New Lotame TV Data Unit Measures Response to Ads

As advertisers get closer to being able to determine the effectiveness of their television ad campaigns, tech companies are jumping in to offer data and analytics to networks and local broadcasters.

Data-management platform Lotame is launching a new television audience intelligence unit that is already working with Comcast’s NBCUniversal in the national network business and with Hearst in the local station category.

Lotame aiTV division general manager Doug Pollack— who had been a senior platform strategist at the company — said working with Lotame helps TV networks and broadcasters use data the way digital media does in order to sell inventory at higher rates.

Data has become a buzzword in the TV-advertising-world, with most networks selling data-driven products designed to target increasingly specific audience segments instead of broad demographics based only on viewer age and gender.

Lotame’s TV business has three main parts. The first aids in doing analytics and planning to create more effective, data-based ad campaigns. Toward that end, aiTV is tied into programmatic TV platforms, including Clypd, Wide Orbit, Videa and SintecMedia.

The second prong is creating attribution reports that let advertisers gauge the effectiveness of their campaigns.

The third part allows networks to retarget people who view shows or commercials with additional messages via digital media.

The ability to harness data is a positive for the TV business, according to Pollack. “I know in the market there has been competition between TV and digital. I think everything we’re seeing is they work together as the lines continue to blur,” he said.

“What we’re really trying to do is play this role that helps fit with where the industry is today, but also sets up for the future,” Pollack added. “As those lines become blurred, we want to be able to allow companies to sell their inventory across both with full packages. Hearst is testing this with us. Their sales people are in the market saying, ‘I’m going to sell you this segment in digital and I can also target that segment with my linear TV inventory.’ ”

“The audience intelligence from Lotame’s aiTV solution opens the door for new business opportunities and allows us to better inform current advertisers how to optimize their campaigns,” said Kevin Stuart, VP of research at Hearst Television. “The depth of Lotame’s data will allow us to provide our advertisers a holistic picture of our viewers in real time.”

Staying On Target With Ad Product Data

NBCU has been among the leaders in creating data-targeted advertising products. It has been a pilot user of Lotame’s aiTV.

“Our experience with Lotame has shown their extensive capabilities in targeting television audiences through an approach not yet seen across the ecosystem,” NBCU director of research Jennifer Colwell said. “Utilizing a robust sample of viewership combined with a wealth of consumer-driven data gathered from established partners, Lotame projects to be a leader in revolutionizing the television ad industry.”

Pollack said Lotame is currently in discussions with a handful of networks and is working to create custom solutions for each of them to mesh with their workflow patterns.

Lotame previously worked on digital advertising as it migrated from desktops to mobile. It tried to enter the TV space in the early days of addressable TV advertising.

“There was not a lot of scale, so it sat on the shelf,” Pollack said.

When smart TV-set maker Vizio acquired research company Cognitive Networks, it chose Lotame to help monetize its data and Lotame got access to TV viewing data from 8 million homes.

Lotame is able to link that viewing behavior to the other data. It developed aiTV while working for Pearl TV, a consortium of broadcasters including Hearst Television, E.W. Scripps, Tegna, Raycom Media and Nexstar Media Group.

While many data companies are trying to plug into TV, Pollack said Lotame’s approach is different in key ways. “One is, we’re using real viewership data and it’s large. We have 8 million smart TVs and we’ve tied them to 100 million digital IDs in the U.S.,” he said.

Speed is Lotame’s other boast-worthy quality. Pollack said attribution reports generally take a month or longer to generate. “We can do it in days,” he said. “The turnaround is really, really fast.”

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.