May 29, 2020
NEW YORK – Today, Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) and ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC; VIACA) announced that they have entered into an agreement to take equal ownership of Blockgraph, an industry initiative and software platform designed to create a more secure way to use aggregated and anonymized data and share information. This joint venture is focused on ushering in a new way of using audience data for advanced TV and premium video advertising. Using Blockgraph technology, media companies can help marketers form insights across their collective platforms without relying exclusively on third parties.
Blockgraph was first launched in 2017 and incubated to date within Comcast Advertising’s technology unit, FreeWheel, A Comcast Company. The vision since its inception was to become a collaborative industry solution, with Charter and ViacomCBS as early supporters.
“When we began to develop Blockgraph several years ago, we knew that the ability to apply data-driven insights to all media, including TV, in a way that protected privacy, was going to be hugely important to the future of our industry. Now, some three years later, that couldn’t be truer, and the alternative that Blockgraph offers could not be more valuable,” said Marcien Jenckes, President, Comcast Advertising. “We are thrilled to partner with ViacomCBS and Charter as we continue to roll out Blockgraph and look forward to working with new partners and customers in the months ahead as platform adoption grows.”
Jason Manningham, previously general manager of Blockgraph under FreeWheel, will now lead the new joint venture as chief executive officer.
Said Manningham: “The value that Blockgraph brings to the industry has never been more important. Together with Comcast, Charter and ViacomCBS, we have the opportunity to reshape data driven advertising in a way that’s better and more sustainable for brands, publishers, content distributors and above all else – audiences.”
He added that Blockgraph’s joint venture comes at an important inflection point for the industry. Marketers today are looking for new ways to maximize advertising investments and measure results across screens. Publishers and distributors, meanwhile, are looking for ways to differentiate their content and media through data. “Data connectivity, control and secure enablement are at the center of it all, and that’s what Blockgraph provides,” he added.
“Bringing better data to television for planning, targeting and measurement represents a huge opportunity for our industry, and above all, for advertisers,” said David Kline, Executive Vice President, Charter and President, Spectrum Reach. “In order to recognize this opportunity, however, we need to continually and fully ensure that we can use data in a way that protects the privacy of users through technologies that facilitate aggregated and anonymized use of our data. This is an ongoing concern to be addressed collaboratively across the industry, which is why we are so supportive of Blockgraph.”
“Data confidentiality is a necessity for addressable advertising to work at scale. Blockgraph is a platform that will make that easy to implement,” said John Halley, Chief Operating Officer, Advertising Revenue, and Executive Vice President, Advanced Marketing Solutions, ViacomCBS. “We are committed to solutions that enable us to better serve our advertising partners. Blockgraph has the right business approach and partnership framework to successfully move the video ecosystem forward.”
Chief among early adopters of the Blockgraph technology has been Comcast’s NBCUniversal, as they have begun efforts to integrate Blockgraph into their AdSmart platform.
About Comcast Advertising
Comcast Advertising is the advertising division of Comcast Cable. As a global leader in media, technology and advertising, Comcast Advertising fosters powerful connections between brands and their audiences as well as between publishers, distributors, MVPDs, agencies and other industry players. Effectv, its advertising sales division, helps local, regional and national advertisers connect with their audiences on every screen by using advanced data to drive targeting and measurement of their campaigns. FreeWheel, its media and technology arm, provides the technology, data enablement and convergent marketplaces required to ensure buyers and sellers can transact across all screens, across all data types and all sales channels, in order to ensure the ultimate goal – results for marketers. Comcast Cable, along with NBCUniversal and Sky, is part of the Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA). Visit www.comcastadvertising.com to learn more.
About Charter Communications
Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) is a leading broadband connectivity company and cable operator serving more than 29 million customers in 41 states through its Spectrum brand. Over an advanced communications network, the company offers a full range of state-of-the-art residential and business services including Spectrum Internet®, TV, Mobile and Voice.
For small and medium-sized companies, Spectrum Business® delivers the same suite of broadband products and services coupled with special features and applications to enhance productivity, while for larger businesses and government entities, Spectrum Enterprise provides highly customized, fiber-based solutions. Spectrum Reach® delivers tailored advertising and production for the modern media landscape. The company also distributes award-winning news coverage, sports and high-quality original programming to its customers through Spectrum Networks and Spectrum Originals. More information about Charter can be found at https://corporate.charter.com/.
ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC; VIACA) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates premium content and experiences for audiences worldwide. Driven by iconic consumer brands, its portfolio includes CBS, Showtime Networks, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET, CBS All Access, Pluto TV and Simon & Schuster, among others. The company delivers the largest share of the U.S. television audience and boasts one of the industry’s most important and extensive libraries of TV and film titles. In addition to offering innovative streaming services and digital video products, ViacomCBS provides powerful capabilities in production, distribution and advertising solutions for partners on five continents.
For more information about ViacomCBS, please visit www.viacbs.com and follow @ViacomCBS on social platforms.
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Elaine Wong, 929-388-9098
Maureen Huff, 203-428-0300
Alyssa Bernstein, 914-424-9306