Verizon Media Bolsters Addressable TV Offering With Expanded Dish Deal

Now advertisers can buy set-top box and streaming inventory in the same place

Dish Media's addressable footprint covers seven million households. Getty Images

Verizon Media is nearly tripling the scope of its demand-side platform’s (DSP) addressable television offering with an expanded partnership with Dish Media.

Advertisers can now buy inventory across Dish’s 7 million set-top boxes through Verizon Media’s DSP, where buyers can already purchase ad space across Verizon’s footprint of 3.98 million Fios TV subscribers.

Inventory for Dish-owned Sling, a virtual pay-TV provider, is already available through Verizon Media’s DSP and several other buying platforms, but Verizon Media is the first DSP to include Dish’s set-top box-delivered addressable inventory. Kevin Arrix, svp of Dish Media, said advertisers are starting to care less about the differences between linear TV and streaming and more about reaching their target audiences wherever they may be.

“This partnership … is indicative of convergence. It’s where the industry is going. Digital and linear are converging, and I think this supports that belief,” said Arrix.

Verizon Media is expanding its addressable TV offering just as the medium undergoing a significant shift. The novel coronavirus pandemic has both hastened consumers’ move to connected TV and disrupted the long-standing upfront sales process.

Addressable advertising allows marketers to target the remaining traditional TV viewers, and it allows media owners to charge more for those ads as they adapt to changing consumption habits.

Programmatic has been slow to make its way into traditional linear TV since real-time ad insertion is difficult in a medium that isn’t powered by the internet, like desktop and mobile. Advertisers will likely buy set-top box inventory via programmatic guaranteed deals, which essentially automate the insertion order process.  

Still, as programmatic TV becomes more popular, Arrix said Dish Media is staying “buying solution agnostic” to give advertisers multiple ways to purchase its inventory.

Iván Markman, chief business officer of Verizon Media, said the unit will “continue to invest” in its programmatic guaranteed technologies, since that’s typically what a media owner’s sales team sells premium inventory.

Verizon Media expanded its DSP offerings in May to become an omnichannel shop with the inclusion of native inventory. A month later it inked a partnership with data company Inscape to measure the effectiveness of TV ads.

@andrewblustein Andrew Blustein is a programmatic reporter at Adweek.