April 25, 2022

Media Companies Gain Audience-Centric Sales Capabilities With Partnership That Unifies and Automates TV Media Sales and Execution

NEW YORK, Apr 25, 2022 – Responding to the demand for more flexible, open architectures in AdTech systems, Imagine Communications and Operative announced today they have entered into a solutions partnership agreement.  The agreement combines key pieces of Imagine’s portfolio, OSI, XG Linear, GamePlan and the newly announced SureFire with Operative’s AOS and OnAir platforms.  Combining the strengths of both companies will enable media companies to optimally plan, sell, and execute advertising in an audience-centric manner across all digital and linear properties from a unified, cloud-native platform.

The partnership unlocks transparency and control for TV media companies, paving the way for alternative measurement and buying currencies similar to digital, with companies including Sinclair as customers of the combined offering.

This partnership between ad tech companies allows media companies to consolidate assets across their portfolios, reduce manual work and deliver on cost-savings initiatives while improving responsiveness to media buyers’ needs.  Specific capabilities include bidirectional order data flows, ongoing synchronization of orders and campaign performance, and real-time inventory management.

“We are excited to see solution vendors in the advertising technology arena partner together in a collaborative fashion,” said Del Parks, President of Technology of Sinclair Broadcast Group.  “The industry needs more open, standards-based platforms to allow broadcasters to innovate and evolve as audiences fragment and new technologies offer more opportunities for advertisers. Imagine and Operative are trusted partners and we fully support their collaboration.”

The push for vendors across the ad ecosystem to be open and interoperable is critical as the number of services and technology partners required to efficiently deliver ad solutions has increased.  With unmatched industry experience and expertise, Operative and Imagine are working in partnership on an industry blueprint for standardization of integration and automation of order workflows, including TIP-based standards. In a world of ever-more fragmented audiences, this partnership enables marketers to identify, buy, and execute audience-targeted orders at scale.

“Customers require flexibility and extensibility when it comes to technology and data in media today,” said Lorne Brown, CEO of Operative. “The companies who are willing to partner and collaborate will provide the most value to their customers. Operative has always had an ‘open’ philosophy and our flagship product AOS was designed to accelerate data sharing across the entire ad workflow. Imagine shares our strategic vision of platform interoperability.”

“We are getting loud and clear messages from customers, ‘don’t lock me into an inflexible architecture’,” said Tom Cotney, CEO of Imagine Communications. ”Our partnership with Operative enables our clients to streamline their operations across multiple media forms and to address the increasing desire to be able to sell on an audience basis.”

By taking an audience-first approach to TV advertising, media companies can significantly reduce their operational complexity and costs, while still being able to sell advertising at a local and national level with a traditional spot-based approach. Further, media companies can take linear ad placement rules — like the fixed placement of advertising,  category separation,  copy rotations,  and frequency caps — and apply them to digital inventory to avoid blank slates, repeat ads, and inappropriate ads that are commonplace on digital platforms.

AOS is Operative’s next generation ad operating system; through AOS Operative can integrate a wide variety of 1st and 3rd party applications, systems and data sets while unifying and automating the associated workflows and execution. Major media companies such as Sinclair use Operative to power their linear, digital and converged ad tech stacks. Through this partnership, AOS will enable a buyer to target audiences across a multitude of impression-based currencies and process the order across all platforms while leveraging Imagine’s next-generation order execution and inventory management solutions, GamePlan and SureFire.

Imagine’s GamePlan is an audience-aware ad-decision and optimization engine for linear television.  Imagine’s recently launched SureFire is a video ad server providing linear-like control and brand protection for direct selling of OTT inventory. Imagine’s unified monetization solutions increase yield,  improve the quality of advertising,  and decrease costs.

Imagine will ingest orders from AOS and optimize the respective ad decisions at the edge, with GamePlan and SureFire, to guarantee reach and frequency to a particular audience across both digital and linear viewers while maximizing the yield across all inventory. Ad execution data is sent back into AOS, where powerful dashboards provide advertisers with real-time campaign fulfilment and forecasting reports.

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