Top Media Companies Aim to Set Addressable Standard

Top media and technology companies have gotten together to try to create a new open standard for addressable advertising on connected TVs.

Disney’s Media Networks, AT&T’s Xandr and Turner units, Comcast FreeWheel and NBCU units, CBS, Discovery, Hearst Television, AMC Networks, Vizio and Inscape are working on Project OAR, or Open Addressable Ready.

The consortium will try to define technical standards for TV programmers and platforms in order to deliver more relevant advertising within linear and on-demand formats on smart TVs.

“Project OAR complements our strategy around new data-set development supportive of our own company insights,” said Jesse Redniss, executive VP of data strategy/product innovation, Turner and GM of the Warner Media Innovation Lab. “It’s important for us to come together as an industry and create connective experiences that matter to fans, and that includes how we use data to inform and broaden spaces like addressable TV.”

The consortium has the initial guarantee from Vizio that once the standard is developed it can be deployed on its opt-in footprint of connected TVs, though the protocol will be open and designed to enable any internet-connected TV maker and connected-device company to leverage it.

“We all recognize the most important goal of this initiative is to drastically enhance the TV experience for people at home,” said Vizio founder and CEO William Wang.

Having a standard could solve a lot of problems by delivering enhanced advertising products to brands, making the ad-supply chain more efficient, and giving audiences advertising content they are more likely to watch.

"The OAR standard will be designed to ensure a privacy-safe, technologically sound, dynamic ad-delivery system," said Jodie McAfee, senior VP at Vizio's smart TV viewing research unit, Inscape.

“The standard will define the baseline for ad delivery, impression verification and privacy compliance, but networks will have plenty of room to create unique and enriched advertising experiences,” said McAfee. “We are making this flexible enough to enable interactivity and other bells and whistles that have yet to be imagined.”

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.