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Today’s TV Top 10

TV biz in a basket for you. If you care about the TV business like we do and want to stay up on the latest but don’t have time to digest everything from everywhere– take advantage of our work: save this link and sign up for our weekly newsletter. Every day we’ll post the top ten (or more) articles on the business of TV disruption. And each day we’ll push what you missed to the bottom. So, you can stay on top of the news or at the end of the week have a sick batch of news to skim through. You’re welcome, we love you.

Roku befriends Nielsen just in time for the Upfronts, offering OTT demographic-based audience guarantees. As digital players try to steal ad dollars from TV, networks like Turner and Viacom are offering more advertising solutions that let brands purchase audience segments across their linear and digital properties.

Advertisers are not happy with Mr.O’Reilly– so far eleven major brands have pulled advertisements from the O’Reilly Factor. As the Upfronts approach, AMC hopes to befriend advertisers with their new data product.

As the Upfronts approach, NBCU reminds advertisers to ditch Nielsen ratings as digital entrants– from Snapchat to Amazon— enter the scene. The OpenAP is one way networks hope to fight digital players, and the OpenAP just announced third-party measurement and administration.

OpenAP Names Accenture as Third-Party Administrator
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

OpenAP, the advanced advertising audience-targeting consortium started by Viacom, Turner and Fox, announced that its platform will be built and administered by Accenture. It will also provide their party measurement, providing post-campaign reports showing how many members of the target audience were reached. OpenAP also said that data from both Nielsen and comScore will be incorporated into the platform and that advertisers will not be able to buy advertising directly through OpenAP.

Amazon’s NFL Streaming Deal Could Shake Up TV Advertising
Wall Street Journal — Mike Shields

Amazon’s new NFL deal could be a chance to bring television advertising to the digital age. Amazon has a history of quietly nudging into sectors of the advertising business before ramping up its ambitions. Amazon could use the football games to experiment with presenting different ads to different consumers at the same time, which could theoretically represent the future of web-delivered TV advertising. “I think they have an enormous advertising business in front of them,” said Michael Bologna, president of One2one Media, a company that focuses on advanced forms of TV advertising.

NBCU’s Linda Yaccarino Asks Buyers To Embrace New Upfront Strategies
AdExchanger — Alison Weissbrot

There’s a “simultaneous frustration” on the buy and sell sides to move beyond legacy TV currency standards like C3 ratings, said Linda Yaccarino, chairwoman of advertising sales and client partnerships at NBCU, at the 4As Transformation show in Los Angeles on Tuesday. This upfront season, NBCU is asking buyers to rethink the way they approach negotiations, committing $1 billion to guarantee audience-based inventory for advertisers across its entire portfolio. Yaccarino is urging buyers to move past the “linear vs. digital” mentality and adopt a mixed model.

Azteca America’s Upfront Gets Political; Introduces OTT + Programmatic Options
Adweek — Jason Lynch

Azteca America’s Upfront will highlight its new 50-episode series about the Border, as well as two new partnerships. Azteca America is partnering with programmatic video ad platform Videology, becoming the first Hispanic network to use the platform and offer programmatic advertising. Its other partnership with cloud video distribution service Zype will finally give the network an OTT presence.

MipTV Feels Full Impact of Digital TV Revolution
Variety — John Hopewell

A major talking points at MipTV was digital native content, debated throughout a Digital Fronts conference strand which analyzed digital-first shows one-step-up from non-user generated content. “It’s becoming a significant sub-market and increasingly important for broadcasters and platforms, but the key question is still how to monetize the content,”

FX’s Upfront Lacked an Ad Sales Chief, but It Did Have the Season 3 Premiere of Fargo
Adweek — Jason Lynch

Fargo “is a show that typifies the power of ad-supported cable television to compete [with], and often surpass, our ad-free competitors,” FX Network CEO John Landgraf told buyers prior to the screening. “Advertising is fundamental to our business and to our suite of channels.”

TV Group ATSG Issues Guidelines For Ad, Data Targeting
MediaPost — Wayne Friedman

A group calling itself the Advanced Target Standards Group, a consortium of eight network TV programmers, led by clypd, the sell-side programmatic platform for audience-based TV advertising, announced a set of guidelines and best practices for the use of advanced targets in linear television advertising.This comes after a recent announcement that a new consortium —  backed by Fox Networks Group, Viacom and Turner — is starting OpenAP.

