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Top media companies team up for “Project OAR”, to advance targeted ads on smart TVs

TV’s Biggest Media Companies—including Disney, AT&T, Comcast, Discovery, Hearst, Turner, NBCUniversal, CBS, and AMC—have come together to join the Vizio-led addressable TV advertising consortium, Project OAR.

According to news provided by Vizio, Inc., Project OAR—which stands for “Open Addressable Ready”— is a consortium working to define technical standards for TV programmers and platforms to deliver more relevant advertising experiences within linear and on-demand formats on smart TVs.

Project OAR will allow ad-inventory owners—whether programmers or distributors—the technical ability to better monetize TV impressions through segment-based audience targeting and addressable insertions.

Addressable TV advertising, Google describes, is the ability to show different ads to different households while they are watching the same program. With the help of addressable advertising, advertisers can move beyond large-scale traditional TV ad buys, to focus on relevance and impact.

“TV programmers reach a massive and passionate audience, but have lacked the precision targeting of digital,” said Mike Dean, Senior Vice President, Advanced Advertising and Automation at CBS. “Through OAR, CBS will combine relevance with our reach to deliver a better experience to our viewers and better ROI for our advertisers.”

Project OAR—the latest collaborative effort from a historically competitive industry—will help create and implement a technology standard to make it easier for networks to send targeted ads to people with smart TVs. It’s expected to make the ad-supply chain more efficient, giving audiences advertising content they are more likely to watch and enjoy.

“We’re going to build an open standard to the member’s specs, and then we’re going to give it to everybody,” said Jodie McAfee, SVP of Vizio-owned Inscape, which is developing the technology for the new standard. “Everybody’s at least adopted that baseline standard, which creates scale, but it’s flexible scale.”

With OAR, media companies would be able to deliver ads that are relevant to the household and, more importantly, improve the linear viewing experience for consumers. “We all recognize the most important goal of this initiative is to drastically enhance the TV experience for people at home,” said Vizio Founder and Chief Executive Officer, William Wang.

TV networks are increasingly joining forces to compete with the digital ad giants and give marketers another viable option to effectively reach their increasingly elusive target audience.

A different consortium of publishers has come up with a separate audience platform, called OpenAP, to deliver cross-publisher targeting and independent posting for advanced audiences. Some other advanced TV ad buying efforts are also in the works, including NCC Media, backed by cable giants like Cox Communications Inc. and Charter Communications Inc.

Project OAR is expected to have a working product ready by Spring 2019, and finish its work on the technology by next year, with full deployment targeted for early 2020.

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