Fox, Turner and Viacom Team Up on New Audience Measurement Platform

Look out, Nielsen

Fox Networks Group, Turner and Viacom have joined forces on a new audience measurement platform, OpenAP.

OpenAP is the television industry’s first open platform for cross-publisher audience targeting and independent measurement, the unlikely alliance stated on Wednesday. Additional information about OpenAP will be provided at an April event hosted by all three companies.

TV’s big ad sales period — the upfronts — take place mostly in May.

The new Nielsen alternative (of sorts) announcement came in the midst of a multi-day reporting delay from the TV Ratings giant.

In addition to the temporary frustration networks must be feeling over the recent outage, Nielsen’s highly anticipated Total Audience metric, which is intended to count alternative platforms in addition to the traditional small-screen, has been bashed into submission — or at least, delay.

By the way, Nielsen had something to say about OpenAP:
“We strongly support the consortium’s efforts to create a clearinghouse to audit the audience-based advertising delivery of its members,” a spokesperson told TheWrap. “Nielsen’s gold standard data measures many, if not most, of these audience-based advertising guarantees. We support the consortium’s goals to give advertisers and agencies verified and audited reporting of delivery. This is an important part of what is needed to create openness and transparency in ad buying and selling. We look forward to cooperating and working with the consortium.”

Below is the full note the media-network groups jointly sent to the media today, which was signed by Fox Networks Group’s Joe Marchese, Turner’s Donna Speciale and Viacom’s Sean Moran.

The evolution of television has brought new advances in audience targeting across premium publishers, which is enabling advertisers and agencies to drive more efficiency and more effectiveness with their TV budgets. 

While demand for audience targeting has grown significantly, adoption has been limited by the fact that audience buying is not as transparent, as consistent and as easy as traditional guarantees. It doesn’t need to be that complicated. That changes today.

Today, we are proud to introduce OpenAP, television’s first-ever open audience platform. Founded by a consortium of television publishers and operated by a leading independent auditor, OpenAP will deliver cross-publisher targeting and independent measurement for advanced audiences. 

This means consistently defined audience targets can be activated across any OpenAP member publisher. It means truly independent measurement and reporting by design, not just reactive third party verification. It means an open platform that supports industry-standard measurement sources and data, not just proprietary, walled-garden, self-governed reporting. It is consistent matching for an advertiser’s custom first-party audiences in the development of cross-publisher media plans. 

OpenAP will be a single platform that agencies and advertisers can integrate with their own planning systems to activate advanced audience targeting and independent measurement within premium content. That premium content reaches 93% of all television audiences today, and we hope it will expand if additional publishers join OpenAP in the future. This consortium is a necessity to move our industry forward.

On Friday, April 7, the three of us will gather and share more information about OpenAP with agency, client and media influentials across our industry. We have never been more excited about the future of television and look forward to sharing more with all of you.