‘In-House’ Media Progression Underpins Comcast AdDelivery, Adstream Alliance

ToddPorchComcast AdDelivery on Tuesday struck a deal with digital ad-distribution company Adstream to expand global video ad delivery efforts. The deal essentially fulfills each companies’ geographic delivery needs.

While Comcast historically had a strong domestic delivery network, Adstream, an Australian-founded, $65 million-a-year business that’s headquartered in London, gives Comcast pertinent global reach.

A trend in which marketers are taking media buying in-house also spurred the alliance. While this trend is already underway in programmatic display, both Comcast and Adstream are betting it won’t be long before video catches up.

“Historically, the business has been more focused on the agency and production house, but increasingly we’re finding the brand taking more direct ownership of their assets,” said Gerry Sutton, CEO of Adstream. “We’re not only doing ad delivery, but we’re also doing asset management now to account for that shift.”

Global brands seek broader asset-management capabilities and a vast distribution network for their ad units, he said. He believes the delivery and distribution deal with Comcast AdDelivery will better enable both partners to meet in-house marketer needs.

“Generally, everyone is looking for more efficiency in advertising and technology is making it more possible for brands to take control of this,” Sutton said. “They are investing in ad-management and delivery functions to manage their costs more directly.”

One piece of Adstream’s platform in particular, AdBank, serves as the end-to-end “digitizer” for video campaign creation and delivery. It essentially captures digital asset exchanges between brands, agencies, production houses or media companies. This is analogous to the bridge Adobe is trying to make between Marketing Cloud and its Creative Cloud software.

Although Adstream does not claim to be a creative organization, Sutton said having ongoing access to digital material that translates globally (with the ability to repurpose content for language translation and cultural nuances) is a crucial tool for the “in-house” marketing organization and even agency.

As for Comcast’s video and cross-platform delivery interests, “I will tell you we’re interested in this relationship to enable trailblazing between platforms, whether that’s video, mobile, display, linear TV, etc.,” commented Todd Porch, VP and GM of Comcast AdDelivery, formerly executive director of display ad ops at Yahoo. “We are planning for that convergence and want to answer the question, ‘How do we enable that?’ whether it’s plumbing, transport or analytics/insights.”


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