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November 12, 2018
Cloud platform for targeted television advertising
By: Tauni Crefeld

Scaling the purchase process for broadcast television advertising: Accenture helps bring OpenAP to life in just five months

For years, broadcasting advertisers have struggled to reach more targeted demographics. It’s been increasingly difficult to find narrower audiences—for which broadcasters can charge a premium price—and then move that entire process across multiple media companies. Sure, advertisers had a sense of how to reach, say, women between the ages of 40 and 60, but that could include everyone from Sarah Palin to Madonna. Not quite targeted enough.

So, media giants Turner, Viacom and Fox—who, together, reach 93 percent of TV viewers in the US—devised a plan to create a cloud-based platform that could streamline the purchasing of targeted broadcast television advertising—in effect, an advertising marketplace between the agencies and the broadcasters. The platform would enable advertisers to use standard data sets when determining how and where to reach a desired consumer target.

In May of last year, when the consortium came to Accenture to help them create the platform, they had a tough ask: We want to align with the broadcast year, so we need the platform by October—then just five months away.

So, in those five months, we had to stand up the platform from scratch, run on AWS, with a custom user interface and all the APIs, which had to interact with the analytics backend, as well as with users on the front end. In this way, publishers and agencies could have direct access to the platform to do things programmatically.

Accenture helped OpenAP to create a cloud-based platform that could streamline the purchasing of targeted broadcast television advertising.


The platform also needed robust, end-to-end security woven into the architecture because, as an open platform, there could be no risk of one company’s “secret sauce” advertising segments being leaked to a competitor.

OpenAP is highly available, with massive scalability for both advertisers and publishers as they adopt the platform. Since the platform’s launch, Accenture has created five additional releases, and the platform has more than 900 registered users. NBC Universal and Univision announced that they would be joining the consortium, moving OpenAP closer and closer to becoming the de facto industry standard.

What’s especially innovative and differentiating about the development of OpenAP? What’s enabling companies to turn innovation into value?

  • The platform’s security features, as mentioned, were not added on, but woven into the architecture as it was created. Without ironclad security, the platform would have been dead on arrival.
  • AWS enabled us to create the platform almost from thin air. It provided the ready-built foundation for Accenture to build on.

The OpenAP project demonstrated that, with the cloud, you really can start with a dream and an idea and make it work. And, with Agile development and DevOps processes—plus the scale and expertise of the Accenture engineering team—you can move very fast. Here’s proof: We went live 2 days early.

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