NBCU Creates Digital Ad Network

Peter Naylor

Like other media content companies, NBC Universal is jumping on the trend of creating its own digital ad network, called Universal Audience Platform.

The network will reach 60 million unique users covering 21 different NBC Universal digital properties. As a result, NBC Universal will be using fewer third-party ad networks, says Peter Naylor, executive vice president of digital ad sales for NBC.

"By dialing down third-party ad networks, we're able to take greater control over our digital inventory and provide the marketplace with a new buying opportunity directly from a trusted and premium content source," he stated.

Media companies have a love-hate relationship with ad networks, say media executives. They can typically drive down prices of inventory. At the same time, third-party ad network deals can sell off companies' seemingly endless supply of inventory that would otherwise go unsold.



NBC is looking to gain a piece of this rapidly growing business, says Naylor. "Ad networks and portals are a nearly $5 billion marketplace, where third-party ad networks capture a disproportionate share. The UAP allows NBCU to be a key player in this market with a portfolio of leading digital properties, a suite of best-in-class targeting providers and a strong focus on customer service."

The network says UAP system will allow it to work with the industry's major media agency holding company trading desks -- Adnetik, Cadreon, Omnicom Trading Desk and VivaKi -- which can provide clients access to NBC inventory in real-time bidding environments through private exchanges.

NBC says these exchanges allow it to maintain full control over its inventory and drive efficiency in the purchase process.

The inventory will be sold solely by targeting audiences using research companies data, such as BlueKai, Nielsen and Quantcast. Data for these audiences can include demographic composition, behavioral patterns, geographic location and purchase intentions.

UAP will have its own logo and staff and be headed by Nick Johnson, senior vice president NBCU Digital Media Sales.


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