Nielsen is almost ready for a full commercial launch of the targeted-buying solution it has been beta-testing with several TV networks, after striking a data partnership with newly-acquired Tru Optik.

Nielsen recently began working with seven US TV networks to beta-test addressable advertising technology for linear TV. Then Univision joined A+E Networks, AMC Networks, ViacomCBS, Discovery, Fox, NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Nielsen’s SVP for product management in advanced video advertising and identity, Jessica Hindlian, says that partnership is “foundational” to what will now be an imminent fuller launch.

Identity graph for TV

Tru Optik brings an “identity graph” of information on 80 million US connected TV households. That has now enriched the data of Nielsen’s own solution.

“The partnership with Tru Optik is very important because it will provide a baseline from which we can match our OEM smart TV device footprint to a strong identity backbone to really allow us to target at scale on our own footprint addressably,” Hindlian says.

“With the combination of our device footprint and Tru Optik’s graph, we can ensure that there are real households at the other end receiving the message.”

Consumer data company TransUnion recently said it would acquire Tru Optik to build out its own media targeting business.  That deal has closed.

TransUnion to Acquire Tru Optik To Bolster Connected Identity Matching

Smoothing the path

Nielsen’s is the latest initiative aimed at simplifying access to addressable TV ad-buying, which is splintered across many devices and services.

Its linear capabilities may be particularly appealing for connected TV, which, despite the growth in VOD, also boosts live linear as a strong suit.

Other consortia include Vizio’s Project OAR and the On Addressability consortium.

Almost a year ago, eMarketer forecast 2020 US connected TV ad spend would reach $8.88 billion, growing to $14.12 billion by 2023. But a plethora of companies is working to iron out what can often be bottlenecks in buying.

US Connected TV Ad Spending, 2019-2023 (billions, % change and % of total media ad spending)

Bringing first-party to the party

Hindlian says Nielsen’s offering makes it possible for brands to bring their own CRM data to enhance targeting.

“Our clients are really looking for the ability to use a single audience segment, a single audience target and activate that segment or target across a variety of different addressable platforms,” she says. “That’s really what we’re driving towards right now.

“Our partnership with Tru Optik allows us to very quickly onboard client’s, brand’s, and programmer’s first party data in order to use that data to actually to target.

“And we do expect to see demand for first-party data from an addressable targeting standpoint increase significantly as we get through our beta period.”

Nielsen’s Addressable TV Beta Focusing On ‘Mechanics’