Discovery Buys Stake in OpenAP, Joining Fox, NBCU and ViacomCBS as Owners

OpenAP said that Discovery has purchased a stake in the advanced advertising company, becoming a minority owner along with Fox, NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS.

OpenAP Discovery

A source familiar with the situation said Discovery acquired a 10% stake in OpenAP. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed.

The investment expands Discovery’s relationship with OpenAP.

Discovery integrated with OpenAP’s TV identity spine OpenID and is a part of XPm, OpenAP’s publisher-backed cross-platform measurement framework.

“Discovery is excited to take an active role shaping the future of advanced audience buying,” said Jim Keller, executive VP, digital ad sales and advanced advertising at Discovery Inc. “Given our current momentum, influence and growth of audience-based sales, we believe Discovery can help further the work OpenAP has been doing to initiate meaningful change in the market.”

Keller and Jon Steinlauf, chief U.S. advertising sales officer at Discovery, will represent Discovery on OpenAP’s board of directors.

Also: OpenAP Building New Products as Advanced Ad Demand Grows

“Discovery has long been a pioneer of TV entertainment with its iconic portfolio of content and direct-to-consumer experiences people love. The last two years have demonstrated the force of change that can happen when we take an audience-first approach to reimagining TV advertising for media owners, advertisers and consumers alike,” said David Levy, CEO of OpenAP. “We are grateful for the increased commitment Discovery is making to work alongside us on this journey of propelling further growth of the marketplace.”

OpenAP was originally established as a consortium by Fox, Viacom and Turner Broadcasting designed to standardize aspects of advanced advertising. Turner pulled out after parent company Time Warner was acquired by AT&T, which wanted to focus its advanced advertising efforts on Xandr, its advertising unit.

Last year both WarnerMedia and Xandr began working with OpenAP. AT&T has been unwinding its expensive media acquisitions, agreeing to sell Xandr to Microsoft and Turner to Discovery.

OpenAP expects the amount of ad sales to run through it to grow to about $500 million in fiscal 2022, a 140% increase. The OpenAP Market, launched in 2019 with centralized advanced audiences that can be distributed to all national TV publishers, works with more than 100 advertisers. ■

David Levy, CEO, OpenAP

David Levy (Image credit: OpenAP)

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.