Disney is one of the streaming platforms that are on demand, and fans outside the USA even opt to Unlock Disney Plus Outside US with a VPN. For many years, executives from various media organizations have been discussing the possibility of taking on advertising market leaders like Meta and Google to win more money from their customers. The size of their audiences and the quantity of information they have collected from those viewers continue to set these media and technology businesses apart from their competitors. Disney is one of the media firms that can truly reduce, if not eliminate, that disparity.
One of the executives at the agency commented, “They are sitting on such a large amount of data. There is Hulu, the biggest CTV app containing content with ads – YouTube is leading, but Hulu, in terms of providing premium content, is ahead. When triangulating these groups, the range is massive.”
At the company’s Tech and Data Showcase event that is held annually for advertisers on 3rd March, Disney Advertising President Rita Ferro revealed the scale on which the company now operates: More than 200 million viewers monthly from the US, 100 million house IDs, 160 million TV IDs connected and more than 190 million IDs from devices.
That scale, though, will only really matter if Disney can link it for marketers, which is exactly what Disney has been working on since 2017. Disney started to combine its advertisement sales staff in 2017, previously divided by its many television networks. For five years now, it has also worked diligently to integrate the back-end software and hardware that runs on all of its businesses, partly to make ad purchases throughout its vintage television, digital, and streaming holdings easier.
Ferro stated in an interview with Digiday that the linear business had been transferred after Disney announced in October 2020 that it would be forming the Disney Entertainment and Media Distribution.
In simpler terms, Disney’s push toward unity is continuing, and the company is currently unifying its ad technology stack centered on a private advertising server. However, Disney is revealing some new information this year which demonstrates the progress that the company has made:
- Hulu will expand its shoppable, binge, and pause ad formats to include other Disney assets.
- The expansion of Hulu’s automated system for buying advertisements becomes Disney’s ad-buying tool, which will acquire stock from Disney’s other properties.
- The attribution mechanism that Hulu previously used will now be used by Disney and will cover all of Disney’s other properties.
- The opening of a program known as a data clean room will display ads to match the consumer data they collect with Disney’s audience data, which will include data from Hulu.
Lisa Valentino, executive vice president of client solutions and addressable engagement at Disney Advertising, stated, “If we’re not united and if our audience graph is not as large and as comprehensive as it is now, none of it is even remotely possible.”
The acquisition of Hulu by Disney gives the company access to a service with over 1 billion accounts. It also includes ownership of advertising namesake ESPN Plus and its own streaming platform. This makes sense because their goal is integration between services following recent acquisitions like Fox News which were integrated in 2021 after the 2020 releases finished up processing data from 2019 broadcasts
“A significant portion of these cutting-edge skills were developed within Hulu’s incubator. Now that we have those, we are constructing an ad server for Disney and distributing them on all Disney properties. In the end, everything will be stored on the ad server owned by Disney.” According to Jeremy Helfand, senior vice president of display ads at Disney Entertainment and Media Distribution, “that process is currently under progress, and we will continue to move forward along that route.”
The goal for both linear and digital advertising is to unite under one roof. According to Aaron La Berge, Chief Technology Officer of Disney Entertainment & Media Distribution, “When we talk about fewer barriers, targeting yield inventory management across our whole footprint, it’s because there are now fewer distances between an advertiser or marketer who wants their message delivered via either traditional means like TV commercials versus online banner ads on websites.”
Another agency’s executives said, “We always like folks competing with the Facebook and Googles of the world.” Again, this is a factor to consider. The addition of linear to Disney’s portfolio not only adds to the company’s ranking but also helps it distinguish it from the big tech companies that may control the screens of computers and mobile devices but don’t possess the upper hand on television screens. This also assists marketers with more possibilities for ad targeting at a scale that is not offered by Google, Meta, or Amazon alone.
Other networks are making an effort to be ahead of tech companies. NBCUniversal, which Comcast also owns, has been gathering information about its viewers, and it shares a family relationship with the advertising platform FreeWheel, which Comcast also owns. The second agency executive noted that the gap may have been bridged in terms of the extent to which these television companies want to be ahead of the technology corporations. The most advanced companies are undoubtedly Disney and NBC, though they wouldn’t call them progressive.
According to the agency’s management, this is not an issue of whether or not Disney has a reach. It does; they’re interested in seeing statistics on how well-hitting their target markets can be reached with specific audiences. This includes those who stream Star Wars and watch live sports as well as consumers shopping for new cars – all via digital media channels like social networking sites Facebook Live Video etcetera
“Their scope is incredible. The accuracy of their statistics is unparalleled in the industry. What efforts have they made to combine their data with mine to make it more accurate? Said the initial executive of the agency. The third agency executive added, “Monthly uniques are crucial for going to them, but it’s how often are they engaging each person, in what setting, what activities are those people taking, and are they driving health?”
The data platform Disney uses to reach its audience has been updated with more options for viewing. This allows the company’s customers not only first-party but also third-party information, such as purchase intent reported by providers like Experian; this way, they can build a better connection between marketing campaigns and customer behavior patterns
Data is merely fuel, but its power depends on a combustion engine that can burn the data and produce energy. For this reason, we recall the topic of Disney’s advertising technology infrastructure again. How will it be consolidated once more in order for them to have even better results with their campaigns going forward?