NBCUniversal Launches NBCUnified Identity Platform Across Business Units


NBCUniversal on Wednesday said it launched NBCUnified, a first-party identity platform that will help advertisers target the viewers and customers of all of NBCU’s businesses, which combined engage more than 230 million adults each month.

The platform will also help create data-driven and personalized experiences for consumers.

NBCUnified is the latest effort from NBCU in creating advanced advertising capabilities. It builds on AdSmart, NBCU’s data-driven audience targeting product, and its Audience Insight Hub, a “clean room” that enables partners to match their own first-party data with NBCU in a secure and privacy protected manner. 

“We want to provide our consumers across sports, news, entertainment, theme parks, the whole span of the business, with a more targeted, personalized and measurable experience,” NBCU chief data officer John Lee told Broadcasting+Cable. 

John Lee NBCUniversal

John Lee  (Image credit: NBCUniversal)

“The goal is to give our advertisers a more clear picture of who their NBCU audience is to get higher performance and greater transparency,” Lee said.

The data from NBCUnified will be the fuel for the initiative NBCU is building with measurement and data companies, Lee said.

NBCUnified consists of three parts: the NBCU ID, a Data Marketplace and Partner Integrations.

The NBCU ID is a spine of more than 150 million person-level IDs and 50 million households IDs drawn for the company’s relationships with customers. Media companies, measurement companies and others have been putting together first-party systems for identifying their customers as third-party cookies are being phased out.

The Data Marketplace provides the first-party behavior attributes and behaviors of those consumers, plus third-party licensed data, designed to give advertisers a nuanced understanding of their own consumers.

Partner Integrations lets partners -- including ad agencies, technology platforms and industry-wide initiatives -- connect data spines to create a fully interoperable data platform.

The first usage of NBCUnified will be by NBCU’s own brands, including its TV networks, which will be able to create more targeted tune-in campaigns, Lee said.

“Secondarily we have a number of agencies and advertisers lined up as we launch this to start engaging with this data in the Audience Insights Hub,” Lee said.

Advertisers currently using NBCU targeting system will also benefit from having more detailed and granular data during the first half of the year, Lee added.

“Publishers have been very reliant on third-party IDs,” he said. “We certainly think that as we moved into the advanced television space, and the CTV space, this is a significant step on reducing the reliance on third-party cookies for us and for our advertisers.”’

Krishan Bhatia, president and chief business officer, global advertising and partnerships for NBCUniversal, talked about NBCUnified in a blog post released Wednesday.

Here is the blog post:

NBCUnified: A Billion Consumer Interactions. One Single, Scalable Identity Platform.

By: Krishan Bhatia, President & Chief Business Officer, Global Advertising and Partnerships, NBCUniversal

All good relationships—including the one between brands and consumers—are built on a shared foundation of trust. For decades, we’ve brought people the entertainment and experiences they love and the news, information and sports they can’t live without. And their sustained engagement, despite so many other choices, is a sign of trust.

Every month, more than 230 million people connect with us—and no matter how they choose to engage, their individual experiences are unified by NBCUniversal content. They start mornings with the Today Show and cheer on their favorite team during Sunday Night Football. They ride the Hogwarts Express at Orlando Universal Studios and buy movie tickets on Fandango. They vote for their favorite actors and shows during the People’s Choice Awards on E! and watch and re-watch The Office on Peacock.

Altogether, that’s more than a billion interactions every single month. And thanks to the overwhelming adoption of streaming and digital, that creates more than a billion data-enabled opportunities for marketers to glean deeper insights, design more effective campaigns, measure impact with more precision, and, of course, strengthen trust.

To enhance our consumers’ entire experience, we can learn from how they engage across different platforms. To create personalized experiences and authentic impact on every screen, we need to reach individuals always keeping their individual privacy in mind.

Enter NBCUnified.

This first-party identity platform will unify our company’s vast portfolio of consumer touchpoints into a single data cloud that protects consumer information while making it matchable and easy to use for our partners. Our person-level data will allow marketers to create connections with every consumer. And thanks to our secure, blinded, infrastructure, marketers can create those personalized experiences while still protecting personal information and privacy.

To build this, we’ve invested in a single identifier—what we’re calling our NBCU ID. Already, we can tap into over 150 million unique person-level NBCU ID’s and 50 million household IDs as part of NBCUnified—with a goal to reach over 200 million by 2023. In other words, we’re well on our way to creating the world’s largest first-party database of consumer preferences and engagements across movies, entertainment, news, sports, eCommerce, subscriptions, and theme parks.

Most importantly, NBCUnified is designed to give all marketers—from local businesses to DTC companies to big brands—a complete picture of their existing and potential customers and the advertising experiences that move them to action. Because when marketers use data to understand more about who they’re reaching, they can more effectively determine how, and with what message, to reach them.

By bringing together the company’s consumer data around a single identifier that makes our platform more interoperable, and by investing in more accurate measurement solutions that demonstrate impact, we’re transforming the entire consumer experience and allowing our partners to build more meaningful and lasting relationships from beginning to end. ■

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.