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The rise of addressable ad alliances

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Harry Stevens/Axios

New to this season's UpFront event season is AT&T's Xandr, which will be revealed at its event in New York City on Tuesday morning.

  • Xandr will unveil "Community," a curated marketplace that will leverage the combined digital TV ad inventory to allow advertisers to reach targeted audiences at scale with TV ads.
  • Community will pull together inventory from WarnerMedia’s CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, B/R Live, Otter Media, and Warner Bros., as well as VICE -Together with Hearst Magazines, Newsy, and digital video platforms Philo, Tubi, and Xumo,
  • For context, AT&T's "WarnerMedia" was a part of a similar consortium of advanced television publishers called "Open AP," but dropped out last month to create its own addressable ad alliance, which is slightly different from what Open AP offers.

The big picture: Almost every major TV network and provider is working on their version of an advanced TV ad product, or TV ads that can be digitally targeted.

  • The hope is that one day, networks will be able to capture lucrative ad dollars from marketers that want to reach more audiences in a more targeted fashion than they can with traditional TV ad buys, but at scale.

Be smart: No TV network has the ability to serve addressable ads at scale alone, that's why they're developing addressable advertising alliances. Michael Beach has a good breakdown of the alliances via his must-read newsletter "The State of the Screens:"

  • Community: WarnerMedia’s CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, B/R Live, Otter Media, and Warner Bros., as well as VICE -Together with Hearst Magazines, Newsy, Philo, Tubi, and Xumo
  • NCC Media: Comcast, Cox, Charter
  • Project OAR: AMC Networks, AT&T, CBS, Comcast NBCUniversal, Discovery, Disney, Freewheel, Hearst, Inscape, Turner, Xandr, Vizio

Yes, but: That transformation is happening slowly, and at this point, very few dollars are expected to be allocated towards addressable TV ad buys in the near future.

Meanwhile: Marketers are instead putting their dollars towards digital video platforms, although data and studies suggest that television networks will remain supreme for a while.

Go deeper: Coming to a TV near you: personalized ads