ViacomCBS Consolidating Video Into EyeQ Platform

(Image credit: ViacomCBS)

ViacomCBS is combining  its three big connected digital video offerings into ViacomCBS EyeQ, which the company said will give ad buyers simplified access to large-scale audiences,

EyeQ includes video from CBS Interactive, Viacom Video and Pluto TV at a time when advertisers are looking to connected TV to reach viewers with targeted advertising as young consumers are cutting the cord and turning to streaming programming. 

Buyers will be able to get real-time updates on the campaigns they buy through EyeQ as well as attribution systems to gauge the effectiveness campaigns had on brand metrics and, in some cases, sales.

“With this transformative platform, we’re creating a smarter and effective way to deliver seamless access to our leading content portfolio and unparalleled reach in a unified buying environment – which is exactly what the digital ad market has been asking for and sorely missing,” said Jo Ann Ross, president and chief advertising revenue officer, ViacomCBS Domestic Advertising Sales.

ViacomCBS’s digital content generates 150 million unique viewers in the U.S., making it among the leaders in digital video. It’s full episodes attract 50 million viewers per month, with 80% of consumption happening on TVs.

EyeQ is being offered to advertising during this year’s unusual upfront market.

“These are some of the biggest properties on television,” said John Halley, COO of advertising revenue at ViacomCBS. “Our ViacomCBS digital footprint for full-episode content is equal to Hulu, equal to Amazon and way larger than Roku or Tubi, Halley said. “We’re offering advertisers a single platform so that we can provide capabilities like reach optimization and frequency management,” he said.

EyeQ will be offering performance benchmarking, to help clients understand who saw the ad and its impact on business results. It is also developing a reporting tool that lets agencies and clients track their spending in real time. With up-to-the-minute reads will help clients make last-minute changes to their spending plans.

“Unfortunately, buyers don’t know what’s working until it’s too late and we’re trying to help solve that,” Halley said. EyeQ’s new tool should be in beta by the beginning of the broadcast year and after about six weeks of testing, it will be released to all clients in November or December, he said.

David Lawenda, executive VP of digital sales and strategy at ViacomCBS said Viacom and CBS executive began meeting about unifying ad sales teams late last year, before the merger was completed. Some jobs were lost in the combination. 

Now digital video is an important part of the ViacomCBS portfolio and Lawenda said the goal is to get to a run rate of $2 billion a year. 

“By all indications in our upfront discussions, there’s a big demand for great premium digital brand safe brand enhancing content, which is what we bring to the table,” Lawenda said.

ViacomCBS EyeQ lets advertisers buy video in different ways using different technologies.

Video can be bought by content category. ViacomCBS has divided its content by entertainment, sports, news and kids. It can also be bought by demos or by targeted audience segments. It can also be bought in connection with branded content, custom creative, integrations or other immersive experiences. ViacomCBS has several units that create custom content, including Viacom Velocity. 

EyeQ also supports buying programmatically either via private marketplaces or programmatic guarantees.

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.