Streaming has become a top priority for the media company, especially in recent months as COVID-19 boosted streaming and wreaked havoc on theme parks, theatrical moviegoing and sports.
The Advertising Platforms team matches the unified structure of Disney Advertising Sales, which encompasses Hulu as well as broadcast, cable and digital platforms under the oversight of Rita Ferro. The new Platforms unit brings together existing workers from Hulu and DTCI’s Advertising Product and Technology groups to develop the strategies, technologies, tools and products for linear, streaming and digital advertising.
Helfand previously led all ad-tech and product innovation efforts at Hulu, which has become a significant player in ad-supported streaming, booking $1.5 billion in revenue in 2019.
“Advertising is a critically important aspect of Disney’s business, and the future of advertising requires a new level of viewer-first innovation powered by the industry’s most advanced TV ad platform,” said Aaron LaBerge, EVP and CTO of DTCI Technology. “Jeremy is an accomplished, business-focused technology leader, whose teams have turned great ideas into groundbreaking technologies and products. Under his leadership, Advertising Platforms will work hand-in-hand with Disney Advertising Sales to transform the advertising landscape and create a unified ad platform centered on end-to-end automation, data and measurement, and differentiated ad experiences.”
This combination of expertise and resources will allow the company to focus on key areas that will deliver value to brands in a converging linear and digital landscape, including (but not limited to):
The long-term development of a unified ad platform, along with to ongoing support for cross-platform offerings like Disney Hulu XP;
Expansion of viewer-first advertising experiences – including development of new formats that improve advertising for both viewers and brands across Disney media properties;
Advancing the automation of advertising with expansion of programmatic buying and selling platforms;
Leveraging data in smart, high-integrity ways to deliver consumer insights, expand addressability and ensure end-to-end attribution across media buys;
Increased accountability and return on investment for advertising clients.
A global team of nearly 3,500 technologists, DTCI Technology plays a central role in the future growth of The Walt Disney Company. The team of developers, data scientists, and engineers is responsible for the design, development and consumer experience of over 200 of The Walt Disney Company’s branded digital products (including ABC, ABC News, Disney, DisneyNow, ESPN, FX, Marvel, National Geographic, Star Wars and more), as well as large-scale technology platforms including advertising technology and products; data platforms; and worldwide digital and linear media distribution that connects The Walt Disney Company’s unmatched content to tens of millions of consumers around the world.
The creation of the new team comes on the heels of Disney’s consolidated upfront pitch to advertisers. Next week, Hulu will present virtually to digital ad buyers during the NewFronts.