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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Mansfield

The Future of Television: Project OAR and Addressable Advertising

With the rise of digital advertising through platforms like Google, Youtube, and other social media platforms, many have dismissed television advertising as a thing of the past. However, just last week, a group of the largest media and technology companies in the nation have partnered up to create a system that will revolutionize TV advertising, and they call it Project OAR.

Project OAR, which stands for Project Open Addressable Ready, is a consortium of companies with members including media giants such as Disney and NBC Universal. Their goal is to make addressable advertising in television the new standard. This is no small task, but Project OAR is planning to have a working model by spring 2019 and full deployment as early as the beginning of 2020.

So what exactly is addressable advertising?

Addressable advertising is essentially the ability to show different ads to different households, at the same time. This opens up a whole spectrum of possibilities, allowing for a much more personalized and targeted advertising experience. In addition, addressable marketing may give TV advertising the leverage it needs when put up against digital ads. Currently, a main critique of television is that it’s too broad of a platform and doesn’t provide an avenue to reach niche markets. With addressable advertising, this won’t be the case.

That’s great and all, but how exactly does it work?

The biggest problem when it comes to addressable advertising is that networks don’t get to control which addressable ads are delivered during commercial breaks, MVPDs (multichannel video programming distributors aka cable or satellite TV services) do.

Project OAR is trying to change this. Their plan is to create a roadmap and industry-wide standard for addressable advertising by using television sets with ACR, or automatic content recognition technology to read and recognize a watermark signal in the broadcast and, based on that signal, play an ad best suited for that household. From there, it’s a two-sided market. The more OEMs invest into Project OAR’s addressable advertising system, the more networks will be able to deliver catered content. Additionally, the more fine-tuned addressable advertising becomes, the more brands will want to buy addressable ad TV spots.

The possibilities that addressable advertising holds for marketing are endless. By creating an industry-wide standard for addressable ads, Project OAR may make it possible for companies to monitor and monetize relevant TV impressions and create better, more personalized viewing experiences for audiences.


Enjoyed this article? This is the first part of our blog series on addressable marketing and the future of television, so stay tuned. For now, learn more at the official Project: OAR website:


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