The advances of addressable TV continue apace, as the data company Nielsen unveils seven major media firms that will join the beta version of its addressable TV ad platform; the firm’s sway indicates that advertisers will have to start thinking seriously about strategies for addressable ads at scale.

First announced on Nielsen’s website, as part of the test, programmers will use Nielsen’s addressable tools to manage inventory, campaigns, and to measure their effects with a handful of brand partners that will test the new format. According to the magazine’s report, participating networks include A+E Networks, AMC, CBS, Discovery, Fox, NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia.

Full capabilities up for review include ad inventory and campaign management, audience targeting, ad decisioning, dynamic ad replacement, and C3/C7 measurement reconciliation (which is effectively a way of calculating audiences across live, near-live, and on-demand).

Bringing TV advertising into a digital format requires new skills, and the beta version is phased accordingly, with the first segment dedicated to helping programmers get comfortable with the tech before segueing into a limited consumer environment in which to test actual campaigns.

A more than decade-long dream of more dynamic – and, so the theory goes, less wasteful – TV advertising, Nielsen’s sway in the industry is widely expected to push toward a moment in which every moment of every ad segment will be addressable. Networks believe this will not only make their offer more efficient for clients but should provide a more effective way of making more money from programming by being able to talk to more audiences more specifically.

“As programmers take on the challenge of unlocking the value of their 14 minutes per hour of advertising time, they require solutions to manage complex addressability workflows,” said Kelly Abcarian, General Manager, Advanced Video Advertising at Nielsen.

Though most major networks have been making some kind of movement in the space, Nielsen’s industry-wide position will help to standardise and benchmark the format. Most recently, Comcast’s NBCUniversal announced a new platform that offers a single ad technology through which to buy both TV and digital placements ahead of its broadcast rights to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics this year, indicating appetite for digital convergence at both a company and industry level.

Despite the excitement of greater efficiency in TV spending, it is crucial that advertisers and publishers do not lose sight of what makes TV powerful: namely, its ability to build fame and signal that a brand is willing and able to pay for mass reach.

Sourced from Nielsen, WARC, Wall Street Journal