NBCUniversal Leans Into AI In Upfront Ad Sales Push

NBCUniversal plans to start using generative AI in its ad sales efforts, the company announced Wednesday at its One24 event for advertisers.

The AI effort will specifically drive audience targeting and advertiser performance.

The AI initiative is one of several introduced during One24, which was held in Studio 8H in the company’s Rockefeller Center headquarters. The fourth annual event is a lead-up to the main NBCU upfront, which this year will be May 13 at Radio City Music Hall.

The AI offering analyzes large swaths of programming and digital content across the NBCU portfolio paired with the company’s first-party data to produce “emotion-based, AI-powered audience segments,” an announcement said. NBCU reported having developed 300 segments that help advertisers to match content to viewers.

Programmatic buying, a way to reduce friction and automate many aspects of the ad process, is coming to the Olympics for the first time this summer with the Paris Games. Through a partnership with The Trade Desk, NBCU is opening up private marketplace, biddable access for advertisers, from the U.S. Olympic Trials to the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Among the other enhancements coming to NBCU are Virtual Concessions, a way for viewers getting set for live sports or movies to order food, beverages and other items for delivery. Must Shop TV will enable six franchises (Below Deck, Love Island USA, Southern Charm, Summer House, Top Chef and Winter Hours) with e-commerce capabilities.

On the measurement front, NBCU is introducing One Platform Total Measurement, a new effort to capture viewership across platforms. The company is also teaming with VideoAmp to help with the new measurement initiative. EDO and Kochava are additional partners in the measurement arena.

On Monday, May 13th NBCUniversal will host its Upfront presentation at Radio City Music Hall to showcase its premium content slate, iconic IP, and inspiring talent, all of which are powered by the company’s data and technology prowess.

“Television today is a full-funnel performance vehicle where marketers can launch, build and grow their brands across any screen at scale,” said Mark Marshall, Chairman, Global Advertising & Partnerships, NBCU. “At One24, we’re continuing to drive our legacy of innovation, moving consumers from aspiration to action and partnering with marketers of all sizes to use technology to move their businesses forward.”

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