It originally launched with more modest ambitions, to harmonize the data segments TV networks use to describe their audiences.

But now OpenAP has launched the latest new initiative in its ongoing maturation – a supply-side platform (SSP) to help the buying of linear TV ad inventory.

The new platform, announced on Monday, has connective tissue that exposes OpenAP systems via APIs to buyers’ own systems.

First to use it is Omnicom Media Group (OMG), which has connected its Omni buying platform to OpenAP’s tools and will be testing them through Q1 and Q2.


In this video interview with Beet.TV in December, which we are republishing today, OMG’s advanced advertising MD Matthew Kramer talked about a dearth of data he said was available with which to prove the effectiveness of addressable TV ads.

In today’s announcement, Kramer says: “Connecting Omni to OpenAP
marks a significant step towards automation of traditional TV by bringing more speed, efficiency and visibility to TV inventory, enabling more flexibility and accountability in this medium.”

Making availability clearer

OpenAP’s system will let ad buyers like those at OMG log in to their existing buy-side tools to get lists of buyable inventory across networks including:

  • AMC Networks
  • Fox Corporation
  • NBCUniversal
  • Univision
  • ViacomCBS

Soon added to that mix will be:

  • A+E Networks
  • The Weather Channel

The system makes the forecasted reach and frequency of ads visible. When buy requests are sent to the networks, they confirm orders and provide final media plans, according to OpenAP’s announcement.

Altogether, it aims to align with buyers’ existing workflows, and provide some additional automation to boot.

But, in TV, automation is not total. As Wall Street Journal reports:”An order doesn’t necessarily reserve the inventory. The TV seller is expected to respond to a buyer within 24 hours to confirm the order…

“Once ad buyers select and reserve inventory provided through the SSP, they will still need to work with the individual sellers and use traditional insertion orders to complete transactions.”

Piecing data together

“(We will be) working with the partners and the sellers to make sure that there’s ways for us to get the information we need from them,” OMG’s Kramer told Beet.TV in December, “to at least incorporate that black box into our overall reach frequencies and then eventually things like MTA (multi-touch attribution) and attribution analysis is really key.

“We’re triangulating data that we’re getting from the SSPs, that we’re getting from the publishers themselves, and that we’re getting from guys like Nielsen.

“But not everybody has the entire ecosystem and so we’re really going to have to work and continue to work through the rest of this year and into 2021.”

Indeed, in its announcement, OpenAP says: “The launch delivers on requests from advertisers for more transparency and visibility of the TV marketplace and maximizes investments buyers and sellers have made in data and technology by enabling more sophisticated buying of advanced TV across premium viewing environments.”

OpenAP’s development

After several years of dismay at the fragmented, difficult-to-measure nature of connected and addressable TV, efforts to streamline the opportunity are now coming thick and fast.

For its part, OpenAP advanced its maturation more than a year ago when it stated its desire to launch software that would transform it into a “marketplace” for more easily buying targeted, automated TV ads across multiple major linear networks.

The latest move, however, is more modestly focused on bringing data to bear on enhancing the traditional TV ad-buying process.

Interviewed by WSJ, OpenAP CEO David Levy says: “There’s already a baked-in market for commitments between agencies and publishers.” He says he wants to “optimize the spend that already exists”.

OpenAP Grows Up: Next Step Is To Become A Marketplace, New CEO Levy Says