NBCUniversal Renames Audience Studio, Aligns Advanced Advertising Platform With Sky’s AdSmart

First joint advertising initiative since Comcast bought Sky last fall

The two platforms will continue operating separately, but will share a name and resources. NBC Universal
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Farewell to the Audience Studio, NBCUniversal’s suite of audience targeting offerings, which is getting a name change: long live AdSmart.

NBCUniversal and Sky are bringing their respective advanced advertising platforms—Audience Studio and AdSmart—together under the same name. Going forward, they will be known as AdSmart from NBCUniversal and AdSmart from Sky.

It is the first joint advertising initiative between the two companies since Comcast bought Sky, the European media giant, last fall.

The platforms will continue operating separately, but will share a name and resources. There will be no staffing changes for NBCUniversal’s ad sales team, which just had a reorganization in October, as a result of the realignment.

Together, the AdSmart platforms will offer linear optimization, addressable TV, digital targeting and AI-powered contextual targeting. The expectation is that each platform will gain insight into the other company’s advanced advertising capabilities and apply those learnings to their own markets.

For example, NBCUniversal will be looking at Sky’s addressable offerings and applying those solutions Stateside, while Sky will be tapping NBCU’s linear optimization platforms and bringing those learnings to Europe.

“Over the years, Sky has built a suite of advanced advertising tools, and we’re excited to share them with international marketers in the United States,” said Andrew Griffith, group COO, Sky, in a statement. “Together with NBCUniversal we’re launching a global product unlike anything the market has seen before, that combines the quality and reach of TV with best-in-class addressability.”

Added Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal’s chairman of advertising and partnerships, “The world is getting smaller, and the opportunity for international marketers to make an impact with consumers is getting bigger. The industry has demanded a global premium video offering, and now, one will finally exist. NBCUniversal and Sky are committed to setting the highest possible standards and transforming the ad experience. Bringing our advanced advertising solutions under one global structure is the first step in our journey.”

Comcast beat out Fox last September for a 61 percent stake in the European media giant, with a $39 billion bid. Four days later, Fox decided to sell its own 39 percent Sky stake to Comcast for $15 billion.

In January, another newly-merged media company, AT&T, began using data from its advertising and analytics unit, Xandr, to power the ad platform of Turner, which it bought (along with the rest of Time Warner, now called WarnerMedia).

The company said this was the first step towards a broader advertising partnership, echoing NBCUniversal and Sky’s comments today about the Ad Smart alignment.

@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.