Viacom and Comcast have struck a mutually beneficial deal.
Viacom can now use Comcast’s anonymized set-top-box data from cable subscribers and technology from Comcast Freewheel's video ad management unit. In turn, Comcast will share Viacom’s targeted advertising tools.
Key to the deal for Viacom is the addressable advertising targeting of Comcast subscribers, which includes dynamic ad insertion into video on demand content. The agreement also covers linear programming.
Comcast's sharing of its subscriber data started in earnest last year. Comcast and Fox Network Group are selling advertising in the video-on-demand content on Fox’s channels. Additionally, Comcast Cable already has a similar arrangement with sister company, NBCUniversal.
Recently, Comcast joined with Charter and Cox Communications -- members of the NCC Media, the local cable TV ad selling unit -- to start a new advanced advertising uint.
Viacom is partners -- along with Turner, Fox and most recently NBCUniversal -- in OpenAP, a TV consortium that standardizes new audience segments and creates a new media-buying currency.
Comcast’s set-top box data provides custom segments for OpenAP.
FreeWheel was bought by Comcast in 2014. It began as a broadcast ad server, but is now part of Comcast’s advanced advertising business.