NBCUniversal is for the first time allowing local and regional advertisers to access inventory on platforms including Peacock, YouTube and Apple News as part of an effort to substantially expand the ways these advertisers can spend across the NBCUniversal portfolio.
As part of the move, NBC Spot On, a hub for local marketers to access digital inventory across local NBCUniversal stations that the media company debuted in February, will get an injection of more digital inventory. In addition to opening up premium inventory on Peacock, YouTube and Apple News, NBCUniversal will also double the amount of digital and streaming inventory available to local marketers on NBCUniversal’s OneApp, a centralized repository for programming from NBCUniversal brands including Bravo, E!, NBC, MSNBC, Syfy, Oxygen and USA.
There’s also an organizational shift: NBC Spot On will be pulled under NBCUniversal’s One Platform, the centralized ad offering that aims to streamline the company’s vast portfolio of linear and digital advertising inventory.
Because of Spot On’s move under the One Platform umbrella, local marketers will get some new audience targeting tools, including access to all of the geotargeted selling across NBCUniversal and the same audience targeting capabilities available on One Platform.
“By opening up more of our owned and third-party digital inventory to local advertisers, we’ve transformed NBC Spot On into a supercharged local digital sales offering,” Krishan Bhatia, NBCUniversal’s evp of business operations and strategy, said in a statement. “Small and medium businesses have long turned to NBCUniversal for their local advertising needs, and the sales team has always delivered premium content alongside geotargeted audiences. Now, we’re bringing even more must-watch content on dozens of platforms to advertisers who want to reach audiences at scale in a specific region.”
The changes come as marketers’ interest in streaming and connected TV has soared. Americans staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic are streaming record amounts of programming, and time spent streaming has nearly doubled from 2019, according to figures from Nielsen.
Marketers, many of whom are facing tighter budgets and an increased pressure to show results for campaigns, are eager to get in front of audiences with often higher-quality video inventory, and streamers are keen to cash in. Meanwhile, media companies coming off a bruising first half of the year for ad sales are hoping to further broaden revenue opportunities with marketers of all stripes as they forge ahead in the streaming space.
NBCUniversal has placed much of its own hopes on Peacock, its largely ad-supported streaming service that debuted in July. So far, the service has notched 26 million sign-ups, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said Tuesday at the UBS Global TMT Virtual Conference.
The company is also continuing to fine-tune One Platform with incremental updates and expansions. Last month, the company unveiled shoppable gift guides sponsored by PayPal as part of a push for customers to buy goods through NBCUniversal Checkout, the shoppable marketplace that is part of One Platform.