IPG Strikes First-Mover Deal With OpenAP, Integrates Persons-Level Data With Acxiom's

OpenAP, the audience data and targeting platform owned by some of the TV industry’s biggest players, this morning announced a deal with IPG Mediabrands’ Magna unit that will integrate OpenAP’s proprietary TV audience identifier -- “OpenID” -- with consumer-profile data from Interpublic’s Acxiom unit.

Details about exactly how the consumer audience data will be matched were not available at presstime, but the deal appears to be another win for the supply-side’s push to integrate its proprietary audience-targeting data into the demand-side workflow at big advertising agencies.

“Identity is the common denominator powering the industry’s transition to a multi-publisher, multi-platform, multi-currency advertising model,” Magna Global President Dani Benowitz said in a statement included in a press release from OpenAP announcing the deal.



“This partnership with OpenAP simplifies a complex process and gives the actionable data our team’s need in the planning stage to maximize our clients’ investments,” Benowitz added.

OpenAP was founded four years ago by most of the major TV network owner companies -- Fox, NBCUniversal, Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery -- with the exception of Disney to leverage all the proprietary persons-level data they collect across their multiple consumer touchpoints.

Each of those platforms individually boast consumer-identity frameworks rivaling the biggest digital-media platforms, and the formation of OpenAP was a recognition that advertisers and agencies were increasingly moving away from legacy panel-based ratings measurement to persons identity-based targeting -- and that the data needed to be organized and technology needed to be developed in a way to make it better and easier for the demand-side to work with.

OpenAP announced the creation of the OpenID in April 2021 and described it as a “consistent person-level audience definition that is unified across linear and digital video environments,” which is also part of OpenAP’s mandate to help accelerate a cross-platform -- ie., linear TV and CTV/streaming – audience-based advertising marketplace.

At the time, OpenAP said the goal of OpenID was to efficiently match it with “viewership currencies” enabling advertisers and agencies to target and buy the audiences they want to reach.

Today’s deal with Magna is separate from OpenAP’s creation of a so-called JIC, or joint industry committee, comprised of supply- and demand-side executives to certify new and existing audience data that can be used as advertising trading currencies, but Magna is one of the agencies participating in that process too.

Importantly, from an Interpublic point of view, Magna’s deal to utilize OpenAP’s persons-level identity tracker is explicitly designed to match those media audiences with the humongous consumer identity database Interpublic bought when it acquired Acxiom in 2018 for $2.3 billion.

“Magna will receive end-to-end campaign forecasting for both linear and digital channels from OpenAP, providing clients with new and incremental opportunities to distribute unexposed audiences to digital and CTV channels to extend the reach and ROI of their campaigns,” OpenAP notes in this morning’s release, adding that the agency holding company will  “also benefit from first-mover advantage on the cross-publisher, cross-platform clean room solution, the OpenAP Data Hub, in early 2024.”

And as if for emphasis, OpenAP pointed out “the partnership comes at a critical time ahead of the 2025 upfront, in which advertisers continue to be faced with fragmentation across identity, viewership and new currencies.

The 2025-26 upfront also will be the first one in which Nielsen’s legacy panel-only data effectively is no longer an industry currency -- being replaced by its own hybrid panel-plus Big Data product -- and competing with a variety of “alternative currencies,” some of which have been certified by the JIC managed by OpenAP, including Comscore, iSpot.tv and Videoamp.

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