Three major players in the TV advertising space — Fox Networks Group, Turner and Viacom —on Wednesday announced a new advertising platform called OpenAP. The three billed it as the “television industry’s first open platform for cross-publisher audience targeting and independent measurement.”
While the three companies are agreeing on a single platform, the alliance does not mean they will be any less competitive, reports Variety. They are just agreeing to use the same platform and the same standards of measurement to determine exactly who is watching ads and where, and deliver those targeted audiences to advertisers. Accenture will provide auditing and measurement services to ensure the platform delivers on its promises, according to Variety.
Fox, Turner and Viacom are inviting other media companies to join the new platform, saying “this consortium is a necessity to move our industry forward.”
Earlier this month, NBCUniversal announced a similar initiative that it’s doing across it’s own networks and digital platforms called Audience Symphony.
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Other companies — including CBS, The Walt Disney Co., A+E Networks and Discovery Communications — similarly have rolled out data-driven capabilities, reports Broadcasting & Cable.
In general, media companies are aggressively looking for ways to deliver media to targeted audiences across platforms and for ways to accurately measure that delivery so they can effectively monetize it. Up to this point, Nielsen has been the currency of the realm but that system is breaking down as Nielsen ratings mean less and less in a multi-platform, on-demand media environment.
For its part, Nielsen said it supports the OpenAP effort: “Nielsen’s gold standard data measures many, if not most, of these audience-based advertising guarantees. We support the consortium’s goals to give advertisers and agencies verified and audited reporting of delivery. This is an important part of what is needed to create openness and transparency in ad buying and selling. We look forward to cooperating and working with the consortium.”
Below is the letter Joe Marchese, Fox Networks Group, Donna Speciale, Turner, and Sean Moran, Viacom sent to advertising agencies revealing the new platform:
“The evolution of television has brought new advances in audience targeting across premium publishers, which is enabling advertisers and agencies to drive more efficiency and more effectiveness with their TV budgets.
While demand for audience targeting has grown significantly, adoption has been limited by the fact that audience buying is not as transparent, as consistent and as easy as traditional guarantees. It doesn’t need to be that complicated. That changes today.
Today, we are proud to introduce OpenAP, television’s first-ever open audience platform. Founded by a consortium of television publishers and operated by a leading independent auditor, OpenAP will deliver cross-publisher targeting and independent measurement for advanced audiences.
This means consistently defined audience targets can be activated across any OpenAP member publisher. It means truly independent measurement and reporting by design, not just reactive third party verification. It means an open platform that supports industry-standard measurement sources and data, not just proprietary, walled-garden, self-governed reporting. It is consistent matching for an advertiser’s custom first-party audiences in the development of cross-publisher media plans.
OpenAP will be a single platform that agencies and advertisers can integrate with their own planning systems to activate advanced audience targeting and independent measurement within premium content. That premium content reaches 93% of all television audiences today, and we hope it will expand if additional publishers join OpenAP in the future. This consortium is a necessity to move our industry forward.
On Friday, April 7, the three of us will gather and share more information about OpenAP with agency, client and media influentials across our industry. We have never been more excited about the future of television and look forward to sharing more with all of you.”
READ MORE: Variety, Adweek, Broadcasting & Cable