Comcast, Charter and ViacomCBS today announced that they will all take equal ownership of Blockgraph, a TV ad tech initiative focused on using secure, anonymized audience data.
Blockgraph, which first launched in 2017, is an “identity layer” for the TV industry that provides a secure platform for sharing information without disclosing identifiable user data to third parties. Comcast division Freewheel has been developing the software to improve planning, targeting, execution and measurement across screens for TV advertising and marketing.
The new joint venture will explore new ways of using audience data for advanced TV and premium video advertising. The idea is that Blockgraph technology can allow media companies to form insights across their collective platforms without relying exclusively on third parties.
“When we began to develop Blockgraph several years ago, we knew that the ability to apply data-driven insights to all media, including TV, in a way that protected privacy, was going to be hugely important to the future of our industry. Now, some three years later, that couldn’t be truer, and the alternative that Blockgraph offers could not be more valuable,” said Marcien Jenckes, president of Comcast Advertising, in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with ViacomCBS and Charter as we continue to roll out Blockgraph and look forward to working with new partners and customers in the months ahead as platform adoption grows.”
Last year, Charter advertising division Spectrum Reach said it was collaborating on the software with Comcast, which said it was also in talks with Viacom to help develop the product roadmap and structure of the Blockgraph initiative. Comcast’s NBCUniversal said it has been working on integrating Blockgraph into its AdSmart platform.
“Bringing better data to television for planning, targeting and measurement represents a huge opportunity for our industry, and above all, for advertisers,” said David Kline, executive vice president at Charter and president at Spectrum Reach, in a statement. “In order to recognize this opportunity, however, we need to continually and fully ensure that we can use data in a way that protects the privacy of users through technologies that facilitate aggregated and anonymized use of our data. This is an ongoing concern to be addressed collaboratively across the industry, which is why we are so supportive of Blockgraph.”