April 6, 2021

Content Object makes CTV buying more like TV

Your content metadata not only allows you to tap into readily available advertiser budgets, but can also increase the competition for your supply.

Every spring, TV executives gather with agency buyers and pitch their upcoming schedule of shows and programming to get advertising budget commitments. Typically, most linear TV inventory (70%) is reserved during these upfronts. Without getting into the nitty gritty of this whole process, the main point is this: advertisers know what they're buying on TV. They know the shows they're advertising on, the audiences they're reaching, and the budgets they've dedicated.

Connected TV is a slightly different story. The promise of CTV is the contextual relevance of TV, with the targeting precision of programmatic. In practice though, CTV buyers often come up short in both areas. While targeting will continue to be an ongoing challenge for the industry, Content Object is a solution to solve for contextual transparency today.

“PHD shares Verizon Media’s commitment to increased transparency,” says PHD’s Executive Director, Investment Activation, Brooke Abney. “Enabling more granularity and inventory details in the bid stream will unlock a number of benefits for clients including the ability to plan and measure linear and digital video more holistically.”

What is Content Object

Content Object is part of the OpenRTB spec that describes the content in which the ad will be displayed. There are over 25 attributes that describe details such as series (e.g., "Star Wars"), content titles ("A New Hope"), genre, content rating and more.

Content Object information available in the bid request informs buyers on what kinds of content their ads might run against. Buyers have started asking for this level of visibility to inform their buying strategy, now that top DSPs can report against this data. The revenue opportunity for publishers is significant, with over hundreds of millions of advertiser dollars looking to tap into Content Object rich supply on the Verizon Media Video Exchange alone.

The Road to Publisher Adoption

While many publishers have started passing Content Object data to buyers, some are still reticent. Cautious publishers often cite two primary concerns: user privacy and data protection.

Content Object and User Privacy

Sharing data relating to a user’s viewed video content may have privacy implications (e.g. the Video Privacy Protection Act).  Keeping such data fully segregated from Personally Identifiable Information (aka PII - data such as  usernames, emails, phone numbers, and addresses) is essential to ensuring compliance and reducing overall privacy risk. Verizon Media takes these measures seriously by employing technical processes, internal policies, and robust contractual “no re-identification” requirements on partners that mandate such data is never linked, combined, or merged with PII.

What this means for you:

Verizon Media protects publishers in two ways:

  1. We don't ingest or link viewed content data with any Personally Identifiable Information like email, name, phone number, account numbers, or user subscription / billing information.
  2. When collecting or  ingesting viewed content information by IP address, we match the IP addresses to (linked) pseudonymous identifiers, such as BID, SID, or IDFA / GPSID, or TV device ID (where permitted). These identifiers are never “re-identified” or linked to Personally Identifiable Information.

Content Object as proprietary data

We believe that greater transparency ultimately leads to more trust and better results across the advertising ecosystem, and we encourage publishers to make their content metadata available to all buyers. With that said, some publishers may be hesitant to share specific Content Object information like Series or Title in the open exchange. That's completely valid. However, there are still opportunities to take advantage of Content Object without exposing your content metadata to all buyers.

We work with publishers to create content targeted deals that enable buyers to broadly target across different Content Object attributes. We’ve found this approach helps publishers balance control over your data, while ensuring you don't miss out on potential revenue opportunities.

What does this mean for you?

If you have a library of premium content, enabling Content Object on your supply is a no brainer. Your content metadata not only allows you to tap into readily available advertiser budgets, but can also increase the competition for your supply as its value becomes evident to more buyers. Verizon Media makes it easy for you to take advantage of this opportunity in a privacy and proprietary data-friendly manner.

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