AMC Networks has reached an agreement with major cable companies Comcast, Charter and Cox to have addressable ads running on every hour of original programming on AMC and WE tv in 2022.
The agreement is a significant step forward for the pay-TV industry, which has been looking to deploy addressable technology on a large scale for years. Comcast, Charter and Cox have a combined reach in 35 million US homes. In line with the rapid growth of digital advertising, linear television addressability means that viewers and households see specific advertisements based on a range of data points beyond age and gender. The experience is different from mainstream events like the Super Bowl, where prices are high because more than 100 million people are watching the same ads. The goal of targeting different ads to different people is to make product presentations more relevant and therefore keep viewers more engaged.
Canoe Ventures, a technology and services company that enables VOD advertising and linear addressable television, helped broker the deal.
In the industry landscape, addressable ads represent only a single-digit percentage of the overall inventory in the more than $60 billion TV advertising industry. Even though linear ratings have fallen as the pay-TV package shrinks, demand for television as a reach vehicle remains robust among advertisers. According to proponents, the deployment of addressable technology will help traditional linear television maintain its revenue-generating capacity, even as streaming continues to be the focus of media companies’ concerns. AMC Networks itself has projected its portfolio of niche streaming services to be the biggest contributor to its overall revenue by 2025.
Amazon was identified as the first advertiser to participate in the program, committing to a full year with AMC Networks. The tech giant, which is in the midst of a surge in marketing spend, particularly from Prime Video, has bought seats on a number of shows, including the latest seasons of the flagship AMC series. The Walking Dead and You better call Saul.
Plans call for three ad slots in each hour of Originals to be fully addressable during this year. Data Company 605 will manage program attribution, tracking and measuring results for AMC as the campaign progresses.
During the company’s quarterly earnings call on Wednesday, interim CEO Matt Blank said 2022 would be the biggest year for original programming in the company’s history. In addition to The Walking Dead and Saul, returning shows will include Gangs of London, Kevin Can F**K Himself, and Fear the Walking Dead. The new original series will include 61st street, dark winds, Lunar Haven, Tales of the Living Dead, Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire and Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches.
“We meet this moment with the most valuable and relevant ads ever possible on linear television, fully addressable spots reaching tens of millions of homes with every hour of original programming on AMC and WE tv,” said said Evan Adlman, SVP of advanced advertising and digital partnerships for AMC Networks. “It’s the culmination of years of work and planning, most recently building on the first national addressable campaigns we ran in partnership with Canoe in late 2020 and earlier this year.”