In its first NewFronts presentation, NBCUniversal laid out its multi-platform ad strategy and revealed new initiatives like an ad unit on Peacock that lets brands reach a broad audience at a certain time regardless of what they are watching.
The company also detailed new dynamic ad insertion and contextual ad offerings during the virtual event, which capped this year’s four-day blitz of NewFronts. NBCU will present during its traditional upfront slot on Monday, May 17.
The One Digital Video offering, which recently got a boost at the company’s One21 event earlier this spring, weaves together linear broadcast and cable networks with digital, social and streaming. Advertisers can reach 200 million potential customers across a wide range of access points.
Since launching in April 2020, Peacock has elicited 42 million sign-ups, one-third of them active monthly viewers, according to Comcast and NBCU execs. The new ad format on Peacock, called Spotlight, emulates the scale of programs on broadcast outlets like NBC, only in the more data-centric environment of streaming. It allows advertisers to choose a specific timeslot on Peacock and, within those hours, all Peacock viewers will see spots from that brand regardless of what they are watching.
Rates for ads on Peacock have exceeded those for NBC recently. The inventory on Peacock, which had been limited to a select roster of launch partners in 2020, is part of the company’s upfront offerings and is open to the general marketplace.
In addition to Spotlight, the company said it is expanding its digital and streaming capabilities with live, linear dynamic ad insertion on virtual MVPDs and contextual advertising capabilities.
Virtual MVPDs like AT&T TV Now, Fubo TV, Hulu Live, Sling and YouTube TV are part of the DAI offering. Long prized by buyers and sellers alike but a tiny percentage of the traditional bundle, DAI enables specific products to be pitched seasonally or with certain seasonality. Makers of snow tires, for example, could take advantage of coverage of a heavy blizzard by quickly adding more spots.
One Digital Video will make the dynamic spots available on CNBC, MSNBC, Oxygen, SYFY, and USA Network in the initial phase of the effort, which is already live in some places and will roll out through 2022.
NBCU said connected-TV growth has boosted viewing of NBCU networks on vMVPDs by more than 50% year-over-year.
As media companies continue to look for alternatives to traditional Nielsen demographic basics, they are looking for a broader set of data points. Later this year, NBCU will expand its Contextual Intelligence to One Digital Video and Peacock.
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