MTV Networks Taps Quantcast To Power Ad Targeting Efforts

With online ad spending slowly coming back from last year’s weakness, MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA) hopes to see a further boost in revenues by adding deeper ad targeting across its vast 200 websites. The Viacom unit has been testing a variety of audience monitors for most of the past year and it has struck a deal with Quantcast. Instead of just directing online ad buyers to simply buy inventory on Spike, Quantcast’s data will help drill down and segment out MTVN’s demos much more finely. While the two companies won’t discuss the financial aspects of their deal — or how long the contract is set for — it will certainly interest advertisers and other media companies in the process of trying to find the best way to reach online audiences.

Quantcast has sought to capitalize on the increasing desire for sophisticated audience measurements by launching its online ad targeting initiative, the Quantcast Media Program, in December. The company is enjoying a lot of attention lately as the entire online analytics space has been heating up. The current wave of M&A and funding activity among audience data providers hasn’t slowed down all year. Cisco (NSDQ: CSCO) recently made a big bet on Quantcast by leading the audience researcher’s large $27.5 million third round last month.

In addition to MTVN’s 200 owned-and-operated sites, Quantcast will also provide ad targeting across the company’s 240 Tribes blog network. According to Quantcast, the collective sites in MTVN Networks Digital drew 84 million unique users in January 2010. “One of our marketplace goals is to make advertisers and marketers aware of suite of solutions, and Quantcast adds a whole other dimension of what we can offer,” said Kevin Arrix, who was promoted to EVP, Digital Advertising Sales by MTVN in December. “Also, we’re the first major publisher to offer audience targeting across video. Audience targeting used to sit with the ad networks and portals, but as the Quantcast deal shows, that ability is moving upstream.”

Quantcast expects to add a number of other big publishers quickly. “For us, the MTVN partnership means that our publishers canvas 80 percent of the U.S. audience,” said Todd Teresi, Quantcast’s chief revenue officer, in an interview with paidContent. “Any advertiser can have reach through us. When I first joined 18 months ago, we had 15 of top 100 publishers. Now we have two-thirds of top pubs as ranked by revenue.