Discovery invests in OpenAP

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In a move that is intended to accelerate the growth of its advanced advertising business while helping scale the overall market for advanced TV, multichannel programmer Discovery will become a minority owner of advanced advertising company OpenAP, bringing simplicity and scale to audience-based campaigns in television. Discovery joins FOX, NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS in the joint venture.

The investment signals an expansion of Discovery’s existing relationship with OpenAP, having integrated with the central TV identity spine, OpenID, in April 2021 and more recently partnering with OpenAP on the launch of XPm, the TV publisher backed cross-platform measurement framework. The commitment to OpenAP furthers Discovery’s strategy of building a technical framework that enables cross-platform audience-based buying and creating collaborative support for alternative currency standards. For OpenAP, it will help further its ability to grow the overall market for audience-based advertising and expand the breadth and scale of its services across cross-platform identity, measurement and planning.

Discovery will join OpenAP’s Board of Directors with Jon Steinlauf, Chief U.S. Advertising Sales Officer, and Jim Keller, Executive Vice President, Digital Ad Sales and Advanced Advertising, both representing the company. Discovery will be able to contribute to OpenAP’s corporate strategy and product roadmap, while gaining further operational and technical efficiencies by activating audiences centrally through OpenAP.

“Discovery is excited to take an active role shaping the future of advanced audience buying,” declared Jim Keller, Executive Vice President, Digital Ad Sales and Advanced Advertising at Discovery Inc. “Given our current momentum, influence and growth of audience-based sales, we believe Discovery can help further the work OpenAP has been doing to initiate meaningful change in the market.”

Discovery’s investment follows a year of significant platform growth for OpenAP with half a billion in publisher-driven advertising sales expected to run through OpenAP in Fiscal Year 2022, marking 140 per cent year-over-year growth. Today, OpenAP works with more than 100 advertisers following the 2019 launch of the OpenAP Market with centralised advanced audiences able to be distributed to all national TV publishers regardless of platform.

“Discovery has long been a pioneer of TV entertainment with its iconic portfolio of content and direct-to-consumer experiences people love,” commented said David Levy, CEO of OpenAP. “The last two years have demonstrated the force of change that can happen when we take an audience-first approach to reimagining TV advertising for media owners, advertisers and consumers alike. We are grateful for the increased commitment Discovery is making to work alongside us on this journey of propelling further growth of the marketplace.”

In a joint statement, Dan Callahan, Senior Vice President, Data Strategy and Sales Innovation at FOX; Krishan Bhatia, President & Chief Business Officer at NBCUniversal; and John Halley, Chief Operating Officer, Advertising Revenue at ViacomCBS, said: “Discovery’s commitment further validates OpenAP’s mission and builds on the success and scale of our collective organisations work to build a more advanced model for TV advertising that focuses on audiences. OpenAP has been a catalyst for bringing programmers and marketers together to change the model, and we’re proud to now have Discovery join us to accelerate these efforts.”


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