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April 19, 2023 | By Alyssa Boyle

Just about every measurement provider is trying to get its hands on more viewership data ahead of the upfronts.

On Wednesday, outcomes-based measurement provider Affinity Solutions announced a new consumer insights platform called Comet, which allows buyers to create custom audience segments by combining purchase and viewing data. These new metrics also introduce conquesting capabilities that allow buyers to plan campaigns based on competitor ads.

Affinity was founded roughly 20 years ago as an analytics company that provides retailers with anonymized purchase data from banks, such as credit- and debit-card statements. As of the past two years, though, the company has been working on a way to link that data to ad exposures, said Damian Garbaccio, chief business and marketing officer.

Now, advertisers can use Affinity’s new platform to plan and buy custom audiences on TV and video channels, including linear, streaming and online video.

Comet can help marketers understand what their audiences are buying and watching and plan video campaigns accordingly. This includes which shows to buy against, said Clarissa Season, chief experience officer at Annalect, Omnicom’s data and analytics division, which is piloting the solution.

Better targeting also helps advertisers justify their TV buys during a rough macroenvironment, Season added. This year especially, “every bit of data helps us get our clients the best deals possible as we head into the upfronts.”

Up for sale

Affinity uses purchase data from banks and viewership data from Annalect to create audience segments within its new platform.

Advertisers now gain access to more granular audience data, including viewership data, when they buy directly through Affinity’s latest platform as opposed to programmatically, Garbaccio said.

For example, Annalect can get subscription data through Affinity, such as the TV services that an advertiser’s audience subscribes to. Annalect can then link that subscription information to the types of businesses viewers shop from and target ads against specific programs that rank highly with that audience.

Annalect can also use A/B testing to compare increases in brand lift and retail purchases among audiences who watched different TV shows, Season said.

Divide and conquer

This show-level comparison doesn’t stop at a brand’s own campaigns, though. Advertisers can also plan campaigns based on what their competitors’ customers are watching.

For example, a fast-food restaurant could find out what types of networks or shows a competing store’s customers are watching and target those programs. Annalect can then determine whether that audience’s spending habits shifted between the two brands and whether that change was linked to an ad exposure on a particular show or app.

A streaming service could also try gaining subscribers by targeting ads to viewers it knows are paying for a different service.

Plus, conquesting campaigns make certain dayparts or TV shows more valuable to buyers than publishers might realize. Some shows may rank higher with a particular buyer’s niche audience than a larger, more general audience, for example, “which allows us to negotiate for lower prices,” Season said.

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