Smart TV manufacturer Vizio has partnered with nine media and advertising companies to create what it hopes will be the industry standard for smart TVs to deliver targeted ads to households.

Called Project OAR (Open Addressable Ready), the aim, explained Jodie McAfee, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Inscape, a subsidiary of Vizio, is to define the technical standards for both TV programmers and platforms and to be able to deliver addressable advertising on WiFi-enabled TVs by the end of this year, with a full rollout in early 2020.

The partnership so far includes NBC Universal, CBS, Disney Media Networks, Discovery, AMC Networks and Turner, AT&T's Xandr, Comcast's FreeWheel and Hearst TV, plus Inscape, a division of Vizio, which will build the technology, Reuters reported.

Addressable advertising has long been seen as a potentially massive boost for TV advertising, but after years of attempts to improve the process of delivering ads that target individual households, progress has been slow, and delivery is inefficient.

Such ads are currently available in around 70 million homes in the US, and the ad revenue market is estimated at around $2 billion, according to eMarketer, although this figure has been challenged. Certainly, it’s only a small fraction of the $70 billion US TV advertising market.

Since TVs don’t have cookies, which are used by internet browsers to track web users and serve them bespoke ads, TV makers have, up to now, tried various technologies and standards in an attempt to find a workable solution

“It creates a level of complication for (TV networks), and scale is critical,” McAfee told Reuters.

There have also been privacy concerns, with fears the data collected could be misused, or that smart TVs could be accessed by hackers, all of which will also need to be addressed by Project OAR.

The project is designed to be open sourced, so any internet-connected TV manufacturer can use it, McAfee explained; there are already ongoing discussions with several other TV makers.

“The only way this really works is if there is a direct relationship between the publishers and OEMs [original equipment manufacturers],” he stated.

The solution also has to be flexible enough to work with whatever ad technology publishers are using, such as FreeWheel or Google, he added.

Sourced from Reuters; additional content by WARC staff