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Entertainment giants team up on Advertising Currency Initiative and announce plan to unify streaming ratings

There is significant movement in the evolution of the premium video advertising ‘currency’.

OpenAP, the cutting-edge advertising agency founded by the owners of most major TV networks, says Monday it will form a joint industry committee to focus on premium video currencies, with the intention of introducing multiple currency options ahead of the launch. 2024 ahead.

Warner Bros. Discovery, NBCUniversal, Fox Corp., Paramount Global and TelevisaUnivision all endorse the plan. Warner Bros. Discovery executive vp of digital ad sales and advanced advertising, as well as NBCUniversal ad sales president Krishan Bhatia, tell The Hollywood Reporter in an interview that they expect other publishers and programmers to join them soon.

“I am confident that more members will be joining in the near term in the coming weeks and months,” said Bhatia. “And we have already received very positive signals from other programmers.”

The catch is that new members should be focused on premium long videos (sorry, TikTok), and be willing to share their streaming data (more on that below). The two obvious players in the space are Disney and Netflix, each of which has launched new ad-supported streaming tiers in recent months.

For decades, metering giant Nielsen has dominated the TV currency market through its panel-driven products, though in recent years other competitors and new products from Nielsen have complemented those efforts.

A common currency is seen as a requirement for advertisers, media buyers and programmers to make meaningful transactions.

The new commission suggests that the future of premium video, whether on linear TV or streaming platforms, will have multiple currencies for programmers and marketers to transact with. Nielsen, it should be noted, will be one of those currencies.

“There was quite a bit of alignment and amalgamation around the need for it, how to do it and also with whom,” Bhatia added. “There are a handful of new metering companies and currency providers that have emerged as the leaders, alongside the incumbents, and at the same time I don’t think things were moving fast enough to really take advantage of the opportunity to have a more accurate, accurate and faster way to measure cross-platform premium video.”

Notably, the companies also agree to create a dataset for programmers that will harmonize first-party viewership data from their respective streaming services (think Paramount+, HBO Max, Peacock, etc.) using the OpenAP infrastructure.

The group plans to have its viewership data verified by an independent auditor and work with third parties such as the Video Advertising Bureau (VAB), Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and other trade groups to improve the measurement. speed up attempts.

Agencies and advertisers can choose which currency to transact with.

“We want to make sure we’re compliant and have common definitions of what is an impression, or what is a view, or how a stream is calculated, and we want to make sure that each of the individual programmer groups is looking at it from the same point of view and that all metering companies — be it Nielsen or VideoAmp, or ComScore or others — that they also use the same definitions,” Keller says. And if we do it all in a privacy-compliant way, we believe we can move the company forward collectively.”

To signal the importance of the move, OpenAP released a joint statement credited to Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal, Bob Bakish, CEO of Paramount, Wade Davis, CEO of TelevisaUnivision, and David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery.

“The sustainability of the premium video advertising model depends on a measurement ecosystem that is transparent, independent, inclusive and accurately reflects the way all people today consume premium video content – ​​across multiple screens, connections and devices,” the statement said. of the CEO. . “By coming together to create this JIC, we can collaborate and accelerate efforts to implement a new multi-currency future that fosters greater competition, inclusiveness and innovation, and ultimately better serves advertisers, agencies and consumers .”

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