For Disney, subscription video may have been the headline-grabber over the last year. By April, Disney+ had passed 50 million subscribers.

But, while SVoD grows, other parts of the Mouse’s empire are busy revolutionizing how they sell ads and deliver them to relevant audiences.

The Disney Advertising Sales footprint, of course, includes ABC, ESPN, NatGeo, FX Networks and Freeform. All of them are working to embrace connected TV opportunities to more precisely show ads to the right viewers.

Whilst that is considerable scale, in this video interview with Beet.TV, Laura Nelson, SVP, Advertising Solutions & Performance Advertising at Disney Advertising Sales, says she can’t do it without striking a series of partnerships.

Chief amongst them, Disney’s Luminate ad-tech suite is enlisting Samba TV to enable real-world ad outcome attribution and is joining Nielsen’s addressable TV tests.

Partners are key

“The next 12 months across the industry is really scaling different solutions in linear addressable on a national basis in a way we haven’t been able to do before,” she says.

“If we don’t have consensus across the industry and we don’t try out different methodologies, I don’t think we can solve it.

“We definitely can’t solve it in a vacuum we’re alone. If we need to be participating across the industry.”

To that end, Nelson and Disney recently struck a number of partnerships.

1. Samba lights up Hulu outcomes

Disney is now working with Samba TV, a content recommendation and viewer tracking vendor in which it previously also invested, to gather outcome-based metrics like foot traffic driven, geolocation and purchase behaviour – not just from IP-enabled TV but also linear.

“The ability to take that data and tie it to cross-platform linear and digital and tie it to sales outcomes was hugely important to us coming into this upfront season,” Nelson says.

“We’ve been looking at a lot of different partners and feel that this partnership is getting us into the market with a really unique offering.”

What’s particularly new is that Disney is extending that capability to Hulu.

“Given the speed of our integration, it was really important for us to make sure that we had an offering that really covered the full portfolio,” Nelson adds.

2. Kicking Nielsen’s tyres

Disney is a member of Project OAR, the consortium formed last year by Vizio to drive connected TV ad standards.

Now Disney is also joining in the test by Nielsen of its addressable TV advertising measurement capabilities.

Disney says it will evaluate how the solution works by testing addressable ad campaigns in conjunction with existing workflows and systems.

“In addressable TV, scale is most important,” Nelson says. “The Nielsen addressable test will really allow us to determine if the methodology in which they’re using and the technology that they’ve inherited with some of their purchases is going to allow us to scale fastest.

“We need Nielsen to be part of the solution in order to determine how the measurement’s going to work.”

3. Selling with Xandr

The two new partnerships come after Disney Advertising Sales in March began working with AT&T’s Xandr, using its Invest TV self-service software to help advertisers buy linear TV ads in a more straightforward way.

“We think this is going to provide automation and an ease of data-driven linear, as well as aggregated reporting across multiple publishers in a way the industry hasn’t seen yet,” Nelson says.

“We are up to 900 segments that are available for purchase in a turnkey fashion, but also are working really closely with partners to provide custom solutions where needed.”