Not so long ago, many big media buyers just wanted a “premium” audience.

By and large, that meant big, mainstay media houses that could deliver a scaled audience.

But, in this video interview with Beet.TV editorial adviser Jon Watts, one man at the center of the ad data revolution says “premium” has been rebooted.

Data boom

Andre Swanston, SVP, Media & Entertainment Vertical, TransUnion, says pandemic-era streaming growth has multiplied the signals viewers are giving off.

“In late Q1 2020 into early Q2  … the amount of data created from streaming on a connected TV and audio increased about what we predicted would happen over six quarters in just six weeks,” Swanston says.

“What people were able to see very quickly was that the scale was there. And it was just a matter of making sure that you had the interoperability and the ability to execute upon it.”

Rebooting ‘premium’

Swanston joined TransUnion, the consumer credit scoring company now building a big business as a consumer data provider fuelling ad targeting, when it acquired his company TruOptik at the height of the pandemic.

He was already sitting on top of a platform that included a household graph of more than 80 million US homes, with household targeting and measurement capability.

Swanston says the ability to target those homes is redefining what ad buyers see as valuable, and how smaller publishers or broadcast owners can compete.

“By understanding the demographics, the household income, the brand propensity or purchase behaviour of a household or a device or an individual, it becomes this great equaliser,” he says.

“Publishers that may not (have) be(en) able to get the type of advertisers to consider them, when they’re able to have a third party validating that they do, in fact, have the right demographic or the right purchase potential in terms of their audience…

“I think that has been great in terms of opening up the channels and avenues by which the advertisers can reach media companies. That’s really helped media companies a lot.”

Veracity under the microscope

TransUnion has now bundled TruOptik’s services into what it calls its TruAudience data marketplace.

There is so much consumer data now around, Swanston thinks “an impartial source of truth to be able to validate that is virtually impossible”.

But his data marketplace does evaluate the sourcing, freshness and privacy credentials of the data it uses.

“We spend a lot of our time on making sure that there’s appropriate levels of scrutiny in terms of what goes into providing the data,” he says.

You are watching “Advertising Transformation: What’s Next for Converged TV and Video,” a Beet.TV Virtual Leadership Summit presented by Mediaocean. For more videos, please visit this page.