Cable and Broadcast

TV Networks Offer New Options for Buying and Tracking TV Ads

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Cable and broadcast TV networks are reimagining how they program and sell ads to marketers this year, as consumers continue to experiment and embrace streaming digital video options.

For example, the network formerly known as ABC Family, now identified as Freeform, is making its first foray into late-night, introducing a fan festival, creating short-form content and revamping its app to become a more robust hub for content and social interactions. Freeform is expanding its digital platform with more live and on-demand content, short-form video, fan contributions and social conversations. Over time, the new offering will give the audience choice and control over how and when they consume content, allow them to binge and stream, customize playlists of their favorite episodes and scenes, interact with advertising and even be a part of the development process.

Freeform is working with distributors to make the process for accessing its apps easier and include a deeper library of content. Similar to other cable channels, Freeform is also exploring ways to make advertising less interruptive and more customizable.

Meanwhile, Discovery Communications has made a number of fundamental changes in how it will transact business with its advertisers. Not only has the company merged its linear TV and digital ad sales units, but it also has developed a new custom marketing platform designed to optimize clients' investments across the Discovery portfolio of brands.

And Comcast's NBC Universal is the latest TV group ready to do business without relying on traditional Nielsen metrics. During this year's upfront ad haggle the company is offering certain marketers the opportunity to buy audiences against more specific data points beyond age and gender, said Mike Rosen, exec VP-advertising sales, news and Hispanics groups at NBC Universal, which owns networks including Bravo, USA Network, E! and SyFy in addition to NBC.

Through its Audience Targeting Platform, NBCU will fully guarantee targeted delivery of highly specified audiences, such as households with an income over $100,000 and a car lease set to expire in six months, for example. Just as it does with Nielsen metrics, NBCU will offer makegoods for any shortfalls.

If you are looking for opportunities to try a new approach to TV advertising this year, turn to Look Book to find partners who can help.

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