Audience Measurement Struggles To Keep Up With Changing Viewing Behavior
MediaPost — Larissa Faw

Measurement was a hot topic at the 4As conference, with marketers wanting multi-platform measurement that can link to identities and purchases. “It’s sad to say that something as simple as C3 (the TV viewing metric that includes three days of recorded playback) has outlived its usefulness,” said Turner Broadcasting’s Howard Shimmel whose company’s portfolio includes CNN, Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS and HLN, among others. “We have a third of viewers watching something beyond seven days,” he said. And demographics have outlived their usefulness, added Shimmel. Age and sex metrics no longer help sell products.

Consumers Favor Brands Pulling Ads From ‘O’Reilly’ Show
MediaPost — Tanya Gazdik

Brands that pulled out as “The O’Reilly Factor” advertisers saw an average lift in digital content engagement of 141% on April 4 compared to April 3, according to Amobee, a global marketing technology company. The brands included in that average are Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, BMW, Lexus, Constant Contact, Ainsworth Pet Foods, Sanofi, Mitsubishi, GlaxoSmithKline, Orkin, Esurance, T. Rowe Price, Credit Karma, Wayfair, Truecar, Coldwell Banker, The Wonderful Company, The Society for Human Resource Management and Bayer.

Digital Advertisers Bought More Varieties of Data in 2016
Advertising Age — Kate Kaye

According to Eyeota’s 2016 Annual Index Report, there was a 66% overall increase in the use of audience data for digital ad campaigns in 2016 compared with 2015. The top five audience-data-buying advertiser verticals were finance, electronics and computers, retail, automotive and travel. More advertisers appear to be targeting audiences based on brand affinity, but 26% of the audience data purchased by advertisers represents basic demographic data showing gender, financial status or ethnicity.

Mashable’s Pete Cashmore: Snapchat is the future of cable TV
Digiday — Adit Sangal

Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore sees the lineup of Snapchat Discover brands as the future cable lineup.

As Content Spending Goes Wild, What Role Will Advertising Play?
AdExchanger — Jacqueline Corbelli 

Just like advertising spurred the golden age of TV, a new form of advertising has a role in streaming services. Netflix and Amazon will need to explore ad models to maintain their trajectories. In the case of Amazon, one can imagine it will consider advertising to at the very least to drive awareness and education of products within its own commercial system. With Netflix, it will need the advertising dollars to maintain a gargantuan spend in the content arms war.

YouTube TV Launches in 5 Cities, Inks Deal With AMC Networks for Internet Skinny Bundle
Todd Spangler — Variety

YouTube is launching its $35 monthly TV package Wednesday in five U.S. markets — New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago and Philadelphia. YouTube TV’s anchor programming comprises the broadcast and cable networks from four media conglomerates: Disney/ABC, 21st Century Fox, CBS and NBCUniversal. Soon after launch, YouTube TV will add AMC Networks’ AMC, BBC America, IFC, SundanceTV, WeTV and BBC World News. Initially, YouTube TV will not sell advertising for the local ad slots granted to pay-TV distributors. (Ads for Google and YouTube products and services will run in those slots.) Down the line, Google’s ad-sales team will handle.

ESPN is thinking beyond TV with ‘special projects’
Digiday — Sahil Patel

Often times, digital side is coming in on the back end of a project that was developed on TV, or the TV side is coming in on the back end of a project that was developed on digital. ESPN wanted to do something where everyone was buying in from the beginning, creating episodic series that will be distributed across TV and digital platforms.

NBCU Running Commercials Highlighting Upfront Portfolio
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

When media companies advertise, they often do it in trade magazines or on the business and media pages of newspapers. But NBCUniversal will air commercials for its Audience Studio and Audience Targeting Platform as part of their upfront campaign, designed to reach its audience of media buyers. Four spots ranging in length from 15 seconds to 60 seconds will be airing Thursday morning on a broad cross section of NBCU properties. Last month, NBCU announced a new product, Audience Symphony, which is designed to use data to target specific audiences across the company’s portfolio of assets. NBCU committed $1 billion of its inventory to enhanced audience targeted campaigns and programmatic TV.

