Comcast has launched a new tool which gives advertisers the ability to more accurately target their ads to television viewers. The TV industry has long been used to advertise products due to the reach of the medium, but without the assistance on things like cookies, it has historically been unable to track viewers’ interests in order to target ads effectively.
According to Comcast, its new ad sales division Effectv will use data to help advertisers find out what their target audience is watching on TV. This data will be used by the advertisers to then buy the appropriate ad slots. Comcast will also give advertisers the ability to make up to five versions of their ads in order to target different versions at the most suitable customers.
Explaining the new name of its ad sales division - Effectv, Comcast said that it was reinforcing that TV is an effective advertising tool and “not just an awareness play”. Marcien Jenckes, President of Comcast Advertising admitted that working out your target audience was always guesswork and that the guess was almost always wrong. Jenckes said that today’s news is part of a larger trend in the industry where firms stop selling and delivering ad spots and instead sell and deliver audiences.
While Comcast may be trying to make its platform more alluring to advertisers, it should also be concerned about the situation on the customer front. With more people switching to online services, Comcast and other traditional TV platforms are losing customers. Comcast reported that it lost 280,000 video customers in the third quarter alone.