Programmatic TV Firm AudienceXpress Inks Data Partnership With Rentrak

February 24, 2015 Mike Shields

Advertisers are starting to get a lot more options to target TV ads with better data.

The advertising technology firm AudienceXpress, which helps marketers buy TV ads from local cable systems and some national cable networks via a digital platform, has inked a deal with Rentrak that will enable these marketers to target more specific audiences with ads.

For example, using a blend of set-top data and and a variety of shopping data from Rentrak, car advertisers might be able to target ads to consumers who typically favor cars from their competitors, explained Bill Livek, Rentrak’s chief executive. Or political parties may be able to isolate specific voters who are deemed more persuadable in a given election, he said.

Of course, not all TV ad inventory can apply this level of targeting just yet. But AudienceXpress says it has access to local ad inventory from various cable and satellite providers, as well as a growing amount of national cable ad space that combine to let advertisers reach 100% of the country, said Walt Horstman, president of AudienceXpress.

While AudienceXpress had previously been able to help advertisers use some data in ad targeting, the new deal with Rentrak (which WPP just acquired a stake in) will provide brands with the richest, broadest set of data yet, Mr. Horstman said. That’s likely to satisfy more of those advertisers accustomed to weaving together rich data sets as part of their online advertising efforts.

Mr. Horstman said digital advertisers are already accustomed to mixing data sets for the purpose of targeting advertisers, and he likened Rentrak to a  ”data management platform,” or a company that helps brands mix and match data sets via software, typically in Web advertising.

“The industry needs this in TV, and Rentrak has all of the pieces,” he said.

From Rentrak’s perspective, Mr. Livek sees this deal as just the latest evidence of a trend toward more automated, precise ad buying that was born in digital and is quickly gaining interest in the TV world.

“CEOs, CMOs all have this relentless pursuit of productivity,” he said. “They need to cut costs and need better data and targeting. That’s why you’re seeing all these new automation platforms take hold.”

SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal CMO Blog

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