OpenAP, which seemed to be on shaky ground following WarnerMedia’s exit from the consortium in April, is expanding its reach once again via a new advanced TV partnership with NCC Media, the national advertising sales, technology and marketing firm.
Under the new deal, national advertisers can use OpenAP’s audience segment definitions to buy across NCC’s full inventory, including linear, VOD and addressable. Given that NCC’s footprint includes 85 million households, both parties see the partnership as a way to bring increased standardization to the advanced TV ecosystem.
However, NCC Media—which is owned by Charter Communications, Comcast Cable and Cox Communications—has not joined the OpenAP consortium, which currently includes Fox Corp., Viacom and NBCUniversal.
“This agreement simplifies and improves advertisers’ ability to reach unified audiences across broadcast, cable and digital TV,” the companies said today in a release. They added that this initiative is “the first of several new data and measurement programs” they are developing.
With the new partnership, OpenAP is once again showing that it has life beyond the April exit of WarnerMedia, which pulled out of the audience targeting platform it created in 2017 alongside Viacom and Fox. The other companies—alongside NBCUniversal, which joined the consortium in 2018—said at the time that they were “committed” to OpenAP.
A week later, the three remaining companies unveiled a new platform for buying linear and long-form digital video, dubbed OpenAP 2.0.
“This was an important initiative for all the companies that started it, and we know that the industry is evolving beyond age and sex [demos] and going to more targeted demographics,” Marianne Gambelli, president of ad sales for Fox Corp., told Adweek last month. “We know we have to automate the system and use data, and OpenAP is set to do that. We believe in OpenAP.”
OpenAP took another major step in May to assure the industry that it remained stable by naming David Levy as its first CEO.
Just two years ago, Fox, Turner (later renamed WarnerMedia) and Viacom joined forces to create OpenAP, an advanced audience platform standard for cross-publisher audience targeting and independent measurement. The three companies had spent a year developing the platform in order to address industry concerns that audience targeting was too complicated, wasn’t scalable and lacked a third-party auditor.
Their hope was that OpenAP would become the industry standard for audience targeting and that all television publishers would embrace the platform.