NBCUniversal Commits to Sell $1 Billion in Data-Driven Advertising in 2017

by Paige Albiniak  |  03.02.2017

NBCUniversal is taking a big leap into the digital pool this year, committing to sell $1 billion in ad inventory to clients this year based only on non-Nielsen digital metrics in both the upfront and scatter markets.

NBCU also unveiled its Audience Symphony platform, which allows advertisers to tap into the company’s cross-platform Symphony offering and target precise audiences. NBCU’s media portfolio includes everything from broadcast and cable networks such as NBC, Bravo, USA and SyFy to theatrical films to theme parks as well as a plethora of digital and social platforms and partners, including Vox, BuzzFeed, Snapchat and Apple News. Advertisers will be able target messages across a combination of those platforms to reach very specific demographics, expanding from broadcast TV’s traditional target of adults 18-49.

While buys will not be guaranteed by Nielsen ratings, as they have been traditionally, they will be backed by other digital metrics. According to NBCU, the “optimized media investment will be fully guaranteed to deliver against those ‘precisely defined customers’ across all platforms, replacing traditional age and gender measurement.”

“By bringing together premium content at scale with guarantees based on business priorities, we’re giving clients the best of both worlds: The audiences they need and the targeting they crave, which is superior to other platforms,” said Linda Yaccarino, chairman, advertising sales and client partnerships, NBCUniversal, in a statement.

NBCU dipped their toe into this method of selling advertising last year, offering certain clients ad buys based on target audience guarantees.

“We found that the size and the scale of our portfolio is so enormous that you’re probably going to be able to guarantee on almost any segment that anyone can conjure up,” said Yaccarino, according to B&C. “Then we learned that anybody who came in and got a little taste of it said ‘I want to come back for more.’ And they came back for seconds. And the deal sizes started to increase.”

Meanwhile, Nielsen is still working to roll out its Total Content Ratings system, which went into limited release on March 1.

RELATED: Nielsen Prepares to Reveal Total Content Ratings

In December, Yaccarino and all of the broadcast network presidents sent a letter to Nielsen letting the firm know of their frustrations with the delay of the product, but NBCU is clearly moving ahead.

Yaccarino told Adweek that until now, NBCU has “been handcuffed by the legacy of a measurement that doesn’t give clients what they need.”

READ MORE: Adweek, Ad Age, Broadcasting & Cable

[Image courtesy of Broadcasting & Cable]

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