Media Companies and Buyers Are Finally Getting Serious About Data and Audience-Targeted Advertising

Upfront surge bodes well for fall’s scatter market, and OpenAP’s beta launch should accelerate deals

This year’s upfront market ended up being far healthier across the board than many had anticipated. Yet no sector was stronger than data-based advertising, which uses data sets from buyers or marketers to target audiences outside of Nielsen’s traditional age and gender demos that make up the C3 and C7 currency. All of the companies with robust data offerings—including NBCUniversal, Turner, Fox Networks Group and Viacom—saw substantial increases in their data-based transactions. Fox’s upfront included 40 percent gains in offerings like its Audience Insights Manager, while Turner doubled its upfront revenue commitments for its Audience Now platform. “To me, that means that we’re not just in testing mode anymore,” says Turner Ad Sales president Donna Speciale. “It’s becoming part of their media mix.”

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This story first appeared in the Aug. 21, 2017, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.