In addition to committing to content and creative, which AOL claims it clinched via its Pictela and Gravity acquisitions, AOL is also pushing harder into linear and connected TV, striking a partnership with agency holding company Publicis Groupe to supply premium reserved and non-reserved inventory, as well as tools to build video private marketplaces.
AOL also unveiled at its Monday upfront a TV ad targeting and analytics platform called tRatio, designed to ingest advertisers’ first-party data, perform an anonymous match against audience profiles from 400,000 linear TV airings and apply a “viewer scoring metric” based on program, network or daypart.
“While overall viewing continues to expand, audiences continue to fragment and 85% of impressions on television are only reaching 40% of the consumer audience,” according to Dan Ackerman, head of programmatic TV at AOL Platforms. He said while advancements in content and distribution, such as HBO Go, have changed TV delivery, advertising technology has not kept up with viewer fragmentation.
AOL brought out broadcast giant NBCUniversal’s ads chief Linda Yaccarino to underscore the convergence between digital and linear TV, a convergence that has intensified since Comcast purchased NBCUniversal.
“There are a lot of technological hurdles to bring programmatic to linear TV, but we’re building those products to merge different data sets,” she said, noting NBCUniversal’s tools “are becoming more systematic and automated.”
For instance, she cited Monday’s launch of NBCUx, a programmatic sales offering that includes digital video, mobile inventory and display.
One focus is dynamic ad insertions.
“For some MVPDs [multichannel video programming distributor], dynamic ad insertions are ready to go, but we’re not at the point yet for national distribution,” she said. “We are investing unprecedented amounts of money in this area, whether it’s Comcast’s investment in Freewheel or other areas we’re focusing on.”
While Yaccarino admitted there are still many in broadcast who view programmatic as anathema, she said targeting and context drive ad inventory value. “[We think] if we can contextually place a commercial into our video content, that high value content doesn’t necessarily become commoditized if I’m targeting that ad to a (specific) audience or consumer,” she explained.
Clarification: Convertro's technology will serve as the "attribution layer" for ONE by AOL's DMP, but if someone wants to use Convertro as a standalone attribution system, the option is there. AOL noted that they're building an open and modular system, so marketers can "bring their own DMP" to the table and sync up with Convertro as their attribution system of record.