Many DataHub Members are currently advertising on TV and may be curious about the why and how of Addressable TV. When the rumbles of Addressable began, we set out to establish partnerships across the landscape and explore how we could deliver value to our Members in a space poised for growth. After all, we aim to deliver our predictive and high performing audiences in every channel – and television is no exception. 2019 was a year full of relationship-building across platforms, MVPD’s (not up on the lingo? – here is a quick guide), and agencies, so that in 2020 we would be ready to strategically bring this channel to our partners.

Recently we’ve had the opportunity to speak with DataHub Members about expanding their usage of Alliant Audiences into Addressable TV. Throughout these discussions we have uncovered many parallel questions and concerns about scale, delivery and value – all challenges that are meaningful to share with our greater Member community as we navigate this new channel together.

Target TV Audiences at Scale

For the purpose of these conversations, Addressable TV refers to the use of audience targeting in traditional Linear TV. Addressable TV campaigns identify an audience of viewers and deliver targeted television ads at the household level, matched to the subscriber base of a cable or satellite TV service, such as Xfinity or DirectTV. According to the 2019 IAB Advanced TV Targeting Guide, of the 95 million US households with paid TV subscriptions, over 64 million are already capable of addressable targeting. That means more than half of all US households can be reached with specific messaging on the TV shows they watch every day.

Benefits of Addressable TV

Addressable TV makes buying TV advertising better. Linear TV targeting has long leaned on programming and dayparts as a proxy for audience. Despite the flaws, Nielsen panel-based data has been king, and advertisers choose the audience based on what program they watch – 65+ watches Wheel of Fortune or daytime TV. Addressable TV on the other hand allows you to overlay the same targeted audiences you leverage for Direct Mail, Programmatic or Facebook campaigns with traditional programming.

Performing a cost analysis of the audience is important. As a seasoned TV advertiser, you may be accustomed to thinking about scale and value in a particular way, addressable will require a shift in mindset. Your audience may go from 10 million viewers to 5 million, but that subset will be a much more valuable and targeted audience, which may come at a premium price. You can still target 65+, but perhaps you want to target dog owners, not cat owners, in that age bracket. That is an audience that will bring the best results for your TV budget. An additional benefit: you can measure outcome-based metrics at the household level for how that audience performed.

Ready to explore?

Like everything new in marketing – start with a test. A budget estimate to provide an audience large enough to measure performance without overextending would be an investment of at least $500,000. If a test like this falls within your TV budget, the next, and perhaps more perplexing, component is tackling execution.

Many TV advertisers already partner with an agency — consider maintaining this relationship and coordinating a test through them. Their connections and experience within the channel may be invaluable. Don’t work with an agency? You can go directly to the MVPD’s (cable or satellite providers) or consider consortiums. The consortiums, such as Xandr or Ampersand, allow access to multiple MVPD’s with one contact. While the variety and scale of their offerings may be enticing, you may lack the level of control and transparency you desire for a test compared to a direct relationship.

Remember – Audience-First

Don’t forget your audience-first strategy. It is, after all, what makes addressable, addressable! Not only should you feel confident relying on a performance-based audience from the Alliant DataHub, but the team has established a great network that our Members can use to their benefit. We have established TV partnerships with all major MVPD’s, the consortiums, and we are building our TV Agency relationships. Additionally, Alliant’s audiences are being leveraged in Addressable TV by brands such as CVS and Minted.

Don’t forget your audience-first strategy. It is after all what makes addressable, addressable!

Want to test the waters before a full commitment? We can push your desired audience to the MVPDs for an “overlap” test to determine the targetable size on each partner – which is required for pricing. Whatever path you choose, the Alliant team is here to help you navigate Addressable TV.

Reach out and let’s chat Addressable TV!


 Chris Morse, Director, Digital Partnerships

As Manager of Digital Partnerships at Alliant, Chris cultivates relationships with digital platforms to ensure the accessibility and advancement of Alliant’s audiences. After graduating from Western Connecticut State University, Chris began his career on Alliant’s Sales & Marketing team, where he developed insight into the evolving data needs of the fast-growing digital targeting ecosystem. Chris is an avid traveler and has visited three state parks this year on his quest to explore them all.