Week by week, scale and simplicity involved in buying and selling targeted TV ads grows, as partnerships and federations come together.

In the latest, Verizon Media is giving itself a stronger foothold in that world by partnering with Ampersand. The details are two-fold:

  • Ampersand will be the exclusive seller for Verizon Fios’ addressable TV inventory.
  • Ampersand will use Verizon Media’s demand-side platform (DSP) as its primary buying platform for connected TV and over-the-top (OTT) TV ad inventory.

It is the first time Verizon Media has opened up its TV service’s addressable ad spots from its DSP. In its announcement, it hints at “additional addressable opportunities in the future”.

The deal brings Ampersand’s footprint up from 40 million to 42 million households, which it says is 60% of the US addressable TV households available.

Ampersand is the former NCC Media that was formed by Comcast, Charter and Cox Communications in 1981 to provide a common way for ad buyers to get on to disparate and disconnected cable, satellite and now telco networks. Now it is smoothing a similar path to advanced, targeted TV ad buys.

In this video interview with Jon Watts for Beet.TV, Ampersand president Andrew Ward says the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing advertisers to be more customer-centric, to quickly adjust their creative messaging and to better use data.

“We had a number of clients who… were saying, ‘Okay, well, if I’m not running (ads) in the NHL, or I’m not running in NCAA basketball, where can I find those audiences?’,” he explains.

“We’ve got about a 40 million-household set-top box data platform. We’re able to tie viewership insights coming out of that data to suggest, when the NCAA college basketball viewer is not watching NCAA college basketball, where do you, in fact, find them? We can do the same with the NHL. We can do the same with NBA basketball.”

We may not have a perfectly precisioned crystal ball, but we do think that we recognize that the business is going to be driven by richer data, more precise delivery and better measurement.

“Those companies on the media side that are most accountable around those threads are going to be those that prevail in the long run.”