Project OAR, or Open Addressable Ready, is a technology consortium created to deliver better advertising experiences to viewers through the use of dynamic advertising on internet-connected televisions and other devices. Founding members include major American television networks. The group aims to provide technical specifications and best practices for selling, targeting and measuring television advertising and is open to programming providers and device manufacturers. So far smart television company Vizio is the only manufacturer involved, with development led by its content recognition subsidiary Inscape.
Branded Project OAR, for Open Addressable Ready, the consortium is working to define technical standards for television programmers and platforms to deliver more relevant advertising experiences within linear and on-demand formats on smart televisions.
The aim is to enable programmers or distributors that have advertising inventory to monetize every television impression through segment-based audience targets and addressable insertion.
Launch partners are: Disney’s Media Networks, which includes ABC and ESPN, with CBS, NBCUniversal, AMC Networks, Discovery, Turner, Hearst Television, Comcast’s FreeWheel, and AT&T’s Xandr, together with VIZIO and Inscape.
“TV programmers reach a massive and passionate audience, but have lacked the precision targeting of digital,” said Mike Dean, who runs advanced advertising and automation at CBS. “Through OAR, CBS will combine relevance with our reach to deliver a better experience to our viewers and better ROI for our advertisers.”
“Comcast NBCUniversal is committed to an open standard for addressable advertising,” said Denise Colella, who is responsible for advanced advertising products and strategy at NBCUniversal. “We look forward to continuing our investment in furthering the industry’s capabilities by joining Project OAR to establish a streamlined, consistent ad buying experience for advertisers while ensuring a relevant and engaging ad experience for consumers.”
With OAR, media companies can deliver ads that are relevant to the household and, more importantly, improve the linear viewing experience for consumers. “We all recognize the most important goal of this initiative is to drastically enhance the TV experience for people at home,” said VIZIO founder and chief executive, William Wang.
The technology will be developed by Inscape, the automatic content recognition data company owned by VIZIO.
“The standard will define the baseline for ad delivery, impression verification and privacy compliance, but networks will have plenty of room to create unique and enriched advertising experiences. We are making this flexible enough to enable interactivity and other bells and whistles that have yet to be imagined,” said Jodie McAfee, who is responsible for sales and marketing at Inscape.
The consortium has the initial guarantee from VIZIO that once the standard is developed it can be deployed on its opt-in footprint of connected TVs, though the protocol will be open and designed to enable any internet-connected TV maker and connected-device company to leverage it.
“Project OAR aligns well with FreeWheel’s objective of supporting the industry to deliver scalable, addressable advertising solutions that will help make television an even more valuable platform for brand marketers. Bringing an addressability standard to Smart TVs nicely complements solutions already available from MVPDs,” said Dave Clark, the general manager of FreeWheel, a Comcast company.
It is not clear how the advertising will be measured. Nielsen, which provides audience data, recently formed an Advanced Video Advertising unit, having acquired Sorenson Media.