Moves by big US TV networks to guarantee TV ads targeted at specific audiences using data beyond mere demographics have been welcomed by a major media agency.

Several of the big US TV networks have declared they will make moves to let advertising buyers use granular and first-party viewer data, over and above traditional Nielsen data, to target ads on linear TV to guaranteed audiences.

The recent announcements included:

  • Fox, Viacom and Turner teamed to form OpenAP, a system in which they will allow ad buyers to define audience segments that are targetable across the networks, not just individually.
  • NBC plans to sell $1bn of its upfront inventory through its own Audience Targeting Platform.
  • A+E is selling more guaranteed ads against audiences of its shows using its Precision platform

Speaking with Beet.TV in this video interview, Starcom USA investment and activation president Amanda Richman welcomed the moves.

“The networks leaning in to their audience optimisation products … demonstrates that they are committed to understanding we do need more precise targeting, we are pushing harder for more granular measurement,” she said.

“Doing that in premium environments is certainly welcome.

“Much of the targeting and optimisation that’s been happening in digital can now been brought in to the television space.”

Richman also observes an “explosion of content” presenting “new opportunities for us to find that audience in different spaces”, including the possibility of shorter and more interactive TV ad formats.

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.