NBCU Opens Digital Ad Inventory to Local Business

Frank Comerford
Frank Comerford

NBCUniversal, which consolidated its national and local sales operations in October, said it is making its digital inventory, addressable products and targeting technology available to local marketers under its NBC Spot On unit.

Local advertisers will for the first time be able to buy inventory on Peacock, YouTube and Apple News, as well as inventory through NBCU’s OneApp, which stream NBC, Bravo, E! USA, Oxygen, MSNBC and Syfy programming.

"Local advertisers have always seen the value in reaching audiences where they are, and they've told us they want more digital premium video options," said Frank Comerford, chief revenue officer, local advertising and partnerships. "Expanding NBC Spot On's inventory and capabilities gives our teams even more options to deliver exactly what local marketers need to help them connect with more and new audiences on any screen."

Krishan Bhatia

Krishan Bhatia

NBC Spot On was set up to help local advertisers target customers with digital advertising through technology provided by NBCU and FreeWheel, which like NBCU is owned by Comcast. Spot On is being expanded to include all geo-targeted selling for NBCU inventory, including CTV and OTT.

"By opening up more of our owned and third-party digital inventory to local advertisers, we've transformed NBC Spot On into a supercharged local digital sales offering," said Krishan Bhatia, executive VP, business operations & strategy at NBCUniversal. "Small and medium businesses have long turned to NBCUniversal for their local advertising needs, and the sales team has always delivered premium content alongside geo-targeted audiences. Now, we're bringing even more must-watch content on dozens of platforms to advertisers who want to reach audiences at scale in a specific region."

NBC’s Comerford and Bhatia explain the new offering in a blog post:

For all of us, the truth is: our lives are local, pop culture is global, and the future is digital. So why should the opportunities for local businesses to connect with consumers be different based on their size or how they operate? It's exactly why today we're opening up more of our world class digital inventory and resources to local advertisers across the nation. Because we know that whether you're trying to connect with a local, regional, or a national audience, the accelerating trends are all the same. People are streaming more content, on more screens, and marketers are always looking for more scale.

Every day our teams see firsthand how local businesses are anchors for their communities, and accelerate growth in local economies. Local advertising has always been a driver of that, creating authentic connection to a community with built-in relevance and context that we know works. Meanwhile, digital tools and geo-targeting can help marketers find their audiences as they stream on various screens. But far too often, many small and medium sized businesses have had limited access, and it's been difficult to combine the power of local, digital, and premium content.

That's why earlier this year we launched “NBC Spot On” to make sure local marketers could access digital inventory and marketing resources like every other business. Now we're taking it to the next level to make sure local advertisers can realize the full power of NBCUniversal's One Platform.

Every month 200 million people consume more than 30 billion minutes of content across all of NBCUniversal's digital properties. With all of that inventory at their disposal, local marketers can more easily and effectively target specific audiences at every point along the consumer journey. People all over the nation watch NBCUniversal content--whether it's on OTT in Oakland, CTV in Chicago or on their phones or iPads in Philadelphia. We also know that people who use Apple News live in every part of the country, and the millions who love Peacock also love their local businesses.

In other words, breaking down legacy barriers between local and digital more accurately reflects consumer behavior, and better connects businesses to their customers. So we're doing everything we can to ensure that all local businesses have the digital capabilities and inventory they need to reach audiences on every screen. If these companies can build new levels of scale, we know that will help drive, grow, and sustain their businesses--and the communities they serve.

Ultimately, when more local companies can reach more of their customers, that leads to more growth and economic impact. We believe that every business -- large or small--deserves the best platform to amplify their messages and reach their customers. That's how we live up to our shared responsibility to our partners, their communities, and the economy as a whole.

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.