New Consortium Aims to Improve Addressable TV Ad Market

Go Addressable, a new eight-company consortium, plans to simplify and scale addressable TV advertising. Among the consortium members are Comcast, Charter Communications, Altice USA, Dish Media and smart TV manufacturer Vizio. Comcast Advertising vice president and general manager Larry Allen reported that advertisers are currently faced with putting together a schedule from various streaming services, smart TV makers, cable operators and even programmers. He said that, “the buyers need a solution to their fragmentation problem.”

The Wall Street Journal reports Allen explained that such fragmentation is “a massive constraint on the market and the buyers that either bought individually or had to patchwork together or went through aggregators … [and that] unlocking that scale across multiple endpoints is really the endgame.”

Go Addressable’s plans are to “identify problems, consider possible solutions and connect with the industry players best positioned to solve them.” The consortium meets once a month to “discuss issues such as which legacy systems should be updated to enable better workflow, or what jargon to eliminate so that different targeted ad companies can talk consistently about their processes and products.”

WSJ notes that, “the ad business has long dreamed about the growth of addressable advertising in traditional TV … [but] cable and satellite operators are limited by the amount of inventory they control and sell (usually two minutes per hour) and, in some cases, the regions they service.”

That forces advertisers to “patch together ad deals with different cable and satellite providers, but some have found it more costly and time consuming than just running a national TV ad and capturing a combination of desired and undesired viewers.”

Now that streaming services can “offer precise ad targeting without regional constraints,” operators and TV businesses “are faced with growing competition.” Other groups are attempting to tackle the problem, including “OpenAP, a group founded by TV networks to advance the use of audience data in TV trades; On Addressability, set up by Comcast and other TV operators to help programmers create more targeted ads; and Project OAR, which was formed by TV and ad businesses to help the TV networks send ads to people with smart TV sets.”

Variety reports that, on its last “Strictly Business” podcast, ViacomCBS vice president of partnership development Seema Patel noted that, “addressable targeting provides the most relevant and engaging ad experience, which represents a valuable exchange of their time and attention for our premium content.” She added that, “for advertisers and agencies, the best ad experience is not only one that’s the most relevant, engaging and effective, but it’s also one that provides scale and operational efficiency and transactional needs.”

Dish Media general manager of strategic partnerships and products Tim Myers said that addressable will allow “an advertiser to find the viewer whenever and wherever they’re watching, and that allows them to get in front of more viewers … [as well as] to control how often we’ll see that ad, which we would call control of both reach and frequency.”