WGA Sends Strike Warning Letter To Ad Buyers As Upfronts Loom
Deadline — David Robb + Nellie Andreeva

The WGA leadership continues to apply pressure on TV networks and studios ahead of resuming contract negotiations next Monday. WGA West executive director David Young has sent a letter to ad buyers warning them they may be wasting their money if there’s a writers’ strike come May 2. There would be an immediate impact on the networks’ late-night shows in the final weeks of the current season, while the impact on next season is unclear.

Showtime Lands on Dish’s Sling TV as Skinny-Bundle Add-On Option
Variety — Todd Spangler

Showtime is now available on Sling TV, which makes Sling TV the first over-the-top service to offer content from the four leading premium cable networks, along with HBO/Cinemax, Starz and Epix.

AT&T ups its unlimited data game, throws in HBO for free

AT&T has announced that customers who subscribe to its “Unlimited Plus” plan will get HBO thrown in at no extra cost. Customers with an AT&T DirecTV or U-Verse TV account will get the premium channel added to their lineup, while wireless-only customers will get access through the DirecTV Now or HBO Go app.

What TV Advertisers Can Learn From Snapchat
AdExchanger — Patrick Hanavan

The most interesting feature of Snapchat’s TV-style experience for advertisers is the ads’ interactivity option and how users navigate between clips with screen taps and swipes. These gestures provide Snapchat with granular, second-by-second knowledge of who’s watching and for how long, data that the company shares with partners to improve future creative efforts. While some interactivity options do already exist for TV, more offerings in this area will be well received by brands. Advertisers like BMW are testing interactive ads on connected TVs that let viewers customize car features using their remote control. It’s a great example of the kind of creative possibilities that brands would undoubtedly like to see across more TV ad inventory.

Netflix’s new Thumbs rating system goes live
TechCrunch — Darrell Etherington

The Thumbs are the key to refining those predictions from Netflix’s 5-star model. The user is telling the service that it either guessed right or wrong on a particular item, which helps Netflix adjust its signal interpretation algorithms behind the scenes to hopefully boost the effectiveness of its machine learning.

BMW, Allstate pull ads from ‘O’Reilly Factor’ after harassment report
Reuters — Tim Baysinger

More companies, including carmaker BMW and insurer Allstate, have pulled their advertising from Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” television program days after the New York Times reported Fox and star host Bill O’Reilly paid five women to settle claims he sexually harassed them. According to ad-tracking firm iSpot.tv, Mercedes-Benz bought an estimated $266,477 of commercials on the show over the past 30 days, the tenth most, and spent $1.3 million in 2016.

Fox Losing More Advertisers After Sexual Harassment Claims Against O’Reilly
New York Times — Emily Steel + Michael S. Schmidt

More marketers continue to pull ads from “The O’Reilly Factor,” making a total of at least 11 that have suspended their sponsorship in the last 24 hours. Breathe Right nasal strips and Biotene mouthwash brands advertised on Mr. O’Reilly’s show, but both have put a “temporarily put a hold on spots running on ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ while we assess this situation.” Spots for those brands appeared during the program in the last 30 days, according to iSpot.tv, the TV ad analytics firm.

Nielsen Dives Into AI
AdExchanger — Ryan Joe

Nielsen just unveiled Nielsen Artificial Intelligence (AI), meant to help advertiser and publisher clients build custom audience segments in real time. Nielsen AI is baked into the Nielsen Marketing Cloud platform and designed to process multiple external circumstances concurrently, which it can then use to build new audience segments dynamically.

Modi Media Vets Stake Out Addressable TV Firm For Multi-MVPD Buys
AdExchanger — James Hercher

One2one matches advertiser first- and third-party data to multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), then runs the campaigns. Early MVPDs in one2one’s network include Altice, AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Dish Network and Spectrum (formerly Time Warner). One2one also can measure alongside other advertising channels like social or mobile, said one2one COO Jamie Power, via partnerships with analytics providers 4C and 4INFO.

