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Snowflake Inc. has made an investment in OpenAP, an advertising technology consortium backed by several of the largest broadcasting companies in the U.S.

Snowflake announced the investment today. The company, which carried out the transaction through its venture capital arm, reportedly bought a 5% stake in OpenAP. Snowflake is reportedly the first company from outside the TV industry to have purchased a stake in the consortium. 

OpenAP launched in 2017 with backing from several major broadcasters. The consortium is developing a cloud-based platform, the OpenAP Data Hub, that will make it easier for brands to run TV ad campaigns. 

Broadcasters collect data about their audiences to map out consumer buying preferences. That data is then made available to brands, which use it to plan ad campaigns. Brands also rely on the information provided by broadcasters to measure the reach and effectiveness of their ads.

The OpenAP Data Hub that OpenAP is developing will make it easier for broadcasters to share audience data with brands. It also promises to streamline several of the other tasks involved in running TV ads. As a result, managing large-scale ad campaigns that span multiple broadcasters’ TV channels is expected to become simpler for brands.

“Advertisers will be a key beneficiary by gaining a much greater level of granularity and transparency into their campaigns and data, because they’re working with a common data definition across networks,” Snowflake executives Bill Stratton and Stefan Williams detailed in a blog post today.

The OpenAP Data Hub is built on Snowflake’s namesake cloud-based data platform. OpenAP is using Snowflake’s Media Data Cloud, a suite of specialized features geared towards the media industry that launched last year. The Media Data Cloud includes, among other components, integrations with third-party advertising and analytics tools.

OpenAP stated that the investment from Snowflake will help “significantly accelerate” the development of the OpenAP Data Hub. The first set of audience datasets and software capabilities is expected to roll out to the platform by year’s end. According to the consortium, the initial features will ease the task of planning TV ad campaigns and measuring their reach. 

“The publishers have put significant resources into allowing their data to unlock new cross-platform use cases for advertisers and the partnership with Snowflake is a critical step forward in giving us the scale needed to build the foundation in which all cross-platform targeting and measurement will be done in the future,” said OpenAP Chief Executive Officer David Levy.

The Media Data Cloud that powers the OpenAP Data Hub is one of several industry-specific solutions offered by Snowflake. Last year, the company debuted the Financial Services Data Cloud, which is designed for organizations such as banks. Snowflake also offers specialized solutions for multiple other segments including the retail, healthcare and technology sectors.

Image: Snowflake

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