Peacock's Home Commerce Play, New Audience Measurement and Data Initiatives Move Forward at NBCUniversal's One23 Conference

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New capabilities of NBCUniversal's One Platform advertising technology ecosystem, including several launching megacontent service Peacock into home commerce via TV and other revenue-generating platforms, were showcased in public Wednesday at the company's One23 gathering in New York.

What started three years ago as an NBCUniversal pre-Upfront presentation directed at ad tech developers has turned into a half-day conference attracting a variety of advertising, marketing and TV programming officials. Along with all the tech announcements, accompanied for the first time by breakout sessions offering deeper dives into them, One23 included a panel session with executive representatives of OpenAP's joint industry committee, working to generate a cohesive certification framework for transacting TV advertising and accurately measuring consumer reaction to ad campaigns. Participating companies besides NBCUniversal on the committee include Paramount, Omnicom Media Group, Havas Media, Warner Bros. Discovery and TelevisaUnivision.

"We're bringing these worlds of big media and big tech together with big data and big partnerships," declared Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal's Global Advertising and Partnerships Chairman, during her opening One23 remarks. "We're stacking up for quality content and quality measurement. We're finally moving away from a single measurement (source) and a broken system. A multi-currency system is inevitable and available."

Leading off the parade of Peacock developments: Must-Shop TV, where consumers will have the ability to order products on the spot that show up in various programs. Checkout, the transaction process NBCUniversal implemented last year on parent Comcast's Xfinity cable systems, will handle Must-Shop TV purchases. At first, viewers will have the option to use their voice remotes to trigger an order, or to scan a special QR code displayed on the screen. Peacock is expected to launch Must-Shop TV in the near future.

Watch With, another new Peacock-exclusive feature, will premiere in a few weeks when the second season of Bel-Airgets underway. At least one episode of season two will display reactions from the series' stars or production team during the show and give viewers the chance to ask questions of them live. Peacock will approach sponsors to partner up with individual Watch With events.

Beyond both Must Shop TV and Watch With, Peacock will introduce more interactive ad formats to its lineup of live sports content (such as a replayed highlight with a sponsor tag), create new virtual in-scene product placement through a collaboration with digital tech developer TripleLift, and offer Ad Manager, an easier way for small and mid-size national advertisers who use social media and/or search engines exclusively to create targeted, measurable campaigns via Peacock.

In the near future, NBCUniversal and MarketCast will introduce a content quality index, designed to incorporate the creative quality of content and advertising into audience measurement across linear and smart TV/device-distributed services. Kelly Abcarian, NBCUniversal's Executive Vice President of Measurement & Impact, invited attendees to crusade for cross-platform measurement practices that incorporate content quality. "Guys, we can't accept (the current environment)," she said. "We have to go beyond counting. The currency we've used for measurement will disappear. Change is coming no matter what. There is a difference, and now we can quantify it."

On the data front, NBCUniversal Chief Data Officer John Lee promised that by the end of March, advertisers will get ongoing access to a variety of first-party data breakdowns of consumer behavior among superfans across the entire spectrum of NBCUniversal services. The data will be assembled into thousands of specific consumer attributes. "New content, sponsorships and product placement campaigns can be tied in with these attributes," Lee said.

Executive after executive on the OpenAP panel called for more companies to enter the ad tech arena to stimulate innovations that lead to the kind of cross-platform transaction and viewer research process everyone can live with. "There's a ton of integration work that needs to happen," explained John Halley, Paramount's President of Advertising. "The scale has to work for everyone, or it doesn't work. There's a sense of urgency to attack this issue, with a timeline and a set of shared standards that get put in place."

"Competition will help innovation and bring down costs," added David Campanelli, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer at Horizon Media. "We also need consistency -- having a 40 million household base (to gauge viewing habits) versus a 40,000-household base."

Whatever system gets formulated must take into account communities of color and other unique demographics, urged TelevisaUnivision Executive Vice President of Business Development Sarah Squiers. "The current system is horrible," she asserted. "Representation is critical … a moral imperative. You have to include these lucrative consumers."

More ad agencies, media buying firms and TV programmers are expected to join OpenAP's committee, prior to April 25, when it is scheduled to make an in-person presentation of its own.

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