Home Mobile AOL-Owned Millennial Pairs With Rentrak To Offer TV Ad Retargeting In Mobile

AOL-Owned Millennial Pairs With Rentrak To Offer TV Ad Retargeting In Mobile


TVtoMobileAfter an initial wave of integration, Millennial Media, the mobile ad platform AOL acquired in September for $240 million, rolled out its first ad product under new ownership – TV Commercial Retargeting.

The new ad product is backed by a partnership with Rentrak, which aggregates set-top box data across 25 million households, tapping into data sets from various cable and satellite providers.

Millennial Media will be able to link Rentrak’s TV commercial viewership data with its own mobile user data anonymously through Millennial’s data management platform to surface a mobile video ad. Advertisers can then add a rich media element, such as click-to-purchase an ecommerce item or locate a nearby store.

“One of the main reasons we partnered with [Rentrak] is their leadership position in the TV measurement space,” said Liza Blumenthal, a sales exec with Millennial Media. “Their scale paired with Millennial Media’s scale across 65,000 apps and 190 million unique users a month, will make multiscreen behavior easier to understand for advertisers.”

Part of what makes the deal interesting is Millennial and AOL’s foreseeable access to Verizon’s mobile data set, which could enlarge the addressable audience for TV retargeting once those integrations take place.

Millennial also says it can use existing partnerships with Oracle and Placed to link television viewing activity and subsequent mobile ad exposures to offline purchases. 

“These are products that have been in the works for a long time, where we’re closing the loop on in-store visits and purchases, not just providing some fuzzy location match,” said Joran Lawrence, VP of product management for Millennial.

Lawrence added that AOL has other initiatives in the works around what is sometimes called “total audience measurement,” as opposed to channel-based approaches to targeting and attribution in mobile, desktop and TV.

Doing will require some thoughtfulness around cross-device tracking and the related privacy concerns. In the latter area, AOL’s new parent has not always inspired confidence.

But the opportunity is large for Verizon to leverage its customers’ mobile data to provide a challenger to Facebook and Google’s powerful deterministic (i.e., logged-in) audience data sets.

“Privacy is a huge issue, which is why being 100% deterministic 100% of the time can be really creepy,” Lawrence noted. “There does need to be this important layer of obfuscation people are going to want to have in the digital marketing space, but it all falls apart if you build a [probabilistic] model on too small of a deterministic set.”

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