Fox Joins Project OAR Consortium to Bolster Addressable TV Standards

Several top media agencies also named to advisory committee

Fox logo for story on Project OAR featuring Fox programs
Fox joins Project OAR's roster of other top TV companies, including Disney Media Networks, WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, CBS, Discovery, Hearst Television and AMC Networks. Fox
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Project OAR received a boost today, with Fox Corp. joining its roster of TV’s biggest media companies. The consortium has also formed an advisory committee consisting of some of the largest media-buying agencies in the business.

Fox joins as a member of OAR’s steering committee alongside Disney Media Networks, Warner Media, Xandr, Comcast’s FreeWheel and NBCUniversal, CBS, Discovery, Hearst Television, AMC Networks plus data outfit Inscape and smart TV company Vizio.

In addition, the consortium’s newly formed agency advisory committee boasts some of Madison Avenue’s largest media buyers such as Publicis Media, Omnicom Media Group, GroupM, IPG/Magna, Dentsu Aegis Network, Havas and Horizon Media.

The agency committee will provide guidance on issues critical to the nascent marketplace such as performance measurement, inventory management, privacy policies and cross-network targeting.

The consortium is currently focused on the development of a new, open standard for addressable advertising on Smart TVs and connected devices with its market offering slated for the first half of 2020.

“We believe that this consortium, which benefits from both sell-side and buy-side support, will help drive adoption across the industry and enable us to execute at scale,” said Dan Callahan, vp audience and automated sales, Fox Corp., in a statement.

Added Jonathan Steuer, Omnicom Media Group’s chief research officer, “The challenges now are addressing measurement issues, getting inventory to scale and making sure that advertisers’ needs are considered in the creation of the standard.”

Audience data company Inscape is leading the technical development of the open standard. The company’s founder and svp of technology Zeev Neumeier remarked that a clear technical roadmap for all sides of the market to adhere to was necessary for its success.

Project OAR was formally announced in March after a year of preliminary meetings with individual members, articulating its hope to have a working prototype for such standards ready before the close of 2019.

Addressable TV is often referred to as the “holy grail” of media, combining the audience reach and content quality of the traditional TV industry with the sophisticated targeting capabilities of digital. Although, as evidenced by a recent Adweek article looking into fraud in the space, there are a number of process and standards issues that have to be ironed out.

Meanwhile, efforts are also taking place to bring the benefits of automation to the local TV media-buying sector with HudsonMX and WebOrbit earlier this week announcing a collaboration aimed at reducing the time it takes for local TV buyers to plan, implement and measure the effectiveness of their campaigns.     

@ronan_shields Ronan Shields is a programmatic reporter at Adweek, focusing on ad-tech.