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NBCU Jumps Into Programmatic Pool

Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit Monday said it launched NBCUx, a programmatic digital ad sales facility.

NBCU recently began offering its digital display advertising inventory programmatically to clients including Target. The company says NBCUx will also offer its digital video and mobile content via a programmatic technology using a private exchange.

Programmatic buying is a hot topic in the ad business. An increasing amount of online display ads are being bought via automated systems. During the upfronts in May, ABC announced it was doing a pilot program to test programmatic technology.

Programmatic technology enables buyers and advertisers to use data to target consumers with their ad campaign. Transaction costs are lower, but there is concern that commercial inventory and the content it appears in become a commodity, driving down prices.

NBCU says that nearly 20% of its digital business is already being done programmatically and that Target was among the first clients to buy NBC digital inventory that way.

“With NBCUx, Target can create a meaningful intersection between automated marketplaces and quality content to ensure we are reaching our guests on their terms and in environments that support our brand,” Kristi Argyilan, senior VP, marketing at Target, said in a statement. “The partnership between Target and NBCUx brings together two world-class content producers fueled by data and technology.”