The company aiming to use blockchain technology to improve the advertising supply chain is itself hoping to add further links to its chain.

Blockgraph is a JV of Comcast, ViacomCBS and Charter’s Spectrum Reach that uses the technology behind Bitcoin to enable privacy-compliant sharing of digital ad transaction and effectiveness data between partners.

Now it is broadening its partner base from broadcasters to the back-end.

Identity partners

In this video interview with TransUnion’s media EVP Matt Spiegel for Beet.TV, Blockgraph CEO Jason Manningham explains.

“It started with distribution – we focused a lot of our efforts, initially focusing on some of the largest distributors in the US,” Manningham says.

“What we see next is working with both demand partners, and bringing them into the equation.

“But, in order to do that, the base of the network will be working with some of the biggest identity enablers in the industry who have the right signals and have the rights to use those signals at scale.

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Chain gang

For several years now, tech vendors have searched for an application for blockchain technology in ad-tech.

It works by using a shared, “immutable” – or, untamperable – ledger of actions like ad transactions.

Digital advertising, of course, is an industry that suffers greatly from lack of supply chain transparency, where intermediary vendors stand accused of obfuscating effectiveness and pocketing “ad tax”.

For Manningham, use of Blockgraph could be widespread. He continues: “Then likewise, other kinds of applications, whether it’s modelling, or being able to push segments to all of the programmatic platforms.

“So, we really see this as an ecosystem where we’re bringing together all of the right constituents for whether it’s for addressable TV, data-driven linear, or cross-channel video, which would also include OTT/CTV.

“So for us, it started with core addressable TV, and now we’re increasingly focusing on cross-platform, and working with some of the biggest identity and data partners in the world to make this a reality at scale.”

Comcast’s Blockgraph Sets Up As A JV With Charter, ViacomCBS

Kicking off

Blockgraph was launched in 2017. It uses peer-to-peer technology to let marketers, publishers and distributors match audience segments without sharing consumers’ identifiable information and without any technology intermediaries.

Blockgraph, which already included Comcast, ViacomCBS and Charter’s Spectrum Reach as partners, recently reconstituted as a joint venture, in which the three groups will take equal ownership. Jason Manningham, who was GM of the project, became CEO.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal also began integrating Blockgraph into AdSmart, the pioneering addressable TV platform it got when Comcast acquired Sky.

Video chain

Manningham, tells Spiegel the tech has application in digital video.

“The landscape is just inherently more complex when it comes to video,” he says. “You have distribution channels, and those are increasingly more fragmented.

“And those are not always the same party as the inventory publisher, as the brand advertiser or the data provider.

“So all of these companies need to work together, but they need to do it in a controlled, compliant fashion.”

You are watching “The New Media Reality: A Consumer-Centric View of Identity and Personalization Emerges,” a Beet.TV Leadership Series presented by Transunion. For more videos, please visit this page.