After a year in which it acquired Teads (video ads), miLibris (digital publishing), Audience Partners (ad-tech), Placemedia (advanced TV ads) and more, multi-national cable company Altice is making a step change to unify its ad offerings.
In April, the Netherlands company’s USA division, which bought Cablevision in 2015, launched a4, a business allowing advertisers to build audience segments, plan campaigns and activate and measure them across screens.
For Paul Haddad, the president of a4, it means big extension of the TV ad targeting capabilities Cablevision already had under its belt.
“This whole thing started many years ago with Cablevision doing data-driven, audience-based addressable television,” he tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “We said, ‘If we can identify households that fall within a certain segment and reach them on TV in an addressable way, why not also compliment that with digital?'”
The acquisition of Audience Partners, which helps political groups target up to 50 million voters across screens, already saw Altice using these techniques outside of the Cablevision cable subscriber footprint. Additionally, the acquisition of Place Media, a supply-side ad platform for targeting linear TV, began extending the capability to around 50 other cable networks.
Now a4 combines elements of Audience Partners and Place Media in to a single offering, which Haddad says involves two types of ad inventory – premium TV spots and sub-premium long-tail networks.
What’s a long-tail network? “Not the top 40,” says Haddad, who was previously with Cablevision. “If you can find an impression that reaches a specific target segment, that impression is a valuable impression regardless of where it is in the ecosystem. We leverage data to find those impressions across all that long-tail inventory.
“We do the same on digital. We go outside the top premium yet safe … and we bundle a sub-prime kind of an inventory play.”
Based in the Netherlands, Altice is one of the global companies recently engaged in a huge acquisition roll-up in order to build a powerful worldwide position in media and advertising.
Founded and headed by the Moroccan-born Israeli billionaire Patrick Drahi, Altice previously acquired several French telecoms firms, culminating in SFR in 2014. It has since been linked with plays for Time Warner and Bouygues. In 2015, it got its US prize in the shape of Cablevision and delved further in to the world of digital and advanced TV.
Haddad says he wants TV advertisers to realize, in a digital TV world, there is more to life than premium.
“There’s a different way to do advertising,” he says. “It doesn’t have to be done the same old way that we always did it which is try to work with different data sets, different players. Try to buy inventory in different aspects, in different silos and then try to stitch on the back end the efficiency of the campaign.”