OpenAP, one of the most important broadcaster advertising collaborations in the world, is taking another important step forward by integrating long-form digital video into its unified audience discovery and planning system. The updated platform, which is being called OpenAP 2.0, also provides cross-publisher (i.e. cross-broadcaster) analytics, comprehensive pre-campaign performance projections and post-campaign delivery metrics. Importantly, given the inclusion of premium streaming video for the first time, the post-analysis will show total unduplicated reach (so advertisers know whether two views are really only one person using both a television and iPad, for example).
OpenAP was launched in 2017 and is operated for the benefit of FOX, NBCUniversal, Viacom, and Univision. It was the first open platform for cross-publisher (broadcaster) audience targeting with independent third-party verification/posting. OpenAP 2.0 will go live this autumn.
Described as a centralised premium video marketplace with workflow automation, OpenAP enables brands and agencies to perform audience-based buying (where you can target consumer segments based on lifestyle, behaviours and need-state, looking way beyond demographics) at significant scale. One of the main attractions for buyers is that the audience segmentation is consistent across all the broadcasters and you can buy the audience set you want and reach them on the combined inventory of these television majors through a single plan.
Previously, OpenAP was focused on classic broadcast linear TV, so the addition of long-form digital video is a significant moment since it extends the inventory through which advertisers can find their target audience segment. Given the growing popularity of streaming, this is a natural evolution and it takes the industry another step closer to treating broadcast and digital as part of a single ‘whole’. The announcement from OpenAP does not specify what digital inventory will be available via the platform but we understand it will include on-demand as well as linear.
Unrelated to OpenAP (in the sense that it is not an integral part of the shared platform), but providing further evidence of how broadcasters are moving towards a ‘Total TV’ (all platforms treated as one) strategy, NBCU and Viacom (in the US) are using the CFlight metric developed by NBCU and which is now being adopted by Sky Media in Europe.
CFlight is a multiscreen metric that has exacting standards about what constitutes a digital view (i.e. 100% completion). It captures all live, on-demand and time-shifted commercial impressions on any screen, and non-broadcast viewing can be included in the audience totals that a broadcaster guarantees a buyer.
OpenAP 2.0 has been built in collaboration with Accenture and FreeWheel. Fundamentally, the problem it solves is making it easy for advertisers to make audience-based buys against television. Marketers like the ability to create custom audience segments and target against attributes like need-state (e.g. people who are known to be in the market for a new car in the next six months). These are capabilities they enjoy in digital and they want them from television, as well.
OpenAP is an important innovation in terms of the capabilities it offers but also because of the high-level thinking behind it (offering ‘television’ as a larger-scale single buy in competition with non-broadcaster digital like Google or Facebook) and the operating model (multi-broadcaster collaboration).
A joint statement from the OpenAP member broadcasters says the latest iteration fundamentally transforms the way that advertisers can transact to deliver holistic advanced audience campaigns from start to finish on both linear and long-form digital platforms. They view OpenAP 2.0 as a way to bring the industry together to make audience buying more transparent, consistent, and effective.
Here is what the broadcast partners have been saying about the forthcoming update:
Sean Moran, Head of Ad Solutions, Viacom: “We’re incredibly proud of the pioneering work that our team and OpenAP partners have accomplished in unifying and standardising the television business. OpenAP’s evolution into a transactional platform is intended to simplify activation for our brand and agency partners, which we believe will significantly impact the scale of advanced advertising moving forward.”
Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Advertising and Client Partnerships, NBCUniversal: “With competition rising in every industry, marketers need new ways to define their audience and engage viewers across all platforms. Expanding OpenAP can help turn that vision into a reality.”
Marianne Gambelli, President, Advertising Sales, FOX: “Advanced targeting, transparency and simplicity are critical to our clients. OpenAP enables advertisers access to advanced audiences at scale with the highest quality TV content available across screens. FOX and the other members of OpenAP are committed to driving open standards that are essential to the success of our brand and agency partners.”
Here is a reminder of what OpenAP 2.0 provides:
- The ability to build consistent, cross-publisher audience segments for both national linear and long-form digital video
- The ability to submit orders to activate segments through a centralised cross-broadcaster marketplace
- Cross-publisher (i.e. cross-broadcaster) analytics for a unified view of advanced (i.e. audience-based) campaigns
- Comprehensive pre-campaign performance projections
- Post-campaign delivery metrics that include total unduplicated reach, overall tCPM and total audience impressions
- Consistent and standardised audience segments across all the broadcasters – in other words, if you want to reach working Mums, the definition of a working Mum is uniform.
- Secure segment sharing (if advertisers create target segments based on a set of consumer attributes, this competitive intellectual property is closely guarded
- Independent measurement – there is third-party verification of results.
Other notable advertising collaborations
If you are interested in television industry collaboration models around advertising, these are the other ones you should check out:
Australia’s Total TV measurement system VOZ, which comes with a shared audience targeting platform that is backed by the local broadcasters.
EBX, a shared programmatic solution for pan-European digital inventory operated by Mediaset, TF1, ProSiebenSat.1 Media and Channel 4.
RTL AdConnect, which combines RTL broadcasters and third-parties like ITV and RAI to help advertisers find audiences across multi-broadcaster inventory.
Sky’s AdSmart, which is being used by Pay TV rival Virgin Media to create a 30 million total household addressable advertising footprint for buyers.
Xandr, which combines the addressable inventory sales for AT&T, Altice USA and Frontier Communications, among other things.
NCC Media, the ad sales, technology and marketing company jointly owned by the U.S. cable giants Charter, Comcast and Cox.