NBCUniversal doesn’t only want TV to be used as a brand-building medium. It is also going after the other end of the funnel.

In a new move, the company is making a strategic investment in TV ad-tech software vendor tvScientific to launch Peacock Ad Manager, a new self-service ad-buying platform with attribution.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Joe Cady, EVP, Advanced Advertising & Partnerships, NBCUniversal, explains the rationale.

Spreading the wings

The new tool builds on the existing Peacock AX, Peacock’s platform which includes cross-platform audience and geographical targeting plus attribution measurement. But the new move goes further.

Cady explains the new Peacock Ad Manager is “specifically designed for performance advertisers”.

“Peacock AX reaches over 180 million Americans every month.,” Cady says. “What we’re really excited to do is to now take the reach and premium content of Peacock AX and make it available to more marketers through Peacock Ad Manager.”

“We serve about 2,200 customers directly,” he adds. “Through the expansion of programmatic capabilities with our DSP partners, that expands out to tens of thousands of marketers.

“And now, with the launch of Peacock AX, we think we’ll be able to … to extend to now millions of marketers who are currently transacting in search and social and other performance media.”


Such moves could be vital ways for TV companies to win back budget that, in tricky economic times, has sometimes been drifting toward quantifiable, performance digital channels.

But TV is increasingly taking on those qualities, too.

NBCUniversal’s Cady says brands want to have a digital-style self-serve experience when it comes to TV.

They can set budgets, targets, creatives and KPIs, and can then optimize campaigns in-flight based on visible metrics, including actual sales or downloads.

Appliance of science

tvScientific was co-founded by Jason Fairchild, David Koye, Kent Wakeford and Bill Gross.

Its offering aims to help connected TV companies measure and achieve performance goals. The company claims it “connects with 95% of AVOD streaming apps through direct deals allowing advertisers to successfully scale their campaigns”.

Its self-managed aims to simplify and automate TV buying and optimization, leveraging data to prove the actual value of TV advertising.

In April, the company announced a $20 million Series A funding, led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from strategic partners NBCUniversal and Hearst Ventures.