Blog Post

NBCU Unveils Audience-Based Ad Net

With display advertising making a comeback this year, local TV stations are trying to see if they can capitalize on the resurgence. On the heels of Yahoo’s recent display deals with Gannett’s and Media General’s local broadcast websites, NBCU is now covering its owned and operated stations with an in-house ad network, Mediaweek reports.

The NBCU ad net has been dubbed the Universal Audience Platform (UAP). It will be led by Nick Johnson, SVP, NBCU Digital Media Sales, who reports to Peter Naylor, EVP, NBCU Digital Media Sales.

The ad net will run display for 21 sites on an audience basis, across NBC.com, USANetwork.com, and its 10 local affiliates’ sites. UAP won’t cover all NBCU’s sites, and MSNBC.com, Weather.com, CNBC.com will all be outside of the network, at least for now. For the participating sites, NBCU will cut back on using outside ad nets to handle its remnant inventory.

As Mediaweek notes, one of the interesting aspects of NBCU’s new ad net is that it is focusing on audience-based targeting and on sales through demand-side platforms, which are employed by ad agencies who bid through exchanges. Both are hot trends in the ad space this year. By relying on audience-based sales and DSPs, NBCU can promise media buyers the transparency they demand, while preventing them from selectively buying individual sites within the network, which tends to bring in less overall money and can undercut the smaller web properties.