AMC, WE TV Set Deal With Comcast, Charter And Cox For Addressable Ads In Each Hour Of Original Programming In 2022

Better Call Saul
Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television

AMC Networks has set a deal with major cable providers Comcast, Charter and Cox for addressable ads to be shown in each hour of original programming on AMC and WE tv in 2022.

The agreement is a significant step forward for the pay-TV business, which has sought for years to roll out addressable technology at scale. Comcast, Charter and Cox have a combined reach into 35 million U.S. households. In keeping with fast-growing digital advertising, linear TV addressability means that individual viewers and households are shown specific ads based on a range of data points beyond age and gender. The experience is unlike mass-viewing events like the Super Bowl, where rates are high because more than 100 million people are watching the same ads. The aim of targeting different ads to different people is to make the product pitches more relevant and therefore keep viewers more engaged.

Canoe Ventures, a technology and services company that enables advertising in VOD and linear addressable TV, helped broker the deal.

Across the industry landscape, addressable ads represent just a single-digit percentage of overall inventory in the $60 billion-plus TV ad business. Even though linear ratings have been slipping as the pay-TV bundle shrinks, demand for TV as a reach vehicle remains robust among advertisers. Rolling out addressable technology, proponents say, will help traditional linear TV maintain its revenue-generating capability even as streaming continues to be the focus for media companies. AMC Networks itself has projected that its portfolio of niche streaming services will be the top contributor to its overall revenue by 2025.

Amazon was identified as the first advertiser to participate in the program, making a full-year commitment to AMC Networks. The tech giant, which is in the midst of a major surge in spending on marketing, especially of Prime Video, has bought spots on a number of shows, including the final seasons of cornerstone AMC series The Walking Dead and Better Call Saul.

Plans call for three ad slots in each hour of originals to be fully addressable during the course of this year. Data firm 605 will handle attribution for the program, tracking and measuring the results for AMC as the campaign progresses.

On the company’s quarterly earnings call on Wednesday, interim CEO Matt Blank declared 2022 to be the biggest year of original programming in the company’s history. In addition to Walking Dead and Saul, returning shows will include Gangs of London, Kevin Can F**K Himself and Fear the Walking Dead. New original series will include 61st Street, Dark Winds, Moonhaven, Tales of the Walking Dead, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire and Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches.

“We are meeting that moment with the most valuable and relevant ads that have ever been possible on linear television, fully addressable spots reaching tens of millions of homes in every hour of original programming on AMC and WE tv,” said Evan Adlman, SVP of advanced advertising and digital partnerships for AMC Networks. “This is the culmination of years of work and planning, building most recently on the first national addressable campaigns we ran in partnership with Canoe in late 2020 and earlier this year.”

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