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Why Open AP Won’t Close (Just Yet)

As you’ve likely heard, Warner, the pioneer member of Open AP, announced it would be withdrawing from the consortium on a Passover/Good Friday/Mueller haze drop.

The announcement comes as a suprise to TV nerds, who likely appreciated the unified, segment-delivering, tech-sharing between TV’s biggest empires. After all, the concept makes great sense and moved the conceptual needle when it hit the market.

As TV buying looks more digital, the old age/gender framework looks sillier by the day. Sarah Palin and Sarah Silverman couldn’t be different but to the antiquated ways, they are both equal targets. That doesn’t work for organic soap or ATV companies.

That said, network sales folks, of course, still love themselves some simple, predictable, safe (for now) ratings points. And selling from segments, no matter how rich or refined or portable, does require work. If you talk to TV sales folks, more work means time, means money. And that, in essence, could be an ongoing challenge for OpenAP’s members. How do you sell something that’s not super easy to describe?

Increasingly that problem gets solved on the buy side anyway, because more and more brands are taking measurement and analytics in house and doing their own segment generation.

Brands are using platforms like Adobe and Oracle to organize their marketing and consumer data stacks, connecting segments and doing identity resolution using companies like LiveRamp.

And now that Inscape’s screen-level ACR data is getting baked into next generation TV products, all sorts of things are changing when it comes to targeting. Brands now have cross-platform advertising and ad activation data from companies like 4C and VideoAmp via Omnicom where segments get refined, dynamically with deep granularity.

Brands now have always-on ad measurement and attribution from companies like iSpot.tv and can come to networks knowing what day-parts, segments and shows are delivering foot traffic and sales flow. They already know exposure rates of TV ads against websites, they know where customers are and aren’t and where the deals are and aren’t and they are being told by these platforms where to buy.

Thats said, OpenAP won’t close because networks need an advanced segment solution until such time as ALL brands bring that kind of sophistication to the market. IE for the foreseeable future. And for many networks, being together is better than being apart. For now.

That said, I can’t say why Warner left the consort. Could be that they have so much in the way of data from phones, internet, (etc.) that they are stronger apart. Could be corporate theater between rivals. Could just be red tape.

Hit us up if you have something to add…

Pro-tip: (Brian Steinberg @Variety has some great, actual news coverage here)