AT&T Improves Its Addressable TV Chops With Invidi Investment

addressAT&T now has controlling interest in addressable TV platform Invidi, following an investment the telco giant revealed Monday. The exact amount was undisclosed.

Prior investor WPP and Dish Network also participated.

Although Invidi will remain independent, AT&T, Dish and WPP have collective ownership.

An AT&T spokesperson said the telco sees “opportunity for continued expansion in areas like digital and mobile, in addition to linear video.” AT&T, which made waves recently with its intent to acquire Time Warner, declined to comment further on Invidi until the deal closes.

Invidi, whose clients include DirecTV, Cox and Verizon, deepens AT&T’s addressable TV targeting capability, as it enables dynamic ad insertion in set-top boxes.

Invidi helps cable providers and advertisers target households based on demographic and psychographic information in addition to overlaying their own first-party data. It then helps them measure the effectiveness of their campaigns on an impression level.

AT&T and Dish also used Invidi prior to the investment. It powered D2 Media Sales, a joint venture between Dish Network and DirecTV, that did addressable TV targeting for political advertisers.

But Invidi’s capabilities are particularly valuable not because of its addressability but because it can log audience fulfillment at the set-top box level, said Randy Cooke, VP of programmatic TV at SpotX. 

“Every intersection of content and audience takes on an opportunity cost that doesn’t exist within the traditional TV business model,” he added.

Invidi will also improve online content distribution and make Dish and AT&T/DirecTV’s legacy satellite distribution businesses more “interoperable” with newer ad formats, Cooke said.

Invidi can also help suppliers aggregate local cable inventory into an age and gender rating on par with broadcast TV spots, according to research firm BIA Kelsey.

“This [deal] effectively streamlines AT&T’s and Dish’s aggregation business, which have both been operating on some variation of Invidi’s platform for several years,” Cooke added.

For AT&T, Invidi represents another investment in data and addressability.

AT&T AdWorks’ president, Rick Welday, recently told AdExchanger that beyond AT&T’s ability to serve addressable TV ads to 14 million households across 30 million devices, AT&T will “continue to improve our addressable, cross-screen offering.”

Invidi’s primary competitor is Visible World, an addressable TV ad platform owned by Comcast.

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