In the US, media and ad tech firm Comcast Corporation has partnered with cabling and connectivity giant Charter Communications, Inc. and broadcaster ViacomCBS in ownership of Blockgraph, a software platform promising more secure use and sharing of aggregated and anonymized data.
The three firms are equal partners in Blockgraph, which was first launched in 2017 and has been incubated until now within Comcast Advertising's technology unit, FreeWheel. The two new partners were early supporters of the initiative, which has been aiming for such a JV structure from the beginning, Comcast said. Jason Manningham, previously GM of Blockgraph under FreeWheel, will lead the new JV as CEO.
The JV aims to change how audience data is used for advanced TV and premium video advertising, a booming market in the US. Blockgraph allows media companies to analyse data from across their collective platforms without relying exclusively on third parties, matching their data directly with a marketer's first-party data, and passing it to ad management platforms without exclusive reliance on third parties. Comcast's NBCUniversal is currently integrating the blockchain-based technology into its advanced advertising platform AdSmart, which matches third-party consumer behavioral data and marketers' first-party data to cross-device video usage data including set-top-box viewing, pay TV subscriber data and device IDs.
Marcien Jenckes, President, Comcast Advertising comments: 'When we began to develop Blockgraph several years ago, we knew that the ability to apply data-driven insights to all media, including TV, in a way that protected privacy, was going to be hugely important to the future of our industry. Now, some three years later, that couldn't be truer, and the alternative that Blockgraph offers could not be more valuable. We are thrilled to partner with ViacomCBS and Charter as we continue to roll out Blockgraph and look forward to working with new partners and customers in the months ahead as platform adoption grows'.
Manningham says the JV comes at an inflection point for the industry, with marketers looking for new ways to maximize advertising investments and measure results across screens; and publishers and distributors looking for ways to differentiate their content and media through data. He adds: 'Data connectivity, control and secure enablement are at the center of it all, and that's what Blockgraph provides'.
ViacomCBS COO and EVP John Halley comments: 'Data confidentiality is a necessity for addressable advertising to work at scale. Blockgraph is a platform that will make that easy to implement'.
Web site: www.comcast.com .
All articles 2006-20 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.