NEW YORK: Samsung, the consumer electronics firm, is reported to be preparing to launch an addressable ad product for broadcast TV, in what would be an industry first.

According to Ad Exchanger, "Samsung will serve addressable ads through its smart TVs, similar to how DirecTV, Comcast and Dish do so via satellite or set-top box devices", with media-owner partners Hearst and Sinclair supplying inventory.

"We would start to see personalized ad spots overlaid on generic Sinclair local TV ad spots," said a source with knowledge of the company.

"Bringing addressable television through a smart TV on broadcast inventory… has never been done before," said Michael Bologna, president of Modi, GroupM's advanced TV agency. "Currently all of the addressable stuff is done through the cable box using cable inventory.

"Samsung is now competing with AT&T, Comcast and Dish," he added. "Compared to other OTT players [like Roku], yes, they bring more scale. But we're talking about addressability in broadcast television."

Samsung's scale is not insignificant – it has sold 20m smart TVs in the US and 50m globally and commands a 28.5% share of the smartphone market, making cross-screen campaigns possible.

Indeed, while the current linear addressable program is in beta, Ad Exchanger noted that its sources had seen AdGear/Samsung tags in their network – an indication that some cross-screen campaigns could already be live.

It's an area of growing interest. Last month AT&T announced it was expanding its cross-screen addressable ad offering, giving advertisers the ability to serve their target audiences with more precision across nearly 14m addressable TV households as well as 30m mobile devices.

It claimed that advertisers "will be able to deliver ads in approximately 70 live channels via our pay-TV app, including live sports and news content".

Ad Exchanger also noted that Samsung's presence in this market could help boost measurement standards.

"We know Sinclair and other TV station groups [such as Hearst and Tribune] have been unhappy about a lack of ratings for the local stations from Nielsen and Rentrak," its source explained.

"So there is the possibility they need someone with scale to come in and help them with data to measure and justify the value local ads they sell."

Data sourced from Ad Exchanger, AT&T; additional content by Warc staff