TV Networks Back New OpenAP Technology to Measure Audiences Across Screens

Ad-tech firm OpenAP has for the past few years worked to define TV viewers in ways that apply no matter which media company’s programming they watch. Now the company hopes to launch technology that will allow advertisers to measure audiences no matter the choice of consumer yardstick.

OpenAP, launched by the former 21st Century Fox, Viacom and Time Warner in 2017, is launching XPm, a new framework that will let advertisers and media outlets count viewership across venues that might include linear TV, addressable TV and mobile-delivered video. The idea, says David Levy, Open AP’s chief executive, is to provide a consumer count that can be utilized no matter what type of video delivery on which an advertisers is focused.

“We have to get to a place where we can do the same kind of counting across all screens,” Levy said in an interview.  To get things started, OpenAP intends to work with all interested parties in a beta period when all participants can  review data and test results, All parties hope to launch XPm in the first quarter of 2022 — just months before the start of the industry’s annual “upfront” market, when the networks try to sell the bulk of their advertising inventory for the next programming cycle.

The new XPm technology gives a defined audience, built on defined audience segments called “Open ID” that the company unveiled in April. Advertisers who use those identifies in their campaigns can determine how many people were reached across TV platforms, without worrying if some viewers are counted more than once as they toggle between venues. The VAB, the industry group that represents the networks to advertisers, will oversee XPm and create common standards and controls in relation to how the data is used.  Participating XPm measurement companies include Comscore, iSpot, Nielsen, VideoAmp and 605, with Innovid offering enhancements to digital measurement for use in XPm reporting. GroupM, Dentsu and Horizon Media have also joined as the first agencies to build the framework for XPm reporting insights.

“Measurement that keeps pace with our industry’s rapidly changing shift to on-demand consumption and addressable advertising can only be scaled when buyers and sellers get behind an idea and support it,” said Matt Sweeney, chief investment officer of GroupM North America, in a statement. GroupM NA Chief Investment Officer. “OpenAP’s OpenID and XPm solution is a critical step in enabling true cross-platform measurement and audience delivery a reality for our clients.”

OpenAP unveils its new effort as the industry is scrambling for new audience measures. The TV networks and their longtime measurement partner, Nielsen, have been at odds for months over that latter’s ability to count viewers as they splinter across a dizzying array of new-tech viewing opportunities. NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia have  both pledged to introduce alternatives to Nielsen’s methodology and ViacomCBS and Univision have begun to work with new vendors to court advertisers who still need to demonstrate the effectiveness of their advertising.

“In order to target and measure across screens in an efficient way, the same pipes are necessary,” said Levy.




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