A First: AMC Networks Will Give Upfront Spotlight to All Cable Outlets
Variety — Brian Steinberg

AMC Networks has quietly launched a data product and is looking for charter advertisers to take part. The company uses Nielsen data and information from individual clients to help marketers optimize their ad buy not only on its own networks, but across TV. AMC Networks said advertising revenues for its most recent full fiscal year increased 4.8% to $991 million. On Thursday, AMC will mount a first: an “upfront” presentation that calls out all five of its cable networks, which also include We TV, Sundance, IFC, and BBC America.

Upfronts 2017: AMC Adding Data to Its Scripted Story
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

AMC Networks wants upfront advertisers to know that if they’re looking for original scripted content, they’re in the right place. At a time when people talk about peak TV, referring to the record volume of original shows being produced, AMC Networks says it offers the biggest chunk available to marketers.

Some Marketers Want More Ad Testing, Less Debating About Metrics
Wall Street Journal — Mike Shields

Marketers spend too much time trying to equate different media and social platforms, hung up on metrics instead of actions. Marketers need to make a “mentality shift” to focus on tracking how well ads drive the results they care about, then issues such as viewability will take care of themselves

Nielsen, Other Media Measurement Players Face Whole New Ballgame
Forbes — Howard Homonoff

As baseball season kicks off, so too does the advertising industry gather at the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) Transformation 2017 Conference on the cusp of the television advertising Upfront season. Nielsen has hardly disappeared during developments around the Open AP and NBC’s measurement news, as it has been working toward the long-awaited release of its Total Audience Measurement. Even the mighty incumbent has recognized the old scorecard simply doesn’t tell the whole story anymore.

‘Buying VoD is a box-ticking exercise’: problems with broadcast video-on-demand
Digiday — Lucinda Southern

“TV advertisers are still skeptical of the quality of broadcast video-on-demand,” said one media agency executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Advertisers want to know their ad is being shown at specific times, with VoD you don’t know when it will be shown.” Broadcaster video-on-demand, from media companies like Sky, ITV and Channel 4, accounted for 37 percent of pre- or post-roll video ad spend in the first half of 2016, approximately $129 million, according to the IAB.

go90 Notches Warner Bros. Content Deal
Multichannel News — Jeff Baumgartner

Ad-based OTT service gets access to all seasons of ‘Almost Human,’ ‘Babylon 5,’ ‘Fringe,’ and more.Go90 is currently offered on the Web, at go90.com, and apps for iOS and Android mobile devices, and currently offers 30,000-plus hours of content.

Apple wants to sell HBO, Showtime and Starz in a single bundle
Recode — Peter Kafka

Apple wants to sell consumers a premium TV bundle, which combines HBO, Showtime and Starz. Traditional pay TV operators, like Charter, usually require consumers to subscribe to a basic level of TV channels before they will sell them a premium bundle. Apple could sell the bundle as a standalone product, delivered via its iOS devices and its Apple TV set-top box

Roku To Strike Demographic-Based Audience Guarantees For OTT
AdExchanger — Kelly Liyakasa

Roku will offer audience guarantees this upfront season, joining big networks like NBC with similar programs. Several agencies are beta testing Roku’s audience guarantees, which are based on Roku’s existing integration to Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings, which helped buyers determine their waste after the campaign ran and are particularly important for vertical TV advertisers. Roku matches subscriber data back to Nielsen’s digital campaign ratings to guarantee the delivery of impressions within a target demographic.

TV Feels the Heat from Google and Facebook
Digiday — Sahil Patel

As digital giants Google and Facebook are looking to steal TV ad dollars, TV is starting to fight back. Viacom launched Viacom Vantage, an ad product that allows marketers to target audience groups — not only by age and gender, but various behavioral, attitudinal and geographical segments — across the company’s TV and digital portfolio. Turner launched Turner Ignite, which enables marketers to target specific audiences across its portfolio of TV networks, individual show brands and digital properties. But digital and TV still operate in separate silos, with different success metrics, so it will be a long time until they truly “eat” each other.

Cable TV is Powering a Big Increase in News Consumption
Wall Street Journal — Alexandra Bruell

According to a new Nielsen report, TV news consumption jumped 44% compared to last year. Adults watched 27.1 billion minutes of cable news in 2016, compared to 18.8 billion minutes in 2015. That jump was largely responsible for an 18% overall increase in news consumption across all media, including broadcast news, radio and smartphone news. Older viewers watch much more cable news– it accounts for 11.6% of TV viewing for people over 50, but just 2.5% for people 18 to 34.

