NBCUniversal Unveils Audience Targeting Platform For TV

NBCUniversal, a media and entertainment company that tested the ad tech waters in 2014, has taken the next step toward a data-driven future with the launch of an audience targeting platform for television.

The platform will be fueled by set-top-box viewing data from “several” third-party sources, per a release. NBCUniversal declined to disclose which third-party data vendors it has partnered with for the platform.

In addition, some of NBCUniversal’s first-party data will be utilized. The company could pull data from Fandango, for example.

“Marketers no longer have to choose between digital media’s data-driven targeting and television’s scale and unparalleled ability to communicate via great storytelling,” stated Linda Yaccarino, chairman, advertising sales and client partnerships, NBCUniversal.

While “programmatic TV” appears to be set for growth in 2015 -- with NBCUniversal itself dabbling with the technology -- the new audience targeting platform is not geared for programmatic traders.

“The platform carves out a certain portion of our inventory,” a representative explained to Real-Time Daily, but the actual trading of inventory will still be done via direct negotiations between buyers and sellers.

The company said in a press release that insights gathered from the audience targeting platform “will guide NBCUniversal’s inventory allocations and client schedule development” throughout the year.

NBCUniversal's launch of an audience targeting platform is the latest in a string of moves the company has made in a bid to take a more data-driven approach to TV advertising. One year ago NBCUniversal announced NBCU+ Powered by Comcast, a platform that allows marketers to match consumer and third-party data for national TV buys with anonymized data from Comcast’s pool of 20 million subscribers.

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