A+E Networks Opens Up Audience Targeting to Smaller Marketers Ahead of Upfront

New offering lets clients optimize on just one network, at a reduced rate

A+E's smaller clients have a cheaper option to optimize ad spend on networks like History, home to Vikings. Jonathan Hession/History
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Marketers who haven’t been able to shell out the necessary funds to take advantage of publishers’ audience targeting platforms will now have a cheaper, more limited option to dip their toe into the advanced advertising waters.

A+E Networks has created P1, or Precision 1, an offering that opens up its audience-based targeting and reporting platforms to its small and midsize clients, enabling them to optimize their ad spend on a single network for one month instead of the typical broader, longer portfolio buy.

The company hopes P1 will entice new brands and categories to enter the TV space and build demand.

The announcement came the same day A+E Networks will hold its annual upfront event in New York. But P1 is available now; clients don’t have to wait for upfront talks to utilize it.

With P1, those smaller clients can work with A+E’s audience-based targeting platform, Precision, and its attribution product, Performance, to set targets, identify proper placements and assess the campaign’s effectiveness according to the individual client’s preferred metrics.

The company said it will work with smaller clients to offer attribution-based guarantees and in-campaign optimization, which could allow it to measure key business outcomes like foot traffic, sales and website traffic.

“It speaks to the concern we head from clients, that to get involved in this space, you needed to have a really significant financial outlay. And what we said was no, a big reason we want to do this is welcome in new clients to TV—even new brands inside big corporations that don’t normally get TV funding—and say, come and test the waters, let’s prove that TV works,” said Peter Olsen, evp, ad sales, A+E Networks.

Olsen hopes P1 brings more clients into the space, increasing demand “because we haven’t seen a lot of new, significant categories enter TV in a long time,” he said.

Using P1, clients will be able to optimize their spend on a single network over just one month “for what can be a pretty low out of pocket of only a few hundred thousand dollars,” Olsen said.

“We are proud to be unveiling P1 to the marketplace at a time when there has never been a greater need to show the effectiveness of media buys for small to mid-sized marketers,” said Roseann Montenes, vp, precision and strategic audience sales partnerships, A+E Networks, in a statement. “We are excited for this initiative to bring clients to TV that have been used to the analytics they get from digital platforms, and to offer an opportunity for smaller brands which are part of larger companies that don’t tend to get funding for TV campaigns.”

Last May, A+E Networks became the first company to offer performance-based guarantees for some of its upfront inventory around metrics that prove TV’s ability to drive behavior. Olsen said that offering will take on a more significant role in this year’s upfront talks.

@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV/Media Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.