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Live Addressable Tests Start Using Project OAR Specs

(Image credit: Project OAR)

Live tests of dynamic addressable advertising in linear TV using the standards established by Project OAR have begun, the industry consortium said Thursday.

Addressable commercials will be inserted into programming from Fox, ViacomCBS, NBCUniversal, the E.W. Scripps Co., and AMC Networks in the first phase of the tests. 

“The potential for addressable TV, and the time for a standard by which the entire TV ecosystem can work towards have hit an inflection point. ViacomCBS has been working to validate the OAR open standard and looks forward to seeing the results of those efforts,” said Mike Dean, senior VP, advanced advertising and automation, at ViacomCBS.

The second phase of the tests starts in mid-August with Disney Media Networks, Discovery, Hearst Television and WarnerMedia participating. 

“We’ve heard growing interest from the buying community in ad solutions that combine data-enhanced targetability with premium, curated inventory,” said Eric Meyrowitz, senior VP of sales, Hearst Television. “This effort increases opportunities for all parties; the ease of execution and the type of ad-effectiveness offered by Project OAR are good for the agencies and brands, providing a new component of the ad model going forward.”

Project OAR (Open Addressable Ready) was started last year to establish a common technology for dynamic addressable advertising management on TV. The tests are the first time OAR specifications are being used to deliver addressable commercials to U.S. homes viewing linear programming.

The tests, which will continue into the fall, aim to evaluate how the standard interoperates with existing sales, insertion and measurement processes.

If all goes well, it will be rolled out commercially beginning in the fourth quarter across a subset of 10 million smart TVs whose owners have opted in.

TV tech companies including Comcast’s FreeWheel, Google Ad Manager, Xandr, and Invidi Technologies are providing the technical integrations for the dynamic ad insertion technology. Crystal, a division of LTN Global and key technology provider, is providing infrastructure support for local linear insertion.

FreeWheel worked closely with Project OAR to help define the open specs needed to deliver targeted advertising in linear and on demand formats on smart TVs. “We are excited to work with Project OAR on real world trials and to be able to unlock the value of this premium inventory for our programmer clients,” said Diane Yu, co-founder of FreeWheel and chief technology officer of Comcast Advertising.