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When Walled Gardens Collide


Walled gardens grow even bigger when they band together.

Earlier this week, Walmart announced its acquisition of smart TV maker Vizio. Pending regulatory approval, this deal will give the retail giant a foothold in streaming that it never had before.

But let’s not kid ourselves: This is a data play. In addition to CTV inventory, Vizio also gives Walmart access to a walled garden of automatic content recognition (ACR) data, a core pillar of TV measurement that is used to identify the content playing on a screen.

Most TV measurement vendors license ACR data from Vizio’s data science subsidiary, Inscape. Little did these vendors and their customers know they’d one day be getting their viewing data from the same place they get their toilet paper … Walmart.

In advertiser-speak, that means Walmart will be able to offer closed-loop attribution to brands that ties TV ad exposures to real purchases.

On this week’s episode, we discuss what Vizio means for Walmart’s advertising ambitions – and what those ambitions could mean for Walmart’s competitors, Amazon and Roku.

Bridging the gap

Then we talk about a recent column entitled “Retail Media Has Created ‘Sky Bridges’ Between Content Fortresses,” penned by Senior Editor James Hercher.

In his column, he details some of the unique partnerships that Big Tech gatekeeper platforms, like Google, are striking with slightly smaller walled gardens, like Instacart. Why? Closed-loop attribution, baby.

But the nature of these deals creates power imbalances that advantage certain platforms and not others. Instacart, for example, has a very different relationship with The Trade Desk than it does with Google. TTD’s advertiser customers can use Instacart data to create custom audience segments for targeting and measurement, but they aren’t able to match that data to individual ad impressions the way Google can.

Tune in as we lift the hood on these high-powered partnerships.

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