Project OAR: Ready For Live TV Deployments
Project OAR, the consortium of American media companies created to establish a common technology for dynamic, addressable advertising management for TV, today announced the start of live market trials. The milestone marks the first time the OAR (Open Addressable Ready) technology specification will be used to deliver and manage addressable TV ad inventory inside of linear programming broadcast to homes across America.
Through a phased approach, OAR members will conduct trials to evaluate how the open standard interoperates with existing sales, insertion and measurement workflows.
In the first phase, beginning this month, Fox Corp., ViacomCBS, NBCUniversal, E.W. Scripps and AMC Networks will begin using OAR to deliver more relevant advertising experiences within linear and on-demand formats on smart TVs.
The second phase starts in mid-August, with Discovery, Hearst Television and WarnerMedia integrating and executing trials throughout the remainder of the summer and Disney Media Networks conducting its trials thereafter. Commercial availability and deployment will begin in 4Q 2020 across a subset of 10 million opt-in smart TV devices.
“At Fox, we are committed to enhancing TV measurement and increasing ad efficiency and effectiveness,” says Dan Callahan, VP, audience and automated sales (Fox is the first company to begin the trial). “Together as an industry, we are helping to advance addressable TV advertising, deliver relevant experiences for consumer audiences and unlock new opportunities for advertisers,” he adds.
The Open Addressable Ready standard helps optimize ad inventory and leverage unsold and underperforming inventory, while also highlighting how to target different demographics and specific regions with localized ad content. In early 2020, members of the consortium began testing measurement and technical specifications for the management and delivery of addressable ads.
“NBCUniversal is committed to partnering with the industry at large to develop open systems and tools, and a big part of that is creating an open standard for addressable advertising,” says Denise Colella, NBCU SVP, advanced advertising products and strategy. “We’re continuing to incorporate Project OAR within our One Platform solution, delivering a streamlined, consistent addressable ad buying experience for advertisers while ensuring a relevant and engaging ad experience for consumers.”
Mike Dean, SVP, advanced advertising and automation, ViacomCBS, says: “The potential for addressable TV, and the time for a standard by which the entire TV ecosystem can work toward, have hit an inflection point. ViacomCBS has been working to validate the OAR open standard and looks forward to seeing the results of those efforts.”
“Implementing an industry standard for dynamic addressable advertising is an important step forward for the industry, and we are pleased to be working with our Project OAR partners on this initiative,” says Evan Adlman, SVP of advanced advertising and digital partnerships, AMC Networks. “Being part of this consortium fits well within AMC Networks’ buyer-first strategy, at a time where it’s more important than ever to support brand partners and bring meaningful value and efficiency to advertisers.”
Through the Open Addressable Ready standard, media sellers watermark the inventory that they want to make addressable. If a buyer wants to swap out a static ad with an addressable ad, VIZIO smart TVs read the watermark and send that information to the seller’s ad server, which swaps in the addressable ad in real time.
“For Discovery, this is another major step forward in delivering innovative, data-driven advertising solutions for our clients,” says Steve Silvestri, Discovery’s VP, advanced advertising. “Programmer enablement of addressability will be the catalyst to bridging the divide between linear and digital, allowing advertisers to reach valuable audiences in a premium and brand-safe environment, across all platforms and at scale.”
“This is an important milestone for WarnerMedia and the OAR consortium members as we work toward establishing cross-industry standards,” says David Porter, VP of ad innovation and programmatic solutions at WarnerMedia Ad Sales. “The insights from these trials will lay the groundwork to achieve the critical scale necessary for addressable advertising.”
“We’ve heard growing interest from the buying community in ad solutions that combine data-enhanced targetability with premium, curated inventory,” says Eric Meyrowitz, Hearst Television SVP of sales. “This effort increases opportunities for all parties; the ease of execution and the type of ad-effectiveness offered by Project OAR are good for the agencies and brands, providing a new component of the ad model going forward.”
TV ad-delivery and enablement companies including Comcast’s FreeWheel, Google Ad Manager, Xandr and INVIDI Technologies are providing the technical integrations for the dynamic ad-insertion technology. Additionally, Crystal, a division of LTN Global and key technology provider, is providing infrastructure support for local linear insertion.
FreeWheel worked closely with Project OAR to help define the open specs needed to deliver targeted advertising in linear and on-demand formats on smart TVs. “We are excited to work with Project OAR on real-world trials and to be able to unlock the value of this premium inventory for our programmer clients,” says Diane Yu, co-founder of FreeWheel and Comcast Advertising’s chief technology officer.
“In lieu of live sports, the Upfronts and tentpole events, companies are turning up the heat with addressable TV. Until recently, national broadcasts have not been able to fully monetize addressable inventory,” says Zeev Neumeier, president and SVP of product at Inscape, a wholly owned subsidiary of Vizio. “The open approach we take with Project OAR allows the flexibility and scale needed to make addressable a reality for the entire TV ecosystem.”