NBCUniversal Aligns with OpenAP for Unified Advanced Advertising Standards

US broadcaster NBCUniversal announced today that it’s aligning with OpenAP, a broadcaster consortium made up of Fox, Turner and Viacom, to work on the development of new platforms for automated buying, advanced formats and cross-platform measurement and currency for TV advertising.

The partnership firstly means that NBCUniversal will align with OpenAP’s standardised datasets. OpenAP was founded back in 2016 with a view to making it easier for advertisers to target TV audiences by enabling cross-publisher audience targeting, as well as independent measurement. NBCUniversal’s addition means the same standardised datasets buyers can use for Fox, Turner and Viacom can now be used for NBCUniversal too.

The companies claim this means their alliance now covers 50 percent of total TV inventory in the US across national broadcasters and cable entertainment.

The deal will also see NBCUniversal contribute its own data assets to the initiative. The broadcaster will license its Audience Graph to OpenAP, a proprietary data asset which NBCU says provides a single centralised store of audience attributes to create and evaluate audience targets for use in media plan optimization, as well as its Data Sync, a cloud-based tool for client and agency data matching against audience segments.

Advertisers and agencies using OpenAP will also now have access to the Freewheel Shared Insights Platform, a dataset informed by non-personally identifiable TV viewing data, thanks to Freewheel being another holding of NBCUniversal’s parent company Comcast.

OpenAP’s founders say NBCUniversal’s alignment will help their efforts to make advanced TV advertising easier at scale, and more attractive to advertisers.

“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’s president of ad revenue Joe Marchese, Turner’s president of ad sales Donna Speciale, and Viacom’s 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.”

NBCUniversal meanwhile seems to share OpenAP’s view that cooperation will be beneficial for the whole industry in the long run. “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. 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,” said Krishan Bhatia, NBCUniversal’s EVP of business operations and strategy.

Looking ahead, OpenAP and NBCU say they will also work together on joint development of API-based self-service tools, standardised measurement and attribution capabilities, addressable offerings and cross-platform advertising technology.

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