NBCU is enabling clients to buy national TV ads using a self-serve programmatic TV approach. The new private market arrangement is powered by technology provider 4C. NBCU already works with AOL, TubeMogul and Videology to enabling programmatic buying of its ad inventory. The first client using the self-service approach is Target, which will be able to meld its first-party customer data with NBCU’s own audience data to target certain viewers with ads.
Target’s agency of record is GroupM’s Essence, which is where Adam Gerber, formerly SVP of Client Development and Communications at ABC, was recently appointed SVP of Investment for North America.
NBCU and other TV networks have been investing heavily in data-enabled, automated ad buying that allows clients to pursue narrowly created audience segments in order to better compete with digital heavyweights Google and Facebook. Both companies have their sights squarely set on attracting more TV ad dollars through premium inventory. Just today Facebook announced a deal with the NFL to bring game highlights to its new Watch platform.
NBCU has been a leader among TV networks in pursuing programmatic approaches. Back in February, 2016 the company announced it was offering programmatic TV buying across all its linear networks. However, there were safeguards built in, with humans still checking on inventory availability and advertiser exclusives. Earlier this year, ahead of the upfronts, NBCU said it was committing $1 billion of ad inventory to clients to buy targeted ads across its range of TV networks.
For 4C, which is providing the self-service technology, the NBCU deal marks its first private market integration for linear TV. 4C’s data technology has enabled it to build Affinity Graphs on TV viewers and their social media behaviors. Earlier this year, 4C launched 4C TV to enable ad buyers to create audience targeted TV media plans. Two weeks ago 4C announced a partnership with TV ad tech provider Mediaocean to integrate ad buying across social and linear TV.
4C is also a Headline partner for our 3rd annual SHIFT // Programmatic Video & TV Advertising Summit on Wednesday, November 29th in NYC. No doubt we’ll be digging into NBCU’s new self-service programmatic TV initiative. Discounted early-bird tickets are available now and all buyers are eligible to win one of three Roku Ultra 4K streaming players.