Discovery Inc invests in advanced TV ad company OpenAP

Joins FOX, NBCUniversal & ViacomCBS as minority owners in the joint venture

Mumbai: Discovery Inc has joined FOX, NBCUniversal, and ViacomCBS to buy a minority stake in OpenAP, the advanced advertising company which is working on a goal to “bring simplicity and scale to audience-based campaigns in television. The decision comes as media companies worldwide look for improved ways of audience measurement.

The joint venture created by several media industry giants, centralises data activation on behalf of premium national TV publishers, bringing efficiency and scale to audience-based campaigns.

The recent announcement furthers Discovery’s strategy of building a technical framework that enables cross-platform audience-based buying and creating collaborative support for alternative currency standards, it said in a statement. The factual-life entertainment giant will join OpenAP's board of directors with chief US Advertising sales officer Jon Steinlauf, and executive VP digital ad sales and advanced advertising Jim Keller, both representing the company.

"Discovery is excited to take an active role shaping the future of advanced audience buying," said Discovery’s executive VP digital ad sales and advanced advertising Jim Keller. "Given our current momentum, influence, and growth of audience-based sales, we believe Discovery can help further the work OpenAP has been doing to initiate meaningful change in the market."

The investment signals an expansion of Discovery's existing relationship with OpenAP, having integrated with the central TV identity spine, OpenID in April last year, and more recently partnering with OpenAP on the launch of XPm, the publisher-backed cross-platform measurement framework. For OpenAP, it will help further its ability to grow the overall market for audience-based advertising and expand the breadth and scale of its services across cross-platform identity, measurement, and planning.

"Discovery has long been a pioneer of TV entertainment with its iconic portfolio of content and direct-to-consumer experiences people love. The last two years have demonstrated the force of change that can happen when we take an audience-first approach to reimagining TV advertising for media owners, advertisers, and consumers alike," said OpenAP CEO David Levy.

In a joint statement, FOX senior VP, data strategy and sales innovation Dan Callahan, NBCUniversal president, and chief business officer Krishan Bhatia, and ViacomCBS COO – advertising revenue John Halley at ViacomCBS, stated that Discovery's commitment further validates OpenAP's mission and builds on the success and scale of our collective organisations work to build a more advanced model for TV advertising that focuses on audiences.  “OpenAP has been a catalyst for bringing programmers and marketers together to change the model, and we're proud to now have Discovery join us to accelerate these efforts,” they added.

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