Which MLB Advertisers Could Hit Grand Slams This Opening Day?
TVREV — John Cassillo

Major League Baseball advertisers tallied over 16 billion TV ad impressions over the course of last season’s national broadcasts, according to iSpot.tv. A few brands, not necessarily the biggest spenders, made the most of their ad time and delivered compelling spots that grabbed viewers’ attention and kept it. In terms of average view rate some of the sport’s top brands (across all spots) included Facebook (99.94%), The Hartford (98.11%), Esurance (97.91%), Bank of America (97.73%) and Harvoni (97.19%).

New Targeting Feature Seeks To Identify All Devices Within A Household
MediaPost — Tobi Elkin

Screen6 just launched a new data feature that will enable it to identify all devices within a household. The provider of cross-device identity technology said the Advanced Householding feature aims to extend campaign reach, targeting individual IP addresses. The technology enables marketers to individually target users within a household through existing cross-device features, or target the whole household. For example, a marketer can use the technology to convince households that have members with multiple devices to sign up for a promotion or opt into a program.

Data Shows NCAA Accounts For 9% Of TV Ad Spending During Women’s Basketball Tourney
Sports Business Daily — David Broughton

Leading up to this weekend’s women’s Final Four, advertisers have spent more than $9.2M in advertising during the women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament broadcasts on ESPN’s various platforms, according to an SBJ/SBD analysis of iSpot.tv data.

Twitter Targets Tie-Ups with Pay-TV Broadcasters in Live Video Push
The Telegraph — James Titcomb

Twitter is seeking to ink deals with pay-TV companies that would let subscribers watch live channels over the social network as part of a major video push. Twitter has been heavily pushing into live TV in recent months. Last year it signed a deal with ESPN to stream Wimbledon matches, as well as buying NFL American football rights.

Always-On TV Data Solution from Alphonso Empowers Brands and Media Agencies with Real-Time Ad Insights and Closed Loop Attribution

Alphonso just announced Alphonso Insights, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering that enables brands and agencies to conduct real-time analysis of TV content and ad consumption at a granular level and obtain closed loop attribution on TV media spend.


GroupM Execs Start One2One, Addressable TV Company
MediaPost — Wayne Friedman

Two veteran GroupM media executives are starting their own addressable TV company, called one2one Media and launched by advertising company Cross MediaWorks. One2one Media will provide a turnkey addressable video solution for brands and agencies, including addressable video planning, implementation and campaign measurement. It will also have the support of GroupM and Modi Media.

Nielsen: Live TV Viewing Continues to Decline
Multichannel News — Jon Lafayette

Nielsen’s Total Audience Report shows trends affecting the TV business, including the fall in pay-TV homes, the increased use of smartphones to view video, and the increasing penetration of subscription video-on-demand. According to Nielsen, Live viewing totaled 4 hours and 23 minutes per day among adults 18 years old and up, down from 4:27 a year ago and 4:31 in the fourth quarter of 2014. Watching time-shifted shows on DVRs recorders rose 1 minute, to 33 minutes per day.

Viewership for Final Four Games Increases by 44%
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

Coverage of the NCAA tournament’s semi-final games on CBS Saturday—pitting the Final Four teams against each other for berths in the championship game—drew 16.8 million viewers on average, up 44% from a year ago. So far, CBS and Turner’s coverage of March Madness is the second-most watched in 23 years with an average viewership of 10.4 million viewers, up 14% from last year. The tournament has also generated 93.5 million live video streams so far, the most ever.

Marketers used to make ads to sell products. Now they’re creating whole TV shows
CNBC — Lucy Handley

Consultancy group BCG expects spending on branded content to increase from about $10 billion in 2014 to $25 billion in 2019 in the U.S. alone. Comedy Central is swapping some ad pods for branded content spots. “But there is a lot now around quantifying soft metrics…You have to look at things like ‘loveability,’ how much do I love this piece of content, is this content working for us, is this something I want to do? And I think you’ve got to maybe look at how you approach that type of metric into branded content in future, but that’s probably a long way off,” says Sky’s head of creative solutions and branded content Jason Hughes.