Comcast, Charter, Cox team on addressable ads

June 19, 2019
Comcast Advertising (NASDAQ:CMCSA) announced the launch of a new initiative called "On Addressability," the broad goal of which is to help the industry deliver a ...

Comcast Advertising (NASDAQ:CMCSA) announced the launch of a new initiative called "On Addressability," the broad goal of which is to help the industry deliver a scalable and sustainable addressable video advertising solution. Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) and Cox Media, Cox Communications' ad division, have joined Comcast in the effort.

"TV is a tremendous, resilient medium with unparalleled reach and engagement, but data has changed the way that marketers use media. Historically, TV has lagged digital in this area, and this must change," said Marcien Jenckes, president, Advertising, Comcast Cable. "Our industry needs to find a way to fully participate in, and lead, the data-driven future of advertising as only TV can. We're fully committed to making this happen. That's the impetus behind the On Addressability initiative."

Enabling full addressability will involve the entire advertising ecosystem, from marketers and content owners, to measurement companies and tech providers, Comcast said. Comcast, Charter and Cox believe addressability begins with content distributors.

"It's the distributors who bring the ads into viewers' households each day. It is therefore incumbent upon us to lay the groundwork and set up the infrastructure to truly 'turn on' addressability for the industry in a way that is secure, scalable and effective," said Jenckes.

"Advertisers want to use television as a full-funnel solution that marries the best of traditional television, with increased data-driven capabilities for targeting and measurement," said David Kline, executive vice president, Charter Communications and president, Spectrum Reach. "We look forward to working with Comcast, and the rest of the industry, to establish best-in-class practices that learn from digital media, yet maintain the security and brand safety that have long been at the core of television advertising."

While the initial focus of On Addressability will be to help distributors with the "how to" of enabling addressability based on the collective learnings of Comcast, its European affiliate, Sky Media, and the other distributors participating in the initiative, other areas of focus are also planned. Those include: working with the industry around definitions and standards; educating advertisers on the use cases and value that they can achieve in a fully activated addressable world; and finally, for inventory and content owners, identifying best practices and business standards for transacting on addressable campaigns.

The focus of the initiative was guided, in part, by input from advertisers and clients. Advertiser Perceptions research commissioned by Comcast Advertising indicated that advertisers would be more willing to buy more addressable TV advertising if several key challenges were addressed, including:

  • Better measurement solutions (53%)
  • Proof of ROI (51%)
  • Easier to buy at scale (48%)
  • More addressable inventory availability (34%)
  • Agreed-upon standards across the industry (34%)
  • Better ways to ensure consumer privacy (32%)
  • More secure ways to share data (31%)
  • Better understanding of appropriate use cases (29%)

"Clients face a common set of challenges to increase addressability to their TV advertising strategies. As an industry, we must find a common set of solutions to these challenges in order to offer the scale, security and ease of buying that today's advertisers demand," said Louis Gump, senior vice president, Cox Media. "We look forward to working with Comcast, Charter and a growing list of other partners to make this happen."