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NBCU sets new ad tech partners

An illustration of someone putting a coin in a TV box.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

NBCUniversal announced on Tuesday its expanded relationship with iSpot.tv and a slew of new ad tech measurement partners.

Why it matters: NBCU has been one of the most aggressive legacy media companies in trying to change how TV viewing is measured and how advertising is bought and sold against it.

  • The news was part of ONE22, NBCU's second annual developer conference, which was held ahead of the annual Upfront marketplace when the majority of ad commitments are made for the coming year.

Details: NBCU's ad partners can use iSpot.tv data as its currency to negotiate cross-platform advertising buys. Its platform also integrates with OpenAP's OpenID for identifying linear and digital audiences.

  • "NBCU's integration of our data with partners such as OpenAP enable the industry to trade on specific audiences instead of broad demos, which paves the way for better, more impactful ad experiences and clearer return on ad spend for brands," says Stu Schwartzapfel, iSpot.tv's senior vice president of media partnerships.
  • NBCU began using iSpot.tv earlier this year as an additional measurement partner.
  • NBCU said more than 120 companies participated in its request for proposal process for measurement partners. On Tuesday, it announced nine certifications, including Comscore, iSpot.tv and Conviva for measurement, along with DoubleVerify, Moat, Integral Ad Science, FreeWheel, Innovid and iSpot.tv for verification.

The big picture: TV companies have sought out alternatives to Nielsen as the shift to streaming increased the demand for digital measurement.

  • But getting everyone to agree on a currency is easier said than done.
  • "NBCUniversal continues to be a leader in helping transition TV advertising from siloed panel-based demographics to census ID-based audiences," OpenAP CEO David Levy says.

The bottom line: "Ultimately, we've set our sights on shifting the way we transact to capture how our audiences consume the content they love, so we can drive the most impact for our advertising partners," NBCU's Kelly Abcarian said in a statement.

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