Ampersand, the TV advertising and sales company owned by Comcast, Cox and Charter, is putting its vast data network of 38 million households to work with a new external platform that lets partners create audiences on the front end and measure performance on the back end.
Called The AND Platform, the launch follows NCC Media’s rebrand in September to Ampersand, a move that intended to bring attention to the company’s goal of uniting the TV advertising ecosystem across screens, inventories and audiences.
“[Our data] is the largest TV set-top box data that exists in the United States to define and find an audience, execute on that audience across that multi-screen television environment and then measure and report against that audience in a single platform in a single interface,” Ampersand CEO Nicolle Pangis tells Beet.TV. “It’s a first of its kind buy-side platform that we’re launching.”
Pangis joined Ampersand 18 month ago, and says she joined the company, then NCC Media, because it was clear the future of TV would be data-driven. Previously, Ampersand’s ability to understand linear TV data at scale wasn’t understood at the scale it was able to operate. Pangis says that in 2019, the company sold 65 million spots of TV advertising across 3 billion hours of programming. The launch of The AND Platform is meant to formalize the company’s capability to connect audiences across screens and inventories, giving buyers a clearer picture of how to best target their ad dollars, and put suppliers’ inventory to best use.
“The ability to create a plan off of traditional age and gender demos and television, we’ve moved that into audience-based now that we have the data to power it and created an interface,” says Pangis. “You can create audiences on the front end and measure them on the backend so it’s exciting for us and the marketplace as well.”
This audience measurement has functioned as an internal workplace flow tool for Ampersand for years, says Pangis, and the difference the platform brings is the partnerships. Ampersand is partnering with databases like L2 and Experian to add attributes to its dataset, better informing buyers as they target ads by type, like political ads. According to Pangis, Ampersand is behind about 30% of the political TV dollars in the US. Meanwhile, backend partners like Data Plus Math and TVSquared help to inform measurement practices. Crucially, Pangis says, a single-platform approach creates consistency in measurement that the advanced TV has so far lacked.
Now that Ampersand has worked through this evolution of its platform, Pangis says the goal is to work with clients as they navigate the quickly changing advanced TV market.
“There are a lot of problems, complexities – marketing vs reality is not the same – so we’re buckling in to work with clients to drive business outcomes,” she says.
Nicolle Pangis will be speaking at the Beet Retreat in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on February 5 to 7, 2020.