Altice USA launches Athena, a targeted ad planning platform

Altice USA's advertising business a4 is growing. (Altice USA)

Altice USA's cross-platform targeted ad firm a4 launched Athena, a platform for targeted advertising campaign planning and execution, on Tuesday.

a4 said Athena represents an upgrade to its existing Total Audience Platform. The product uses audience data set across both TV and digital to analyze consumption patterns and determine optimal placement between screens. Those audience data sets include custom onboarded CRM files.

To enhance added geofencing and geotargeting through Athena, a4 acquired Zapp360 and its Ad Messenger platform, which it had already been using since April 2018.

“The client chooses their target location and a wide variety of audiences, including TV behavior,” said Wael Sabra, VP of product at a4, in a statement. “The desired audience is then transformed to a multiscreen media plan that includes forecasts for linear TV, digital video and display delivery. Athena is directly linked to activation platforms to make multiscreen plans actionable.”

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Paul Haddad, president of a4, said Athena’s dataset can streamline the processes of creating audience segments, planning and activating campaigns.

"This effectively balances the reach and frequency of a campaign for a given target audience. Athena is the first application that truly brings the end-to-end power and control to the hands of the marketers. We are excited by the opportunities that the platform presents in terms of volume and scale for all advertisers—national, local and regional. It can truly revolutionize the industry because it’s the intersection of planning, activation and reporting, all in one interface,” said Haddad in a statement.

a4 also recently announced a partnership with AT&T’s advertising business, Xandr, allowing the company to exclusively sell Altice USA's addressable TV inventory at the national level. As part of the deal, a4 will get access to video subscriber data from AT&T’s customer network, which it can then use for its national addressable digital campaigns and multiscreen campaigns at the regional and local levels.

During Altice USA’s most recent quarter, the company grew advertising revenue by 37.8%. Overall, the company’s revenues rose 4.1% to $2.42 billion and adjusted EBITDA grew 5.8% to $1.07 billion.