NYI's Jason Swartz on Connecting Everything from TV to YouTube to Reach the Right Consumers

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Cover image for  article: NYI's Jason Swartz on Connecting Everything from TV to YouTube to Reach the Right Consumers

Even as on-demand viewing and consumer options multiply exponentially, and marketers' strategies evolve to align with this fragmented world, linear TV remains a staple. New York Interconnect (NYI) — a joint venture of Altice, Charter, and Comcast — is also evolving to address this dichotomous new reality. This includes offering brands and agencies its Audience One product, which targets New York–market audiences across all screens by bundling multiple media platforms, such as linear TV, household addressable TV, OTT, and, as of this month, contextual video.

Jason Swartz, NYI's vice president of advanced advertising, new business, and national sales, explains that Audience One is a true pioneer in audience-based buying. He believes this innovative platform makes it easy for brands to reach New York–area audiences who watch a lot of television, but perhaps through various platforms. In a recent conversation with MediaVillage, Swartz explains how it all works.

It's essential for NYI to keep up with how people are consuming media given the swath of viewer inventory it represents, which, according to Swartz is "six and a half million households — with 17 million consumers and more than 32 million devices; platforms are diverse and brands need a variety of tactics to reach them."

As such, the six "pillars" to the Audience One platform (linear TV, addressable TV, live streaming/OTT, set-top box VOD, local news, and contextual video,) are all targetable. "We integrate every product to reach the right consumers, wherever they're watching, giving marketers a seamless approach to media planning," Swartz says. "And we build campaigns with an eye towards deterministic attribution, so we can be sure that every campaign delivers the audience it was designed for."

All that customization is supported by specialists in each component product who ensure that brands and agencies can create complex television campaigns with confidence and ease. Swartz says his colleagues are focused on the audience each advertiser is targeting. "We can apply that target to each of the media types included in Audience One, and we can weigh them all appropriately," he says. "We use inventory in the most effective way possible for each individual campaign."

For Swartz, the data and research available through set-top box data and third-party firms means brands trying to balance their frequency and effectiveness across national and regional audiences are well-served. "Some brands might have consumer data or reward-card data that they want to use to target messaging or determine who actually saw an ad and made a purchase," he explains. "Audience One makes that possible."

For clients, that flexibility means it's possible to coordinate audiences between national and regional campaigns. The NYI team works closely with partners such as Effectv and Spectrum Reach and national rep firm Ampersand. For addressable campaigns, NYI partners with Xandr, which represents a4's addressable inventory nationally. If, however, an advertiser will be better served by inventory from only one of those partners, says Swartz, NYI will "throw that campaign over the fence" to them to ensure that the advertising buyer gets the audience they need.

NYI's newest impression-delivery platform is contextual video through YouTube, and Swartz touts its benefits because NYI only works with the top 5 percent of YouTube inventory. "Whether it's studio content or user-created content, like the make-up application videos [that] people like my wife love so much, there's premium content there that will work well for our clients and can be included — with one CPM — as part of a television campaign." This includes transparent pricing across a campaign.

This cross-platform offering is especially valuable because TV remains a staple even as other platforms proliferate. "As cool and newsworthy as our new tools are…, linear TV is what keeps everything moving here," says Swartz. "It's so important to our clients — no matter what changes we're seeing in viewing, no matter how great it is that we can target and eliminate waste and do one-to-one messaging, our clients want reach and only linear offers that."

But most of all, they want ROI. "I remember being a media planner and the mandate was always to deliver a plan that we could prove worked. For advertisers, it's not really about how many rating points or impressions get delivered. It's about results, like how many cars got sold. TV does that and Audience One makes it even better."

Swartz's pride in what NYI has put together is palpable: "We're proud of what we've accomplished with Audience One. Our ability to be innovative and aggressive in such a short period of time is a testament to our dedication to giving clients what they're looking for — and what they deserve."

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