605, Cross MediaWorks tackle addressable TV with new standard

Cross MediaWorks continues its push to dominate the addressable TV space with a new partnership with Dolan family-backed analytics firm 605. The two companies announced an addressable TV standard which they claim will change the way TV inventory is purchased.

And like most other addressable TV launches, the product promises to finally scale addressable TV. eMarketer estimates addressable ad spend made up just 1.7% of total TV ad spend in 2017, and will grow to $2.25 billion by the end of 2018, representing 3% of total TV ad spend.

Cross MediaWorks, an umbrella company of ad tech firms playing in the advanced TV space, is parent to two other addressable-focused tech firms: Cadent, an ad tech and data solutions provider; and the more recent to market one2one Media, a new automated addressable TV platform launched in 2017. Cadent revamped its addressable TV solutions last summer in hopes of bolstering pay TV video monetization by unifying media campaigns across linear TV, OTT and VoD channels.

As marketers are increasingly demanding more data-driven advertising solutions for linear TV, pay TV providers have been forced to compete with digital advertising by offering more advanced TV advertising solutions for addressable inventory. That includes offering reporting and analytics services which provide the type of performance measurement that marketers have grown accustomed to receiving on the digital side of their media campaigns. And pay TV providers are now facing increased pressure to unify advertising across linear TV, OTT and VOD to give marketers comprehensive, cross-platform reach. And just as digital players are grappling with campaign measurement issues, so too are pay TV providers offering addressable inventory.

To address this growing demand, Cross MediaWorks has tapped 605, a data and analytics firm launched in late 2016 by Cablevision alums Kristin Dolan and Ben Tata which aggregates national set-top box data on a census level and offers analytics to marketers to use to plan their media campaigns.

Together, these two companies are developing unified targeting and campaign measurement tools for marketers to use to optimize their media campaigns. The deal will “bring better data to TV”, the companies claim, by helping marketers define more precise audiences, and extend the reach of their addressable television campaigns into linear TV inventory with a “unified targeting approach,” the companies said. In other words, the platform will help marketers extract insights about program audiences and the content they are watching, thereby enabling marketers to use data insights in a standardized way, across linear and addressable TV.

Cross MediaWorks has access to over 100 million TV households, with about 90 million of them being pay TV households. It also offers access to inventory across 200 content providers ranging from MVPDs to ad-supported OTT services and direct-to-consumer TV streaming apps.

The two companies will have to marry their data sets with other third-party sources, and package all that info up for marketers to use in campaign planning – specifically, clients of one2one Media and Cadent companies, for whom the product will initially be made available to.

Speaking at an industry event last year, 605 president and co-founder Tata said advanced campaign measurement is the second chapter of the data-driven evolution of TV advertising. To that end, the two companies are developing a third-party verification tool that will provide standardization across impression-based television campaigns.

Tata said the new measurement product will “sharpen planning and real measurement of clients’ campaigns performance” by offering a standardized approach to planning and measuring audience-based ad campaigns across addressable and traditional linear TV. The two companies plan to expand the offering by including more advanced campaign analytics, such as attribution, sales lift and ROI analytics.

605 grabbed headlines last year when it launched with what has been dubbed by some as the most advanced data platform available for TV. It has had a string of deals with pay TV providers and networks since its launch. Last summer, it inked a deal with Charter; it has also worked with A&E Networks, Comcast, and others.