Discovery has picked up a 10% stake in TV ad firm FreeWheel Media, which will be renamed to Discovery Studios. Discovery is paying $100 million for the deal, and says it plans to use its analytics capabilities as well as content-distribution services like Top Right Content Distribution Services (TRCCDS) that were recently acquired by the company.

Discovery Communications announced that it has purchased a stake in OpenAP, an ad technology company. The company is expected to use the new tool to help Discovery’s programming reach more people.

Discovery Buys Stake in TV Ad



According to officials involved, Discovery Inc. has purchased a 10% share in OpenAP, an ad-targeting firm whose owners include numerous major television corporations.

OpenAP was formed in 2017 with the goal of creating tools that would allow advertisers to target advertising across various TV networks in a more precise and data-driven manner than conventional television purchasing.

It provides a platform that allows marketers to locate and target audiences across TV inventory on numerous networks, as well as linear and digital watching, for example, customers interested in purchasing a vehicle. Linear refers to the conventional way of watching television, which involves watching episodes on a certain channel at a specific time, while digital refers to streaming services.

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Last year, OpenAP developed an identifier to help marketers position and track advertising more effectively across different digital and conventional TV networks.

Marketers are expected to spend $500 million on OpenAP’s platform in the fiscal year ending Sept. 20, 2022, increasing 140 percent from the previous year. According to the firm, it works with over 100 sponsors.

OpenAP’s current owners are Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, Fox Corp. and ViacomCBS Inc. WarnerMedia LLC was a founding member but withdrew in 2019 after AT&T Inc. acquired its parent, Time Warner Inc.

(Fox and the parent company of the Wall Street Journal, News Corp., are both owned by the same company.)

AT&T and Discovery last year agreed to combine their media assets into a new, publicly traded company, a deal that is expected to close this year.

OpenAP already has a working partnership with Discovery, whose networks include HGTV, Food Network, Animal Planet, and others. In spring 2021, the corporation started utilizing OpenAP’s identification and collaborated with the organization on the creation of XPm, a method of evaluating audiences across platforms.

“We cooperate with almost every major national network.” “However, we have networks on the board and among investors that are considerably more active in strategic planning and road map development,” said OpenAP Chief Executive Officer David Levy. “I believe there was a genuine desire to expand [Discovery’s] engagement and get more thoroughly involved in many of the ongoing strategic debates.” And, to be honest, we needed and wanted that information since each network has a unique set of issues.”

The financial specifics of the arrangement were not disclosed by the firms.

The board of directors of OpenAP will include Jon Steinlauf, Discovery’s top U.S. advertising sales officer, and Jim Keller, Discovery’s executive vice president of digital ad sales and advanced advertising.

According to Mr. Keller, marketers are seeking for methods to purchase more effectively across platforms and content creators.

“Rather than wait on the sidelines and allow other rivals create the road map for how things may operate around data, privacy, technology, and measurement,” he added, “we wanted to be a part of the dialogue.” “Over the past two years or so, there has been substantial movement in the entire business surrounding audience-based sales. But you can’t have a discussion with someone over the previous six months unless you’re talking about audience-based sales.”

Megan Graham can be reached at [email protected]

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Discovery Channel is an American basic cable and satellite television channel that features documentaries, reality, science, nature and home renovation programming. Discovery Channel was created in 1985 by John Hendricks and James Goldstone. In 2016, Discovery acquired a stake in the TV ad agency JW Broadcasting. Reference: who owns discovery channel.

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