Allen Media Group taps BrightLine for Frame ad CTV app ad formats

New ad formats powered by BrightLine are coming to Allen Media Group-owned connected TV apps, including Local Now, The Weather Channel and HBCU Go.

Announced Monday, the new format includes in-stream Frame Ads, both for live and on-demand CTV programming. Frame Ads are now offered to advertisers as part of AMG’s Upfront partnerships, where the company said non-traditional formats enable brands to reach viewers in an engaging and non-disruptive way while breaking outside of the traditional ad pod. It also opens up opportunities for interactive and shoppable ad experiences on AMG CTV apps.

Specifically, the BrightLine Frame ad units minimize programming into a smaller frame to serve branded content, logos, interactive elements or shoppable moments alongside content as viewers keep watching.  AMG said the units integrate into programming and enable an L-frame ad creative to appear, without the need for a typical commercial or ad break that interrupts the show.  An image accompanying the announcement showed how AMG could leverage the format to promote its own Weather Channel streaming service as viewers tune in to live HBCU Go content.

“Frame ads not only reinforce brand messaging but also provide opportunities for interactivity and highlight shoppable moments within programming,” said Byron Allen, founder, chairman and CEO of Allen Media Group, in a statement. “Our AMG streaming apps are now well-positioned to lead the way in creating a premium, next generation viewing environment, representing a major expansion of possibilities for brands to creatively and non-disruptively integrate their messaging into programming moments that matter most to targeted streaming audiences.”

BrightLine’s tech has been powering interactive and new ad formats for major streamers, networks and media companies. Some of its clients include Roku, Samsung, Vizio, Apple and Amazon, as well as Dish’s Sling TV, A&E Networks, AMC Networks, NBCUniversal, Fox , Disney and Warner Bros Discovery. In December, BrightLine introduced a suite of ad units – known as Accelerator PTM (Pedal to the Metal) – with a collection of formats to be released quarterly, including the latest that span advergaming, trivia, t-commerce, immersive brand experiences and improved in-show functionality.

“We’re excited to partner with Allen Media Group in bringing the next generation of advertising experiences to viewers,” said Robert Aksman, president of BrightLine, in a statement. “Our cutting-edge streaming ad technology, combined with Allen Media Group's commitment to innovation, allows advertisers to engage with audiences in new and impactful ways, seamlessly integrated into their viewing experience.”

As more streamers jump into the ad-supported game, several have been experimenting with new types of advertising, such as interactive polls, second-screen shopping experiences, pause ads and in-frame ads.

Virtual MVPD Fubo earlier this month announced new CTV ad formats, while Roku is looking at various ways to monetize its CTV home screen real estate including through new types of advertising. At Upfronts last week, Warner Bros. Discovery disclosed tapping BrightLine for new interactive video ad formats for Max, including click-to-contact, trivia and polls, and a viewer’s choice format that lets consumers pick the ad they want to watch.  

Commerce and retail data partnerships are also making their way to streaming, including shoppable Bravo episodes on NBCUniversal’s Peacock  and shoppable and contextual options on WBD’s Max, both developed in partnership with KERV Interactive. Disney, meanwhile, this year introduced second-screen commerce experiences and just this month announced a new retail media data relationship with Walmart Connect. The latter pairs the retailer’s customer shopping insights with Disney’s audience graph to enhance targeting and measure campaign impact with closed-loop attribution across Disney+ and Hulu.

It's all part of efforts to both capitalize on a CTV ad market, where IAB projects 12% yoy growth to reach an estimated $22.7 billion in U.S. CTV ad spend in 2024, and to deliver more engaging and relevant ad formats to viewers that are more measurable with enhanced attribution for advertisers. 

As for AMG’s streaming services, it launched a paid DTC subscription for The Weather Channel in 2022 and has continued to expand distribution for the free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) Local Now service, including to LG smart TVs. In part powered by The Weather Channel alongside other content partners, Local Now delivers real-time, hyper-local news, weather, traffic, sports and lifestyle programming.  LG Channels (the OEM’s embedded FAST service) in April launched a Local Now channel on its smart TV free streaming service across all U.S. markets, spanning 223 DMAs.