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TV Upfronts 2017: Buying and Selling TV Audiences Using Affinio Data

With the North American Television Upfronts approaching, industry experts are wondering whether 2017 will replicate the success of 2016 even with significant changes in play. AdExchanger reports that many networks will reduce their ad inventory by as much as 50% to improve the consumer experience to align with streaming models (i.e. Netflix and Hulu) that show few to no ads.

With less inventory up for grabs and price hikes per CPM as a result, the brands who want to play at the upfronts will need defensible, high-quality data to justify spending millions of dollars on media deals. In contrast, ad sales teams must understand the audiences they are selling, beyond simple demographics, to win over potential buyers.

Buying and Selling TV Audiences at the Upfronts

Affinio, a data science as a service platform, allows ad sales teams and brand media buyers the ability to identify their overlapping audiences and uncover rich audience insights to support major media deals.

For brands, understanding what shows their audiences are interested in and what content is already resonating with them is critical when entertaining a significant media buy. For the ad sales teams responsible for pushing inventory, knowing the audiences attracted to all levels of their inventory, paired with rich cultural insights, makes for an easier sell to brands.

Let’s explore these use cases in greater detail:

Use Case: Buying TV Audiences with Affinity Data

Imagine you are a media buyer for Taco Bell and want to strike up a deal for a 30-second spot with one of NBC’s properties at the 2017 upfronts. You know the average costs of spots as well as the projected CPMs, but you want to ensure your media spend is as optimized as possible and will resonate the audience viewing it.

Using Affinio we analyzed the USA Taco Bell audience to understand the different audience segments Taco Bell is currently attracting. We then created a target list of NBC properties and matched these against the Taco Bell audience segments to see how relevant each property is to each audience segment.

BuyingTVAudiencesAffinio

Immediately you can visualize which of NBC’s shows are resonating in target Taco Bell audience segments. For example, as a media buyer, if you wanted to create a 30-second spot that will resonate with Comedy Fans, we can see that this Taco Bell audience segment has an extremely high affinity to NBC’s Saturday Night Live. As a secondary example, if Taco Bell wanted to resonate with the Pop Culture Mommies segment, we can see that this audience segment has an extremely high affinity to NBC’s America’s Got Talent.

Additionally, we can also dive deeper into the specific audience segments to understand what content they are consuming and engaging with now. This insight can then be used to influence creative, themes, or influencers to include in the 30-second spot.

Use Case: Selling TV Audiences to Advertisers with Affinity Data

Imagine you work in ad sales for NBC, and you’re responsible for selling commercial airtime for the 2017 season of America’s Got Talent. You’ve got some costs and viewership data to approach potential buyers with, but potential buyers need more – they want to know they are reaching their ideal audience and getting the most bang for their buck. What if you had a target list of advertisers and data to prove why they should buy your airtime?

Using Affinio, we analyzed the audience of America’s Got Talent to see who the show is resonating with and attracting. The Affinio algorithm analyzed its audience and segmented the audience into 12 interest-based clusters, based on their shared interests and affinities. These clusters are shown in the below audience visualization.

AmericasGotTalentAudience

Within each audience segment, we can immediately see a list of relevant brands to this target audience. We can even break this down further by clicking on categories such as Airlines, Fashion, Retail, Electronics, etc. For example, retail brands that are already resonating with the Moms Who Love Country Music segment include Target, Kohl’s, Walmart, and Walgreens.

RetailBrands-SellingTVaudiences

By leveraging affinity data, ad sales teams immediately have a target list of brands their audience cares about that they should be prospecting for sales deals. With this data, paired with traditional TV data, ad sales teams can prove why their airtime is an ideal place for select brands to reach ideal audiences.

Defensible Audience Data Applied to TV

As upfronts approach, media buyers and ad sales teams will need access to high-quality, defensible data to justify spending millions of dollars on media deals. Demographic data and viewership rates still play a role, but must be complemented with rich cultural insights.

Now, who’s ready for upfronts 2017?