Nets, Buyers Sign Up for OpenAP's OpenID, Clearing Way for Audience-Based Campaigns

OpenAP, the advanced advertising company, launched OpenID and said virtually all of the major TV ad buyers and sellers accepted the viewer-identification framework as a way to make it easier for advertisers to buy audience-based targeted campaigns across networks and platforms.

Participating publishers able to accept buys based on OpenIDs include AMC Networks, A+E Networks, Crown Media, Discovery, Disney, Fox Corporation, NBCUniversal, Univision, ViacomCBS, WarnerMedia and The Weather Channel -- not just the companies that were “members” of earlier iterations of OpenAP. Fox, Viacom and (then) Turner were founders of Open AP in 2017, followed by NBCU several months later. 


(Image credit: OpenAP)

Major media buyers GroupM, dentsu, Omnicom Media Group, Haworth Marketing + Media and Horizon Media plan to integrate their systems with OpenID and use it to activate advanced TV campaigns, offering brands cross-screen and person-level insights across the massive scale and reach of TV advertising.

Also read: GroupM's Matt Sweeney keynote at the Advanced Advertising Summit

OpenAP heralded the development as a major step towards making TV commercials more targeted as the industry competes for ad dollars with digital giants Google, Facebook and Amazon.

“The creation of an interoperable identity framework leveraged by all premium TV networks will give advertisers the clearest path toward omni-channel planning, optimization and measurement,” said OpenAP CEO David Levy.

“Television has always had a competitive advantage with its quality of content, and now there is tremendous opportunity for publishers to lead the path toward an omni-channel future,” Levy said. “With the OpenID, we will lay the foundation to truly compete with the digital platforms from a data and measurement perspective, while providing advertisers the data and insights needed to deliver on cross-platform.”

OpenAP was started to give advertisers a consistent way to define target audiences. OpenID gives a unique identity to nearly every TV viewer in the U.S., allowing advertisers to find viewer who match targeting criteria. Because all media companies are using the same identifiers, they can compare the inventory being offered and figure out if they’re reaching the same viewers or different ones as they add networks to their campaigns.

OpenAP CEO David Levy

OpenAP CEO David Levy (Image credit: OpenAP)

“There is a large and obvious spike in advertisers seeking advanced audiences in cross-screen, multi-platform viewing environments, and the creation of a common cross-platform ID provides a scalable way for TV publishers to provide a more holistic view of cross-screen reach. The OpenID framework creates a crucial foundation for cross-platform measurement and ultimately helps fuel a more vibrant and effective TV ecosystem,” said president & CEO of the VAB Sean Cunningham.

"Discovery is thrilled to help define and adopt the OpenID framework to serve both the needs of our advertising partners and the best interests of the entire television ecosystem," said Jim Keller, executive VP, digital ad sales and advanced advertising at Discovery "As omni-channel audience targeting accelerates, it is imperative that we support industry wide and scalable audience buying solutions."

Discovery, like Disney and some others, had resisted joining OpenAP when it operated as a consortium. Turner, now part of WarnerMedia helped found OpenAP, but pulled out because parent company AT&T had its own grand plans for advanced advertising. Now each of these companies have accounts with OpenAP through which buyers can provide information about the audiences they want to reach and access inventory that matches.

Most of the inventory for these campaigns is purchased during separate upfront negotiations.

OpenAP has partnered with TransUnion as its identity backbone, OpenIDs are resolved to consumers and households within TransUnion and Tru Optik Identity graphs across match key sets offered by TransUnion.

The OpenID framework is also a step towards the cross-platform measurement advertisers have been demanding to be able to ascertain the reach of their campaigns.

"OpenID is a critical step in maintaining TV's value proposition to advertisers in the growing audience-first landscape,” said Adam Gerber, global chief investment officer at GroupM's Essence Global. "As premium ad supply continues to fragment and contract, our need for audience and business accountability require the industry to come together to simplify and scale new ways to transact based on a consistent, cross-platform understanding of viewers."

“Being able to seamlessly target advanced audiences that are unified across linear and digital viewing environments, then see reach and frequency across a clear set of people-based IDs, is critical in our ability to move the market from standard demos to advanced audiences,” added Brad Stockton, VP U.S. national video innovation at dentsu’s Amplfi. “Building on dentsu’s recent launch of DELTA (Data Enabled Linear TV Activation), we’re thrilled to partner with OpenAP and bring our clients a person-level approach to TV advertising through the use of OpenIDs.”

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.