MIAMI – As it builds out and scales up its Audience Targeting Platform, NBCUniversal is seeing big increases in budgets and clients taking advantage of more precise targeting via linear television. And while its various TV and digital targeting products are tied to specific platforms, the company is weaving the “connective fiber” that will create a more seamless process for advertisers.
Having launched ATP in the 2014-2015 Upfront negotiating period, NBCU began by guaranteeing audience delivery against traditional Nielsen age and gender metrics. In the 2016-2017 Upfront, it switched to guaranteeing delivery of specific audiences as defined by advertisers, according to Denise Colella, SVP of Advanced Advertising Products & Strategy.
“We’ve seen the amount of budgets that are getting optimized double and we’ve seen a tremendous increase in clients,” Colella says in an interview with Beet.TV. “And we’ve also seen almost all of the clients we had in year one come back for more.”
As The Wall Street Journal reports, NBCU has offered make-goods for campaigns that did not initially reach specific audience targets, meaning additional ad inventory within its portfolio of programming.
“It’s been somewhat of a limited release up until now,” Colella says in response to a question from interviewer Matt Spiegel, Managing Director of MediaLink. “We’re definitely seeing a lot of uptake.”
NBCU’s Audience Studio is composed of NBCUx and NBCUx for Linear TV, a programmatic offering across digital video, mobile and display platforms and linear television; NBCU+ Powered by Comcast, its addressable TV capability; and Social Synch, which helps extend advertisers’ and NBCUniversal’s social media content campaigns across major social platforms.
Segmenting audiences for individual advertisers has been a learning process, as it can be time consuming to help them define whom they want to target, according to Colella.
“Last year, we continued to guarantee against Nielsen because that’s what they were used to,” Colella says of NBCU’s advertiser clients. “Now that we’re seeing how this scales and the benefits that it’s providing to our advertisers, we’re standing behind the audiences that we’re promising and we know we can deliver them across our portfolio.”
Right now, Audience Studio products are “fairly siloed,” according to Colella, as they are limited to individual platforms.
“Over time, we’re building the connective fiber so that we can do that in a more seamless process,” she says. “That’s going to take some time.”
Meanwhile, buying practices also remain siloed to a certain extent. “The buying for addressable is typically in a separate group, a separate budget, than what we’re seeing for buying linear,” Colella says.
This interview was conducted at Beet Retreat 2016: The Transformation of Television Advertising, an executive retreat presented by Videology with AT&T AdWorks and the 605. Please find more videos from the event here.