Fox employs Madhive’s new local CTV political ad marketplace

Madhive on Tuesday launched a local connected TV (CTV) marketplace for political advertising, with Fox Television Stations signed on as one of the first-to-market clients utilizing the offering.

With the 2024 election season poised to bring an influx of spending, Madhive says the purpose-designed marketplace for political advertisers will enable buyers to combat fragmentation, streamline activation and have better visibility into inventory scarcity. It marks an expansion of Madhive’s existing platform that delivers more than 20,000 campaigns daily, with a purpose-built political offering that includes access to political data partners and promises hyperlocal targeting at scale.

Madhive touted the local CTV marketplace for political advertising as addressing a major pain point for the industry where many advertisers rely on targeting based on designated market area or zip code, which the company said can be a less precise manner to reach potential voters. In contrast, the new CTV marketplace goes beyond DMAs and allows buyers to target potential voters across more than 400 congressional districts on CTV. Political data partners involved in the offering include Datatrust, TargetSmart, Experian and L2, alongside ACR segments specific to political targeting.

“We are very excited to offer our FLX CTV product and our partnership with Madhive to the growing OTT political marketplace. Our ability to target every congressional district in the country using the combination of FLX’s scale and Madhive’s award-winning technology provides an excellent opportunity for campaigns of all sizes to target potential voters,” said Michael Page, SVP of digital sales for Fox Television Stations, in a statement. “Fox’s expertise in handling high-volume buys and the significant targeting capabilities of our FLX product in all 210 DMAs make us a must-use resource for nearly every race in the country.”

Madhive has experience both with local stations and streaming advertising, as it was founded in 2016, in part to offer solutions for broadcasters to bring streaming TV to local advertisers. In 2017 the company counted local broadcaster Tegna as its first official client and has marked growth since, including securing Fox as a client in 2021 and announcing a $300 million investment from Goldman Sachs Asset Management in June 2023.

As for the new local CTV political ad marketplace, the platform offers privacy-compliant first-party data onboarding, ensuring customer data can be securely uploaded and activated within 24 hours. The vendor’s political supply product offers premium inventory from major programmers, OEMs and streaming platforms, which Madhive said boosts national and local scale. In addition, it also aims to give buyers a more realistic idea of political campaign delivery through the Madhive CTV media planner by utilizing IAB categories to target publishers that are accepting political ads.

“Because we serve billions of local CTV impressions across all 210 DMAs, Madhive is uniquely positioned to identify local voters at national scale based on a variety of parameters including geography, demographic, interests and political party – all while ensuring consumer privacy,” said Kristin Wnuk, SVP of sales at Madhive. “Additionally, our party-neutral political offering will provide AI-powered insights into performance and campaign clearing, which enables in-flight optimization based on outcomes from an ecosystem underpinned by best-in-class data partners.”

In addition, Madhive’s built a portal to track political packaging and campaign estimates. According to the company, this helps clients understand scarcity and predict potential pricing fluctuations that happen during the election cycle.

Madhive’s new local CTV marketplace focused on political advertising comes during an election cycle that is boosted by a presidential election. Estimates from AdImpact project $10.2 billion in political ad spending for the 2023-2024 election cycle across broadcast, cable, radio, satellite, digital and CTV – reflecting a 13% increase above the previous record set during the 2019-2020 election cycle. Of that AdImpact projects CTV political ad spending will total over $1.3 billion. Still, the firm noted that while more ad budgets are moving to streaming globally, political media budgets continue to be dominated by broadcast television, which is anticipated to account for 51% of spend in the 2024 cycle.

But with continued cord cutting trends alongside additional data and targeting capabilities, streaming and CTV can still offer benefits for political advertisers. In a whitepaper released in partnership with Google earlier this month, AdImpact said research found advertisers that shifted budgets to CTV in key 2022 races were able to better reach target audiences.

The report included a cross-media Google study that found from May through July in the 2022 Georgia Senate race, YouTube reached over 3.5 million people in the campaign’s target audience, of which over 50% saw a YouTube ad on the TV screen. And in October of the 2022 Wisconsin Senate race, linear and YouTube ads combined to reach over 90% of the campaign’s target audience, with more than 45% of the YouTube ads on the TV screen.

“Reach is a key currency for political advertising campaigns. With the rise of premium inventory on streaming platforms, political advertisers now have a wider range of opportunities to access targeted viewers directly,” said Kyle Roberts, CEO of AdImpact, in a statement accompanying the report.