Aiming to further streamline its offerings for advertisers across its portfolio, ViacomCBS has set the launch of ViacomCBS EyeQ a platform billed as a “single transactional point of entry” to its digital video content.
Advertising reach across broadcast and cable television, streaming and digital video was a big part of why Viacom and CBS merged last December. ViacomCBS EyeQ, due to roll out this fall, unites assets like BET, CBS, CBS All Access, CBSN, CBS Sports HQ, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Network, Pluto TV and VH1. It lets buyers access a total viewing audience of 50 million full-episode monthly unique viewers in the U.S., and 150 million across all content and devices.
“The launch of EyeQ marks the arrival of one of the biggest premium video platforms in digital media,” ViacomCBS COO of Ad Revenue John Halley said in a press release. “We have consolidated a massive audience footprint that will deliver quality, scale, and capabilities that cannot be matched.”
David Lawenda, EVP of Digital Sales and Strategy, called EyeQ “game changing,” noting that 80% of full-episode viewing is “on the TV glass,” meaning via pay-TV systems or connected devices like smart TVs.”
The new initiative comes at a delicate time for the TV and digital advertising business as buyers and sellers navigate COVID-19 and accompanying economic jolts. On Thursday, ViacomCBS will report results for the April-to-June quarter and ad revenue is expected to decline markedly during the period. As advertisers even before the pandemic increasingly seek ways to target outcomes and incremental reach, EyeQ promises to deliver several ways for buyers to reach those goals. In a statement, ViacomCBS ad sales chief Jo Ann Ross said EyeQ is “exactly what the digital ad market has been asking for and sorely missing.”
In an interview with Deadline, Halley said buyers will more easily be able to invest in specific categories like sports, entertainment, kids, late-night or tentpoles like the Grammy Awards. They can also buy specific demographics regardless of where they are found across the company, or they can use advanced advertising tools like Vantage (originally known as Viacom Vantage).
ViacomCBS EyeQ will also use a new reporting infrastructure to provide more timely data and campaign guidance for advertisers as they track dollars and results across platforms. Also in the works are multiple solutions to measure the effectiveness of campaigns, including ad quality metrics, brand lift, attribution and social sentiment.
Lawenda told Deadline the new offering is the culmination of months of integration work by the ad troops overseen by Ross. “We knew that we were going to be big” as a combined company, he said, “but I don’t think either of us knew how big we really were.” At a time when “linear ratings are declining across broadcast and cable — it doesn’t matter who you are,” he added, efficiency is all the more crucial.
Added Halley, “We wanted to create a digital sales identity around all of this scale.”