Home Digital TV and Video In Buying Visible World, Comcast Exerts More Influence On The Demand Side

In Buying Visible World, Comcast Exerts More Influence On The Demand Side

SHARE:

PipeComcast’s plan to acquire Visible World, announced late Thursday, will deepen its addressable TV prowess, but the real target might be Visible World subsidiary AudienceXpress and its burgeoning buy-side dealings.

Comcast’s inheritance of AudienceXpress, which provides provides digital workflow automation for the buying and selling of linear TV ads, could reduce the media giant’s reliance on third-party systems for monetizing unsold local inventory.

“Ultimately, that might be the biggest driver of this deal,” said Simulmedia founder and CEO Dave Morgan.

AudienceXpress has courted demand-side partners like Turn and TubeMogul over the past year, supplying access to inventory from 80 ad-insertable cable networks. If the acquisition goes through, Comcast could inch closer to the programmatic video demand side.

And 15-year-old Visible World brings value beyond AudienceXpress through its core offering as well. It was an early entrant into addressable TV advertising and claims access to 90% of domestic cable TV households.

Its platform helps many cable operators and multichannel video programming distributors from Cox Communications to Cablevision target ads via set-top boxes. 

“As a company with technology that powers linear TV ad versioning, Visible World complements [Comcast’s] FreeWheel division, which powers digital video advertising for large companies,” said Morgan. “There is no question that all of the major TV players – from network groups to distribution platforms like Comcast – will gain competitive advantage over time by having their own complete TV/digital video ad technologies.”

Since acquiring video ad server FreeWheel in March 2014, Comcast has built a platform services group to manage advanced advertising initiatives for its own portfolio (NBCUniversal on the national side, Comcast SpotLight for local) as well as technologies for the greater ecosystem.

Comcast’s advanced ad development may be broken down into four parts: linear TV, linear-addressable TV (which provides data-enabled targeting at the household level), set-top box/video on demand and digital, which includes TV Everywhere apps, mobile and browser-based advertising.

Comcast is evaluating ways it can augment insights from set-top box data to power advertising in video on demand and, in turn, improve sequencing of messages across online video, mobile and TV Everywhere apps.

That strategy continues to be a point of contention for Comcast, which has ignited regulatory concerns whether its set-top box data creates an unfair advantage for its networks’ cross-platform sales efforts.

Subscribe

AdExchanger Daily

Get our editors’ roundup delivered to your inbox every weekday.

Programmers expressed similar complaints, claiming Comcast asks for digital content licensing rights alongside linear negotiations at equal or higher rates than other video distributors. Comcast’s $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable crumbled in April, citing regulatory disapproval.

Visible World founder and CEO Seth Haberman noted in a blog post that Visible World would remain an independent entity, similar to Comcast’s acquisition of FreeWheel, upon the transaction’s closure.

 

Must Read

It’s Open Season On SaaS As Brands Confront Their Own Subscription Fatigue

For CFOs and CEOs, we’ve entered a kind of open hunting season on martech SaaS.

Brian Lesser Is The New Global CEO Of GroupM

If you were wondering whether Brian Lesser was planning to take some time off after handing the CEO reins of InfoSum to Lauren Wetzel last week – here’s your answer.

Comic: S.P. O'Middleman's

TripleLift CEO Dave Clark Abruptly Exits After Setting The SSP On A New Trajectory

Dave Clark, who’s led TripleLift for the past two years, is stepping down, effective immediately, and is being replaced by a coterie of TripleLifters.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters
shopping cart

Moloco Invests In Its Competitor Topsort As The Retail Media Stakes Go Up

Topsort can lean into Moloco’s algorithmic personalization, while Moloco benefits from Topsort’s footprint with local retailers in the US and in Latin America.

CDP BlueConic Acquires First-Party Data Collection Startup Jebbit

On Wednesday, customer data platform BlueConic bought Jebbit, which creates quizzes, surveys and other interactive online plugs for collecting data from customers.

Comic: The Showdown (Google vs. DOJ)

The DOJ’s Witness List For The Google Antitrust Trial Is A Who’s Who Of Advertising

The DOJ published the witness list for its upcoming antitrust trial against Google, and it reads like the online advertising industry’s answer to the Social Register.