Fox Eyes Addressable VOD Advertising

Fox Networks group has started to sell ads with the ability to pinpoint individual homes based on demographic data in its video-on-demand content through Comcast Cable set-top boxes and streaming via Hulu.

At a time when digital ads, and the metrics that support them, are stealing share from TV, traditional networks are seeking ways to innovate in advertising.

Fox has been selling precision audience targeted ads on its linear network using its AIM solution. It is also a partner in Open AP, which seeks to standardize ad selling based on specific audience targets rather than broad demographic groups.

Comcast Cable has used dynamic ad-insertion technology with corporate sibling NBCUniversal. The Fox trial is to see how the distributor can work with other programmers. A source indicated that Comcast is conducting addressable trials with another, unnamed, network group.

Comcast’s Freewheel division handles ad insertions for Fox and Comcast.

Fox’s addressable effort is unique because in addition to working with Comcast’s subscribers, it can also offer viewers streaming on-demand programming from Fox Broadcasting, FX, National Geographic and Fox Sports via Hulu.

Noah Levine, senior VP, advertising data and technology solutions at Fox Networks Group says that between Comcast and Hulu, its ad clients more than 10 million households on an addressable basis.

“Our goal is to be able to provide audience targeting across our very wide portfolio of content regardless of the distribution modality,” Levine said.

Comcast’s local systems also sell addressable campaigns to local advertisers.

“We think it’s really important that TV advertising becomes more sophisticated and this VOD trial is one way networks can unify their audiences and marketers reach their targets,” said Marcien Jenckes, president of advertising at Comcast.

With VOD and streaming, Levine said Fox’s addressable ads can reach audiences that may not be watching linear.

Jon Lafayette

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.