Having set aside $1 billion in inventory for non-Nielsen audience guarantees during this year’s TV Upfront, NBCUniversal has seen demand for its audience targeting products double year over year. Although it’s a big commitment, market dynamics are in the company’s favor.
“The reason we’re continuing to be confident about increases in demand is because we’re seeing it come from a broad swath of industry categories,” including automotive, consumer packaged-goods, financial services, travel and leisure and retail, says EVP of Business Operations & Strategy Krishan Bhatia.
Its audience targeting and programmatic offerings are now always on—available in the Upfront and scatter—enabling advertisers to access NBCU inventory “across a number of DSP’s that we’ll be expanding as well,” Bhatia says in this interview with Beet.TV.
NBCU recently introduced a new division called Audience Studio, which The Wall Street Journal reports is dedicated to helping marketers employ data for ad targeting purposes by tying together four of the company’s ad buying products.
Asked whether NBCU will be joining forces with Fox, Turner and Viacom in their OpenAP audience buying consortium, Bhatia expresses support for the endeavor while underscoring the company’s own efforts to help advertisers target audiences beyond traditional Nielsen demographics.
Then there is the reach of the NBCU portfolio. Its scale approximates “95% of total viewership reach in the United states, which is about the same amount that I believe the OpenAP initiative announced,” Bhatia says.
Nonetheless, he says the media giant is “generally supportive of any efforts that help the TV ecosystem go above and beyond the traditional age/gender based way of measuring and transacting on audiences, including this one,” a reference to OpenAP.
At the urging of NBCU and others, Nielsen recently put off the release of its Total Content Ratings, so it’s not a factor in the 2017 Upfront negotiations. In the meantime, NBCU has been investing in alternative solutions with both established companies in the space and newcomers.
“Historically, measurement has never really been fully caught up with where consumer trends are headed, and I think we’ve only seen that accelerate as viewership and content distribution continue to fragment,” Bhatia says. “I’m not sure that measurement will ever quite frankly ever be fully caught up.”
This segment is part of a series leading up to the 2017 TV Upfront. It is presented by FreeWheel. To find more videos from the series, please visit this page.