Xandr-OpenAP Alliance Lets Clients Build Data-Based Campaigns Across TV Programmers

David Levy OpenAP
David Levy (Image credit: OpenAP)

In a move likely to accelerate the buying of audience-based television campaigns, AT&T’s ad tech company Xandr has integrated OpenAP’s OpenID viewer identification system, enabling advertisers on its platform to build campaigns using inventory from all of the major TV companies.

Mike Welch Xandr

Mike Welch (Image credit: Xandr)

OpenAP will accept campaigns planned with Xandr’s Invest TV platform. Invest TV will use several of OpenAP’s campaign building tools. Campaigns can be bought from the individual networks using Xandr’s transactional technology. It’s all expected to be ready for the start of the new TV season in the fourth quarter.

Most of the networks and most of the big buyers have already signed up for OpenID individually.

Campaigns based on target audiences--rather than the traditional age and sex based demographics--are usually more effective, which should translate into more revenue for TV networks as they compete with the digital media.

OpenAP was originally formed by Fox, Turner and Viacom to standardize the way advertisers define target audiences, making them easier to buy from competing networks.

OpenAP’s Open ID is designed to create a unified was of identifying viewers across networks and platforms.

Between the members of OpenAP, including Fox, NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS and Univision, and clients of Xandr Invest such as WarnerMedia, Discovery Disney and A+E, nearly all of the TV industry is accounted for.

“The collaboration between Xandr and OpenAP is a gamechanger for both media buyers and sellers, removing friction that has existed with executing campaigns on advanced audiences at scale,” said Mike Welch, executive & GM of Xandr. “We built Invest TV to streamline and unify buying of advanced TV audiences, and we heard the message loud and clear that the ability to plan, buy and measure on the premium national TV footprint was critical. Xandr offers an automated access point to scaled reach in data-driven linear TV, and we’re thrilled to be working alongside industry innovator OpenAP to do it.”

Xandr works with a number of audience identification systems in order to accommodate users. “I could see this [Open ID] turning into a preferred identity solution across what I’ll call converged buying, when you want to buy across both linear television and digital,” Wench said. Xandr isn’t exclusively using OpenID, “but it’s definitely one we think is going to have a lot of traction and wanted to be a part of, for sure.”

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Being able to do data-driven linear TV campaigns gives Xandr something its tech-giant competitors can’t. “We’ve made a lot of progress on digital video and connected TV,” Welch said. “By offering data-driven linear at scale, we think it provides a pretty significant point of differentiation for Xandr.”

“A common identity for television is a critical foundation in allowing us to create an environment where sellers are able to deliver true cross-publisher and platform insights for advertisers. To do this at scale, however, ID-based audiences must be interoperable and ubiquitous with the platforms clients want to use,” said David Levey, CEO of OpenAP.

“We are thrilled to work with Xandr to bring the OpenID to Invest TV clients for use in linear cross-publisher campaigns, unlocking the ability to transact on a consistent OpenID audience across all major national publishers. We are committed to interoperability with the platforms and solutions that clients leverage for audience-based buying across the television ecosystem.”

Levy explained that previously, a buyer working with both OpenAP and Xandr had to work with two separate audiences. It was also difficult for Xandr users to access inventory from some OpenAP members. “Now you can actually build out a proposal across all national programmers, which is exciting. It’s something that we think is going to help move this space along. The more we can work together , the better it is for the TV ecosystem.”

He added that using consistent audience definitions is essential to getting an accurate read on how a campaign performs.

OpenAP launched OpenID in time for the upfronts and level said that several of the large media buying holding companies have used OpenID as part of their upfront discussions.

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.