clients to plan holistically and is testing solutions such as Nielsen Total Ad Ratings, which allows clients to measure their cross-platform, cross-portfolio reach.

Disney’s collaboration with Samba TV also creates opportunity for Disney Advertising Sales to combine all media assets across one unified cross-platform measurement, servicing the entire purchase funnel.

Plus, Disney’s in-house attribution solution enables advertisers to connect ad exposure on Hulu to the specific outcomes they want to measure.

Disney Advertising Sales Building for an Addressable Future

This year alone, Disney Advertising Sales anticipates an increase of over 80 per cent in automated revenue and expects programmatic sales to account for up to 50 per cent of Disney’s addressable and linear revenue by 2024.

Over the past year, Disney Advertising Sales has seen one-thousand net new clients that are buying across the Disney Platform via programmatic channels. This acceleration is further driven by the January launch of Disney Hulu XP – the adoption of Disney Hulu XP quadrupled in just the first 30 days in market.

Now, Disney is debuting its latest programmatic advancement: Disney Real-Time Ad Exchange, or DRAX. DRAX is Disney’s premium video header bidding solution, built in-house by DMED Technology and Disney Advertising Sales. It flattens the waterfall and gives parity to all deals, delivering ultimate choice and control to clients while maximizing their ability to scale campaigns.

With DRAX, Disney Advertising Sales will now have the ability to:

  • Improve programmatic scale across transaction types by allowing biddable deals to compete alongside direct-sold and programmatic-guaranteed sales, instead of continuing to operate as a traditional waterfall.
  • Provide always-on inventory access, where DSPs will now have the ability to see all potential inventory, not just impressions that historically have made it to the auction. With this change, demand partners will be better equipped to plan for inventory and capitalize on spikes in traffic.
  • Offer lower latency, giving partners more time to surface their bids and respond accordingly, which will result in a better ad experience for both the consumers and advertisers.

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