AppNexus, Tru Optik offer first partnership between an OTT SSP and a DMP

Forget all the acronyms. The partnership means that publishers of internet-delivered long-form TV can now offer audience segments to advertisers.

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Step by step, internet-based TV programs are becoming full-fledged citizens of the digital ad ecosystem.

The latest step is a partnership announced this week between ad platform AppNexus’s existing Connected TV marketplace and Over-the-Top (OTT) data management platform (DMP) Tru Optik’s OTT Marketing Cloud.

The companies say it creates the first OTT Supply Side Platform (SSP) where inventory holders — that is, publishers and networks — can offer validated audience segments to advertisers in a private marketplace. Tru Optik’s DMP provides more than 10,000 audience segments, such as males 18-34.

Tru Optik CEO and co-founder Andre Swanston told me that this partnership is not only AppNexus’s first partnership with an OTT DMP, but the first by any SSP with an OTT DMP.

OTT TV, in Tru Optik’s usage, is long-form TV content via the internet, regardless of where it is seen. For AppNexus, Connected TV includes internet-connected TVs, TV-connected program access devices like Roku or Apple TV and gaming boxes like Xbox.

AppNexus’ SVP for Video Technology Eric Hoffert said in a statement that integration with TruOptik “makes Connected TV as easy to buy via programmatic deals as other digital video inventory.”

Other SSPs offering OTT inventory, Swanston told me, usually can only provide targeting by such broad-brush groupings as channel or location. The reason, he said, is because the OTT program providers often don’t have access to viewer data.

Household graph

He noted that broadcast and cable TV networks — like ESPN — show programming over the internet to viewers who gain access to that content via their cable system subscription login. But the broadcast and cable TV networks can’t see the cable system data.

Providers like Hulu have registered user data, he said, but it’s not validated against demographics by a third party like comScore, the way Tru Optik’s data is. And “pure play” OTT providers like Crackle or Tubi TV offer free, ad-supported services without logins.

On the buy side, advertisers can target OTT audience segments through demand side platforms (DSPs) like Tru Optik and Videology, Swanston said. But some DSPs don’t offer OTT targeting, he added, and now publishers can serve up audience segments to them.

“This allows publishers to serve the needs of more advertisers,” he said, and is the first time validated targeting data can come from OTT publishers.

Tru Optik’s DMP has a household graph containing more than 75 million US households, tying together device IDs, street addresses, IP addresses and other data at a household level.

Swanston acknowledged that this means a publisher’s audience segment for males 18-34 means the device in question is in a household where one or more of those males live. It’s not possible to say exactly which household member is watching the show, he said, but household level targeting is common in TV. And, if it’s a Lifetime movie, the advertiser knows it’s unlikely to be that male 18-34.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Barry Levine
Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

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