Discovery Buys Stake in TV Ad-Targeting Group OpenAP

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Cable TV conglomerate joining existing minority owners NBCUniversal, Fox and ViacomCBS

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It provides a platform that helps advertisers find and reach audiences—for example, consumers who are interested in buying a car—on a variety of networks and in both linear and digital TV inventory. Linear refers to the traditional style of watching TV – watching shows on a certain channel at a given time – while digital includes streaming platforms.

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Last year OpenAP introduced a so-called identifier to help advertisers more efficiently place and measure ads across digital and traditional TV systems separately.

OpenAP said it expects marketers to purchase $500 million worth of advertising through its platform in the fiscal year ending September 20, 2022, up 140% from the previous year. The company said it works with more than 100 advertisers.

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The current owner of OpenAP is Comcast Corp. of NBCUniversal, Fox . Huh Corporation

and ViacomCBS Inc.

WarnerMedia LLC was a founding member, but AT&T . withdrawn in 2019 after Inc.

Acquired its parent, Time Warner Inc.

(Fox and the Wall Street Journal parent News Corp. share common ownership.)

AT&T and Discovery last year agreed to combine their media assets into a new, publicly traded company, a deal that is expected to close this year.

Discovery, whose networks include HGTV, Food Network, Animal Planet and many others, already has a working relationship with OpenAP. The company began using OpenAP’s identifier in the spring of 2021 and worked with the group on the introduction of XPm, a way to measure audiences across different platforms.

“We work with pretty much every national network out there. But we also have networks on board and at an investor level that are much more involved from a strategic perspective and road map planning,” said OpenAP Chief Executive Officer David Levy. “I think there was a genuine interest for further [Discovery’s] Get involved in lots of strategic discussions and get more in-depth about what’s going on. And we clearly needed and wanted that insight, because every network has a different combination of challenges. ,

The companies declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal.

Discovery will join John Steinloff, chief US ad sales officer, and Jim Keller, Discovery’s executive vice president of digital ad sales and advanced advertising, on OpenAP’s board of directors.

Marketers are looking for better buying ways across platforms and content publishers, Mr. Keller said.

“Instead of us sitting on the sidelines and letting other competitors set a road map to work around data, privacy, technology, measurement, we wanted to be part and parcel of the conversation,” he said. “There has been significant momentum around audience-based selling in the overall market over the past two years. But in the last six months, if you’re not talking about audience-based sales, you can’t negotiate with anyone.”

Write Megan Graham at [email protected]

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