Disney struck a deal with Horizon Media that will look to help brands measure their online ads. The move puts Disney more deeply into ad tech, where marketers are looking for creative ways to measure ads in light of data-sharing restrictions across the internet.
The Mouse House is also “exploring a path to activation with The Trade Desk,” one of the prominent demand-side ad platforms that manages an ad network that connects online publishers to brands. Last year, The Trade Desk built a demand-side ad network with Walmart, which was another indication of how large retailers are also getting into online media services.
“This is the next step to deliver more efficient and successful media campaigns across the Disney footprint,” David Campanelli, executive VP and chief investment officer at Horizon Media, said in the announcement. “As the industry continues to move towards outcome-based buys, it’s paramount to have accurate measurement solutions built with integrity.”
Disney has been working on its advertising technology platform for more than a year. Last year, Disney launched a “clean room,” which is a data-sharing platform where marketing technology companies work with brands to analyze ad campaigns. Clean rooms are considered safer places to play with data because they encrypt the information and deploy other ways to mask it, so it does not leak. Disney has partnered with some of the biggest data companies to use its clean room, including Snowflake, InfoSum and Habu. Those companies work with brands to develop data assets, and brands can also bring their first-party data into the clean room in the computing cloud.
The clean room is where Horizon Media could help clients understand the measurement of their ads. It also can be used to develop audiences for targeting ads. Disney, like Walmart and others, is using its first-party data to help power the increasingly sophisticated ad platform, which is also helping to tap into advertising revenue.
“The next phase of Disney’s Clean Room will empower advertisers to leverage Disney Advertising’s proprietary audience graph for biddable opportunities,” Disney said in its announcement, “create audience insights and manage reach and frequency more effectively across platforms by creating interoperability with programmatic industry solutions.”
Disney runs a family of TV networks, websites and connected TV apps, including Hulu, ESPN+, FX and National Geographic. They are all streaming destinations for Disney to fill with ads.
On Wednesday, Disney also announced that it was expanding its self-serve advertising platform, which is a hub for marketers to set up their own campaigns to appear on sites like Hulu. Disney said it was going after more small- and medium-size businesses by partnering with independent ad agencies that specialize in local and performance advertising.