NBCUniversal expands ad tech offerings, lands retail partnership with Facebook

The media giant detailed its data-driven plan at its inaugural One21 developer conference.

NBCUniversal is launching new technology capabilities for One Platform, the media company’s one-stop shop for marketers to purchase ads across its portfolio. 

One Platform, which launched in 2020, now has new tools for audience data, personalization and privacy, NBCU said during its inaugural One21 ad-tech developer conference on Monday. One platform offers marketers access to 230 million U.S. consumers on programming spanning 14 networks across linear, connected TV and more than 300 digital venues. 

"If there is anything that 2020 has taught us, it's that the behavioral change that we were watching and building for — that change accelerated and is here to stay," said Linda Yaccarino, chairman of global advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal at the event. 

As part of its plans, NBCU is prepping for a post-cookie world, following Apple and Google’s plans to eliminate third-party identifiers. The company has launched an NBCU ID, which will track first-party data across its networks, streaming platforms, apps, Fandango, Vudu and Rotten Tomatoes, to create a custom profile that brands can use to measure ad campaigns against individuals.  

The media giant also created NBC Audience Insights Hub, a privacy-friendly tool for advertisers to track the performance of their ads across its platforms.  

Described as a data “clean room,” the environment will allow advertisers to run restricted, permission-required queries across NBCU’s first party data and the brand’s own first-party data without exposing personally identifiable information.  

The audience hub also gives buyers access to NBCU’s linear and digital audience data in a self-serve capacity for the first time, as well as the ability to measure cross-platform attribution. 

The audience hub is built on Snowflake and is integrated with TV measurement firm VideoAmp to troubleshoot for frequency capping, or when people repeatedly see the same ads, which has become a major issue on CTV. 

NBCU also plans to sell ads programmatically on its streaming platform, Peacock, later this year. In preparation, the company has expanded its partnership with The Trade Desk to make more inventory available through its demand-side platform. NBCU also announced new partnerships with sister company Comcast’s Freewheel to automate and optimize delivery, and Mediaocean and Operative to improve and automate the digital RFP process. 

According to Variety, NBCU is seeking equal pricing for Peacock and primetime TV ads. 

Get in, we’re going shopping 

In addition to making its media assets easier to buy and measure, NBCU has been on a commerce kick lately. The media giant launched One Platform Commerce in November, an initiative to integrate shoppable ads with its content through a partnership with PayPal. 

One Platform Commerce is now expanding to Facebook and Instagram as social commerce takes off, Shoppable content will be available across photo and videos with an emphasis on content from NBCU stars and shows.  

Since its launch in November, One Platform Commerce has doubled its network to more than 100 retail partners.

“People want to shop from brands and creators they love,” said Gene Alston, VP of commerce business and operations at Facebook. “We’re excited to work with NBCUniversal to bring new commerce experiences to Facebook and Instagram, so that fans can shop the content, products and stories that matter most to them.”

While it’s still not totally clear how many people want to purchase products from their TV screens, expanding shoppable ads to streaming is a great way to engage new consumers, according to Josh Feldman, global CMO of NBCUniversal’s ad-sales division.

“This is a brand new opportunity for retailers to sell their products in places where our most passionate fans are going,” he said. “For instance, our Real Housewives fans are on our Bravo social platforms all the time. We can tie commerce opportunities in a very turnkey, unique way through this partnership.”

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