OpenAP Seals TV Deals With Accenture, comScore And Nielsen

OpenAP  -- a consortium of three major TV/media companies -- has revealed new details about its effort to offer consistent TV audiences, and other key elements, for advanced TV media buying across many TV networks.

Accenture will be the independent managing auditor for the effort, with comScore and Nielsen as its two main data sets. The consortium of TV network groups -- 21st Century Fox, Turner and Viacom -- made these announcements during an event in New York City on Friday.

“TV scale and quality, with digital targeting, is where we want to end up,” says Joe Marchese, president of advanced advertising products for Fox Networks Group.

“This doesn’t happen every day that companies like this get together,” says Sean Moran, head of ad sales/marketing and partner solutions for Viacom Media Networks. “We have been working on this for 11 months.”

Bryson Gordon, EVP/chief research officer at Viacom Media Networks, says the main areas for OpenAP are coming up with consistent audiences across TV networks/publishers, providing secure sharing/management, and independent third-party posting.

OpenAP will be a site for marketers and media-agency executives. “You’ll be able to explore audiences -- and pull data," says Gordon. "It’s open and transparent."

One of the key pieces of the puzzle is linking highly important first party data -- CRM and other data from marketers -- to TV’s big universe. Says Dan Aversano, SVP of ad innovation/programmatic solutions at Turner. “[OpenAP] will activate first-party data at scale.”

Privacy is a big concern. “This is built from ground up with privacy in mind,” says Gordon. For example, Aversano says, “CRM is being integrated outside OpenAP.”

OpenAP won’t be all things for TV media buyers. Noah Levine, SVP, advertising data and technology solutions at Fox Networks Group, said: “OpenAP is not a buying platform.” He said pricing and execution will be done independently from OpenAP.

In a statement, Lynda Clarizio, president of U.S. Media of Nielsen, added: “Nielsen’s audience segments built on our household, person level and buyer graphic ratings data are the most widely used for national audience based buying across linear television today. We are confident that they will play the same role in OpenAP.”

Brian Wieser, senior research analyst at Pivotal Research Group, doesn’t think this alliance will mean higher revenue results for TV networks: “The ‘pie’ of ad spending that will be directed to TV will not be meaningfully impacted by adoption of different forms of inventory prioritization.”

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