Project OAR Rolls Out Technologies in Market as Media Companies Gear up to Showcase Dynamic Ad Insertion at CES

With Consensus on Technical and Measurement Specifications, Software Updates Are Heading for VIZIO’s Smart TV Footprint, Major Ad Engine Integrations Have Started   

Project OAR, the consortium working to recommend standard protocols for TV programmers and platforms to easily manage, sell and deliver more relevant advertising experiences within linear and on-demand formats on smart TVs, announced a series of updates that put it on track to complete the first critical stages of its mission.

Ad Engine Integration: The consortium, which is comprised of America’s top television networks and operators, working with American smart TV company VIZIO, agreed on much of the technological specifications. The consortium also announced that it has begun implementing the technical integrations with TV’s major ad-delivery and enablement engines FreeWheel, Google Ad Manager, Xandr and INVIDI.

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Technology Deployments in Hardware: Founding member VIZIO has started pushing software and firmware updates to a footprint of over 13 million smart TVs across the U.S. that enable frame-accurate dynamic ad insertion. “We have effectively rolled out the hardest parts of dynamic advertising into the TV sets, and now members can work on building infrastructure for deploying, managing and selling dynamic ads,” says Zeev Neumeier, SVP of Technology at smart TV data company Inscape and leading provider of automatic content recognition (ACR) technologies. Inscape is leading the development of the standard along with engineers and executives across the media, technology and agency spectrum.

Measurement Specifications: Likewise, the Project OAR measurement subgroup, composed of large agencies and TV programmers, has completed the technical specifications for measurement of dynamic inventory. “The trick is not how we measure addressable inventory but how the addition of new measurement specifications can help to unify dynamic inventory with traditional linear ad exposures,” says Helen Katz, SVP, Director of Global Insights and Analytics for Publicis Groupe.

“We are excited about the progress we’ve made to advance the technical and measurement specifications; it speaks to the commitment everyone has to innovate experiences on behalf of brands and consumers,” said Laura Nelson, SVP, Advertising Solutions & Performance Advertising at Disney Advertising Sales.

“Transforming an industry requires a collective effort from all stakeholders, and we are excited to share progress on the consortium’s efforts over the past year. Our hope is that this lays the groundwork for a year where addressability across all platforms begins to standardize, unlocking new opportunities for advertisers and better viewing experiences for consumers,” said Dan Aversano, senior vice president of Ad Innovation and Programmatic Solutions, Ignite, WarnerMedia Ad Sales.

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Showcasing Technologies at CES: The dynamic ad insertion (DAI) technology will be on display by appointment only for brands, agencies and networks at CES 2020 in the VIZIO showroom at the Vdara Hotel, January 6th-8th. Comcast’s FreeWheel, Google Ad Manager and INVIDI will all have different demos alongside participating networks including AMC, CBS, FOX, NBC and WarnerMedia. Crystal, a division of LTN Global and key technology provider, will also be inside VIZIO’s showroom providing demos for local linear insertion with networks.

“The industry must deliver the scale that advertisers need to use addressable TV effectively. Project OAR is a great example of the industry rising up to meet this challenge and FreeWheel is proud to be a part of the solution,” said Dave Clark, General Manager of FreeWheel. “Whether an MVPD, programmer, smart TV manufacturer or technology provider, we will all benefit from making addressability happen.”

Each of the demos will highlight the ability to deliver targeted ads through addressable-enabled streaming, cable, satellite and telco video content networks to reach audiences regardless of where, when or how they choose to view television.

“This is an important milestone for Project OAR and the future of our business. CBS has been working with VIZIO and Crystal to validate and trial the OAR solution and we are excited to showcase the results of those efforts as a demo of addressable live national TV,” said Mike Dean, Senior Vice President, Advanced Advertising and Automation at CBS.

The demos will showcase advertising optimization across multiple television networks including WarnerMedia, Disney/ABC, NBCUniversal, CBS, Discovery, AMC Networks, and FOX. Participants will explain how to optimize ad inventory and enable unsold and underperforming inventory to be monetized. The demos will also highlight how the DAI technology can be used to target different demographics with relevant advertising content.

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“Project OAR members all worked hard to bring this to fruition. We’re excited to pull back the curtain and show the industry where TV advertising is headed,” said Dan Callahan, Senior Vice President, Audience Strategy and Innovation at Fox Corporation (FOX), which is making nearly all of its inventory optimizable across FS1, FS2, FOX News and FOX Business for the CES showcase.

“At Discovery, we pride ourselves on being an innovation leader across all areas of our business. We are thrilled to be a part of Project OAR, bringing addressable advertising to the marketplace,” said Keith Kazerman, EVP, Digital Sales, Advanced Advertising and Research. “Technology is at the forefront of our changing industry, making CES the ideal venue to showcase the advances being made in TV advertising.”

Through the collective work of the OAR consortium, media companies can increase the relevancy of advertising and improve linear viewing for consumers. “Addressable advertising is finally here. Working with the top networks and platform companies means we can help move the entire industry forward and enhance the TV experience for viewers at home,” says VIZIO Founder and Chief Executive, William Wang.

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