Fox, Turner, Viacom team for cross-audience TV ad targeting

The OpenAP platform will be available to integrate with advertiser and agency planning systems.

Fox Networks Group, Turner and Viacom have announced OpenAP, a new cross-audience platform for selling targeted TV advertising. The group effort, which will be run by a neutral third-party auditor, is aimed at using audience targeting and independent measurement to help adoption catch up to demand for targeted ads.

The OpenAP platform will be available to integrate with advertiser and agency planning systems. The companies said the available content reaches 93% of all television audiences today, and they are hoping to expand that number if additional publishers join OpenAP.

Joe Marchese, president of advanced advertising at Fox Networks Group, told the Wall Street Journal that “multiple billions of dollars worth of inventory … will potentially be available [using these data sets].”

“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,” the companies wrote in an open letter. “We have never been more excited about the future of television and look forward to sharing more with all of you.

“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.”

The group is offering “consistently defined audience targets” 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,” the companies wrote.

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While the alliance of three competing programmers like Fox, Turner and Viacom seems counterintuitive, the companies’ combined data sets and ad inventories will make it easier for ad buyers to purchase data-targeted ads on a larger scale.

Just as large programmers are teaming up to simplify the data-driven ad sales process, TV broadcasters are similarly huddling up to solve the problem. Earlier this week, large broadcast group Nexstar Media announced it was joining the Local Media Consortium. Nexstar’s LMC membership now gives it access to the consortium’s partners including Google, Yahoo and Monster, which provide technology and content solutions to the LMC's members.

"The Local Media Consortium continues to attract the most loyal and engaged audiences across the web," said Jason Washing, director of global partnerships for news and local media at Google, in a statement. "Adding Nexstar to their membership only solidifies LMC's mission of connecting technology companies to our local communities and the information that impacts their daily lives. As a function of Google's partnership with the LMC, Nexstar will have access to our joint initiatives that drive additional opportunities for the local news ecosystem for years to come."