Meet A4, Altice’s New Advanced Multichannel Buying Unit

Altice USA launched an advanced TV business on Thursday called A4 to provide marketers and MVPDs with audience-based, multiscreen advertising solutions.

A4 is the culmination of multiple acquisitions by Altice, starting with Cablevision in 2015, said A4 President Paul Haddad, who heads the 500-person team.

Altice also has acquired digital platform Audience Partners and programmatic TV provider Placemedia. It spent the past few months integrating their teams and solutions with Cablevision’s advertising and data business to launch A4.

“If an advertiser wants to target people in-market for a car or high-income households, we can do that on a TV set successfully,” Haddad said. “We’ve expanded those capabilities into multiscreen.”

Advertisers and agencies can use A4’s platform to identify their audience across screens and local and national TV inventory. They can then create a media plan, execute the buy and measure cross-screen reach, frequency and attribution within minutes, Haddad said.

“The richness of the data and the architecture of the platform, as well as the AI and machine learning with data science behind it, enable clients to quickly do all of those tasks,” he said.

Through A4, advertisers can access data that is stitched together to reach a footprint of more than 90 million households, 85% of broadband subscribers and 1 billion devices in the US, Haddad said. That data includes de-identified Altice USA subscriber data and viewership and device-level data from MVPDs across the country, which A4 receives in exchange for providing MVPDs with its platform.

Advertisers also can bring their first-party data to the platform and onboard it within 48 hours, which is quicker than the industry standard of five to seven days, Haddad said.

Today, the split between local and national inventory available on A4 is roughly 50-50, Haddad said. A4 offers separate pricing models and rate cards for local and national inventory that follow standard industry pricing but uses data science to manage increases and decreases in demand and supply.

While both sources grow equally, the dollar volume of national deals is much higher, Haddad said.

“Clients are doubling [their buys] because they can buy both mediums or multiscreen from us,” he said.

Teads, which Altice Netherlands acquired last year, will partner with A4 to provide a pool of premium digital video inventory advertisers can use to augment their TV buys, Haddad said. (Teads is owned by Altice Netherlands, which is spinning out its USA market as a separate business.)

“Clients buying TV campaigns are used to high-quality video,” he said. “They want us to add the digital screen [with] the same quality of inventory. That’s where Teads fits in.”

Haddad claims that the tier-one advertisers testing A4 have so far seen an average 93% lift in audience reach and a 98% transaction conversion lift.

Haddad did not share how much spend he expects to run through the platform by the end of the year but said he will know the group is successful when “clients start ordering campaigns with the least amount of human interaction possible,” he said.

Update: Audience Partners is a digital IP addressability platform, not an addressable TV platform as previously stated.

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