TV Networks Partner on Technology to Deliver Targeted Ads

A consortium of television networks teamed up to create a technology standard for targeted advertising. Project OAR (Open Addressable Ready)’s watermark technology makes it easier to send specific ads to consumers with smart TVs. The consortium expects to complete its work by 2020. Such collaborative ventures are atypical for the highly competitive TV market. Currently, TV networks depend on cable and satellite operators to send targeted ads, and this technology will help networks control part of the process for smart TVs.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Project OAR is “one of many steps that could give the TV networks’ vision of countering digital ad giants like Facebook and Alphabet’s Google a chance to reach fruition.”

Consortium members include Disney Media Networks, Comcast’s NBCUniversal Media, CBS, Discovery, AMC Networks, Hearst Television and AT&T’s Turner, as well as AT&T ad group Xandr and Comcast’s FreeWheel. Vizio’s data company Inscape, with consortium members, is developing the new technology standard. Vizio will then embed the technology in its smart TVs; “the group will ask other TV makers to do the same.”

The move towards capturing part of the targeted advertising process comes as TV networks “try to compete with online ad providers and appeal to marketers struggling to reach their increasingly elusive consumers.” Another such effort is Open AP, a consortium of media companies that “created a standardized system that enables advertisers use the same data sets to inform their media plans across networks.”

NCC Media, backed by Cox Communications, Charter Communications, and Comcast, “also is working on capabilities to use data in advanced TV ad buying.” AT&T and AMC Networks have also stated “plans to create more targeted TV ad opportunities for marketers.”