OpenAP, Xandr form unlikely audience-based ad-tech partnership

TV watching
The companies said their collaboration “signals a commitment…to grow the market for audience-based advertising across the entire national video footprint.” (Pinho/Unsplash)

OpenAP—a cross-audience ad platform started by Fox and ViacomCBS—and AT&T’s Xandr have formed an unlikely audience-based ad tech alliance.

OpenAP’s OpenID—a person-level audience definition that enables matching with viewership currencies for distribution to multiple television publishers—will now be available inside Invest TV, Xandr’s buyer self-service platform for linear television. That means ad buyers using Invest TV will be able to activate unified audiences across some of the U.S.’s largest TV publishers and use those audiences in their Invest TV buying workflows.

Xandr will adopt the OpenID and OpenAP will accept demand from Xandr’s Invest TV buying platform. Invest TV will use OpenAP’s Audience Activation API, RFP and Proposal APIs, as well as its Campaign Post API, supporting interactions between Invest TV clients and publishers accepting demand through OpenAP’s platform.

The companies said their collaboration “signals a commitment…to grow the market for audience-based advertising across the entire national video footprint.”

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“A common identity for television is a critical foundation in allowing us to create an environment where sellers are able to deliver true cross-publisher and platform insights for advertisers. To do this at scale, however, ID-based audiences must be interoperable and ubiquitous with the platforms clients want to use,” said OpenAP CEO David Levy in a statement. “We are thrilled to work with Xandr to bring the OpenID to Invest TV clients for use in linear cross-publisher campaigns, unlocking the ability to transact on a consistent OpenID audience across all major national publishers. We are committed to interoperability with the platforms and solutions that clients leverage for audience-based buying across the television ecosystem.”

“The collaboration between Xandr and OpenAP is a gamechanger for both media buyers and sellers, removing friction that has existed with executing campaigns on advanced audiences at scale,” said Mike Welch, executive vice president and general manager of Xandr, in a statement. “We built Invest TV to streamline and unify buying of advanced TV audiences, and we heard the message loud and clear that the ability to plan, buy and measure on the premium national TV footprint was critical. Xandr offers an automated access point to scaled reach in data-driven linear TV, and we’re thrilled to be working alongside industry innovator OpenAP to do it.”

The new agreement between OpenAP—which also counts AMC Networks, NBCUniversal and Univision as members—and Xandr represents a reunion of sorts. WarnerMedia was a founding member of OpenAP but exited the venture in 2019 to pursue its own advanced advertising strategy with Xandr.