Adobe Aims to Level Planning Playing Field for Digital TV Sellers

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TV ad buyers have state-of-the-art toolboxes, assisting them in negotiating deals for cross-platform audience-based media buys. Adobe argues that on the flipside, the tools used by media sellers are rusty -- and that Adobe can help.

The company has introduced a TV Media Management platform for audience-based planning, forecasting, and yield management in digital, non-linear TV systems such as Roku, Apple TV and gaming consoles.

"You need a tool that can factor all those dimensions in," said Jonathan Tabak, group product manager at Primetime at Adobe.

The system, made available last week but announced today, incorporates cross-platform viewership data from Adobe Analytics, which works with clients including FOX, Comcast, NBC Sports, ESPN, Turner Broadcasting, MLB and Viacom.

In a typical scenario, a media seller might need to know how an ad client's desired audience overlaps with particular TV shows. The seller might import data from an advertiser brand, overlay that data with show viewer data in Adobe Analytics, and add in other requirements such as preferred device types or geographic targets. From there, the platform predicts the amount of impressions expected to be available during the planned campaign run.

"The forecasting algorithm was built with audience in mind," said Mr. Tabak.

It will also assist media sellers in forecasting inventory availability when juggling multiple advertiser requests, to better determine guarantees to ad buyers and their agencies.

The system can present that forecasting data in Nielsen or Comscore audience segment terminology, and factor in spikes in viewing that may warrant higher prices. It can also incorporate third-party data from data management platforms.

The new platform works in conjunction with the Adobe Primetime system for multiscreen TV content and ad delivery used by clients including NBC Sports, CNN and Time Warner Cable. It was built in-house by Adobe specifically for the purpose of managing digital TV inventory on the seemingly endless array of connected and streaming TV offerings, rather than being repurposed from display ad and video ad platforms.

Integrating linear TV data and management capabilities is a long-term goal for the platform, said Campbell Foster, director of product marketing for Adobe Primetime.