Next TV Summit 2017: Fox Networks Selling Addressable Ads in VOD on Comcast, Hulu

Fox Networks Group has begun selling advertising in the video-on-demand content from its channels that is addressable on an individual household basis through Comcast Cable set-top boxes and streaming via Hulu.

TV networks are looking for ways to create innovations in advertising that can increase its value in an increasingly digital age. Fox has already been selling precision audience targeted ads on its linear network with its AIM solution. It is also a partner in Open AP, which is attempting to standardize selling ads based on specific audience targets rather than the traditional broad age and sex base demographic groups.

Comcast Cable has done addressable ad campaigns using dynamic ad insertion technology with its corporate sibling NBCUniversal.

Working with Fox is part of a trial program to see how the distributor can work with programmers on addressable advertising. A source indicated that Comcast is conducting addressable trials with another, unnamed, network group.

Both Fox and Comcast use Freewheel, a division of Comcast, to handle ad insertions.

Fox’s addressable effort is unique because in addition to working with Comcast’s subscribers, it can also offer viewers streaming on-demand programming from Fox Networks including Fox Broadcasting, FX, National Geographic and Fox Sports via Hulu.

Noah Levine, senior VP, advertising data & technology solution at Fox Network Group says that between Comcast and Hulu and its advertising clients more than 10 million households on an addressable basis.

Levine was expected to announce Fox’s new addressable advertising effort at the B&C/Multichannel News Next TV Summit in New York Wednesday (Oct. 18), part of NYC Television Week.

Read More: Complete Coverage of NYC Television Week

“Our strategy is to continue selling to linear buyer through Fox AIM linear,” Levine said. “Now we can also work with the addressable buyers to pursue the addressable opportunity.” Fox is looking to add cross-platform precision audience targeting.

“Our goal is to be able to provide audience targeting across our very wide portfolio of content regardless of the distribution modality,” Levine said.

Read More: Complete Coverage of the Next TV Summit

In addition to working with NBCU, Comcast’s local systems sell addressable ad campaigns to local advertisers.

“We think it’s really important that TV advertising becomes more sophisticated and this VOD trial is one way networks can unify their audiences and marketers reach their targets,” said Marcien Jenckes, president of advertising at Comcast.

With on-demand programming and steaming, Levine said the Fox’s addressable advertising can reach audiences that may not be watching linear.

He noted that addressable would be great for a financial advertisers that uses linear advertising to promote its brand but targets viewers of a different income and lifestyles for particular financial products.

Read More: Complete Coverage of the Advanced Advertising Event

Levine said Fox’s addressable solution is different than what most cable or satellite operators can offer because it can be overlaid with precision targeted programming on the Fox networks, which reach all of the markets in the country.

“That’s national scale,” he says. In addition, Fox has all of its national inventory while distributors only have access to two minute per hour.

That should make the Fox offering attractive to national advertisers.

“By combining addressable components with the linear components, we’ll be able to come up with very acceptable CPM ranges,” Levine said. He added that with addressable advertising, Fox benefits financially because there is very little waste once it and the advertisers have agreed on a data set and reporting method.

Addressable advertising is also good for viewers. “It allows is to provide more relevant advertising that s potential more interesting to the audience,” he said.

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.