Consultants weigh new satellite TV addressability

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A new partnership between DirecTV and Dish Network could help campaigns improve their TV ad targeting. 

The satellite TV providers, which together reach nearly one-in-five U.S. households, announced they're creating a joint addressable advertising platform, which will allow "participating statewide political campaigns to target their TV ads at the household level within 20+ million DIRECTV and DISH homes," the company said in a release

Addressability, a term used to define the targeted advertising to a specific subset group either by design or self selection, has long been a goal for the television industry as it looks to maintain its edge over online advertising, where highly addressable advertising is available.

But consultants say it's too soon to tell if the satellite providers' partnership will have an impact on the 2014 campaign. 

"Will the satellite providers allow candidates to only buy selected households, or will they still have to buy the entire audience?," wonders media consultant J.J. Balaban, an addressability pioneer. 

"Will they charge a premium that makes it likelier that most campaigns other than presidential campaigns won't choose to use [it or] it will it be affordable for lower-level races?" 

The companies' announcement didn't get too deep into specifics.

“The platform not only uniquely monetizes big data, which has become critical to every political campaign, but it does it at scale. It’s the perfect complement to local DMA cable buys and a fiscally compelling alternative to local broadcast," Keith Kazerman, senior vice president of ad sales at DirecTV, said in a statement. 

Still, Balaban says, "this announcement highlights how addressability will increasingly play a significant role in political ad making. As a media consultant, it's exciting to consider the new possibilities with this new technology."


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