In a further sign that industry companies are coming together to help all boats rise, Fox and Comcast have done a deal through which addressable, household-targeted ads can be sold in Fox-portfolio on-demand video viewed over Comcast Xfinity boxes.

The deal sees FreeWheel become the technology enabler for Fox channels including its AVOD service Tubi to display addressable ads to viewers of Xfinity X1, Xfinity Fles and Cox Contour boxes.

In a release, the pair call it “an industry first for a television company”. The Trade Desk is the first demand-side platform (DSP) integrated to support the buying.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Larry Allen, VP and GM of addressable enablement at Comcast Advertising, explains why it is important.

Streamlined sales

“We’ve basically enabled that inventory for Fox so that they can now go and work with their marketers to transact on a DSP and buy addressable video on demand inventory at scale,” Allen says.

“Video on demand inventory has been really kind of in the middle, between linear TV and digital.

“And so, for a programmer like Fox, they’re now able to take a high-value asset, very high-quality inventory, and now package that with audience addressability and make that available for sale to their marketers.

“I think this now enables the programmer to streamline their sales activity, meet the buyers where they want to transact, and be confident in the inventory that they’re selling so that they’re able to either eliminate waste or increase yield, or deliver value for a marketer, leveraging an audience that is either elusive or hard to reach, or they want to scale up.”

Growth opportunity

EMarketer forecasts US connected TV programmatic display ad spending will reach $6.93 billion in 2021.

US Connected TV Programmatic Display Ad Spending, 2019-2022 (billions, % change, and % of total connected TV display ad spending)

Programmatic trading of CTV ads is expected to make up 61% of the total, which is a significant 52.9% up from the year earlier.

The connected segment has seen tremendous growth over the last year, as new ad-supported service and new viewer demand have coalesced, presenting an opportunity for new ad spending.

In connected TV, achieving scale has long been considered a sticking point, thanks initially to insufficient inventory and also to a fragmented range of buying channels.

But, bit by bit, the industry is working through each of these problems.