Broadcast networks Turner, Fox and Viacom have chosen Accenture to host and verify OpenAP, an audience platform that standardizes segments and measurement across their networks, the companies announced at a Friday event in New York City.
When the three networks first announced OpenAP in March, they were adamant about backing it up with third-party measurement that many digital walled gardens still deny buyers.
“This is not about us checking our own homework or having some company ‘verify’ what we’re doing,” said Bryson Gordon, EVP of data strategy at Viacom. “This is us having an independent party from soup to nuts control the fusion of how audiences are created and measured.”
Buyers can create audience segments on OpenAP by either selecting pre-made segments from comScore and Nielsen and matching that back to their CRM or first-party data, or onboarding their own proprietary segments. Within the platform, buyers can apply Boolean logic or append survey data to viewership figures to create custom segments that are consistent across Turner, Fox and Viacom’s networks.
OpenAP streamlines advanced linear TV buys and creates an opportunity for apples-to-apples measurement.
“Right now if you want to transact with the three of us, you have to do that three times,” said Dan Aversano, SVP of ad innovations and programmatic solutions for Turner. “When you do something three times, you probably do it a little different each time.”
But OpenAP isn’t a buying platform. Once buyers create segments, they are stored with Accenture and then can be activated for media buys using third-party measurement partners of the ad buyer's choosing.
Networks never see buyers’ personally identifiable information or raw data.
“We are blind to the segments themselves and the attributes that compose those segments,” Viacom’s Gordon said. “It’s all done through independent third-party safe harbor [at Accenture], but now in a consistent way.”
Similarly, post-campaign reporting via OpenAP is provided by third parties and audited by Accenture. Buyers can hook OpenAP's reporting into their preferred dashboards via APIs.
As for actual buying negotiations, those will remain “business as usual,” said Noah Levine, SVP of advertising data and technology solutions at Fox. Networks will maintain their own pricing, inventory availability and delivery methods.
“Once you’ve activated segments and identified publishers, you engage with them as you normally would — through phone calls, martinis, cocktails and lunches,” he said.
Turner, Fox and Viacom teamed up to launch OpenAP almost a year ago after buyers requested the companies make their advanced audience targeting solutions more consistent, transparent and scalable, said Donna Speciale, president of ad sales at Turner. The networks hope to add more peers to OpenAP to unify audience targeting across linear TV and scale the solution to their over-the-top and video-on-demand solutions.
“We cover a lot on our own but we want the whole industry to be adopting this,” said Sean Moran, head of sales at Viacom. “This is something that’s going to make it easier to scale.”