NBCU has steadily expanded its programmatic sales offering, including last year’s launch of the NBCUx private exchange and improvements to its Audience Targeting Platform.
Late last week, NBC rebranded some of those products into a unified advertiser offering called Audience Studio, the crux of which is a data management platform.
“We’re allowing advertisers and agencies to combine premium NBCU inventory with their own first-party data and a combination of third-party data sources,” said Dan Lovinger, EVP of entertainment ad sales at NBC. “This is a sea change in how we think about creating value for customers.”
Bhatia said NBC’s marching order after last year’s upfront was to develop a suite of data offerings that simplify the process of TV planning and buying across channels and formats.
Although NBC revealed in January to AdExchanger that 10-15% of its 2015 upfront business was transacted programmatically, that was primarily limited to web video and display.
Linear TV was for the most part untouchable to digital planning systems given the nature of the workflow – most national prime-time programming is bought in advance and planners are accustomed to legacy cable and broadcast processes.
And premium sponsorships on top-performing shows will always be direct sold due to the required negotiation aspect.
“This is the first national programmatic TV offering at scale that allows planners to bring data sets and request inventory across the full breadth of our portfolio,” Bhatia said. “We’re neutral to how data can be used to uncover new audiences for advertisers.”