Samsung Ads Makes Its Pitch. What’s It Selling?

Samsung Ads has quietly created the capability to connect over-the-top (OTT) and linear inventory for clients.

With 32 million smart TVs in the United States alone, Samsung is the world’s top smart TV manufacturer, ahead of TCL and Vizio, according to Statistica. Samsung Ads can access Samsung’s first-party TV data and plug it into its own ad tech stack.

“It’s very unique,” Tom Fochetta, Samsung Ads’ VP of advertising sales, told AdExchanger. “We own our own demand-side platform, we can reach users on the smart TV, on a mobile device, on a desktop, and we can reach them throughout their content journey.”

Samsung’s strategy is unique compared to other smart TV manufacturers. Unlike Vizio and its data selling arm, Inscape, Samsung Ads does not sell its data to vendors. It instead operates as its own mini walled garden.

“Their strategy has not been in data licensing,” Nicolle Pangis, president and CEO at NCC Media, told AdExchanger. “They’re effectively creating a tertiary business selling ad space. It’s a different strategy.”

Brands approach Samsung to buy ads, which Samsung then facilitates on the client’s behalf. In this way, Samsung keeps its user data protected, internal and valuable. Fochetta did not disclose much inventory Samsung can sell.

“We worked with an auto manufacturer who wanted to work with us on a pickup truck ad,” said Fochetta, who declined to disclose the manufacturer’s name. “We drove an incremental reach of 20% by combining linear and connected TV video as opposed to just linear, which is where most auto brands were spending their money.”

Whether or not Samsung Ads is the only company that can connect linear and OTT inventory is up for debate. All smart TV manufacturers have automatic content recognition data gathered from their devices, which allows advertisers to ascertain who did or did not see an ad in an OTT environment. Of course, all this hinges upon the consumer consenting to share their data once they unpack their smart TV; Fochetta did not say how many opted-in users Samsung Ads can reach.

Samsung brings speed that other smart TV manufacturers might not have achieved yet.

“One groundbreaking thing Samsung can do is optimize a TV campaign when it’s in flight,” said Jamie Power, COO at one2one Addressable, Cadent. “It can get data quick enough to optimize in-flight.”

That gives advertisers much more control over the ability to tweak their ads and shift resources accordingly.

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