Samsung devices will get shake-up in advertisements soon

If you happen to catch a cable rerun of Judge Judy, the ads you’ll see will likely assume that you’re a retiree. Whether they’re about insurance, medication, or snacks, that fragment of the audience will receive ads that are applicable to them, even though everyone else will just click Mute and wait until the show comes back on.

And ad-supported streaming platforms have struggled to maximize the opportunities that cable TV misses out on to deliver targeted, applicable ad content to households. But a recent partnership between Experian and Samsung Ads is taking a crack at it. The two are collaborating to make Experian identity and syndicated audiences available directly within Samsung’s demand-side platform (DSP).

According to Ali Mack, head of TV and Agency Partnerships with Experian Marketing Services, households utilizing Samsung devices like mobile phones or Smart TVs will see a shake-up in their advertisements within the next month or two, via advertisers that tap the Samsung Ads DSP.     

Experian’s host of data points includes information on 126 million households, 750 million hashed emails, 5,000 data traits to assist with audience creation, and 2,400 ready-to-use audiences organized across eight different verticals. New advertising customers can merge those syndicated audience insights with Samsung’s glass-level Automated Content Recognition (ACR) data to target ads to precise audiences based on their individual viewership.

What Experian has proven to be skilled at is maximizing both the identity and the audience arenas of advertising. The identity portion of a user — their type of device, IP address, and where a household physically is on a map — is made meaningful through the trade-off of data collected online from individuals who do not opt out.

While Samsung as an entity may know how many devices are within a household and can assess the ACR data on what they’re watching, the partnership with Experian allows them to tie all of that information on the context of that household together to target ads more effectively. Experian accomplishes this by ranking data points on households based on confidence scores.

For example, if advertisers are seeking households interested in family-friendly cruises, Experian scores for that likelihood on a scale of 1 to 5. To score a 5 means that the team is very confident that a family has or will go on a cruise. A 3 serves as a maybe because the team is not entirely sure. Scoring a level 1 indicates that the team has no data point to support an assertion at all.

According to Mack, Experian currently has a 95% match rate with Samsung, which means that their existing data can be powered to reach the intended audience the vast majority of the time.

This development is a solution to a chronic identity problem that the CTV industry has had over the past few years. Services delivered purely online can use cookies to target advertisements, but the service is phasing out beginning in Q1 of 2024 with Google Chrome. It’s always been difficult for the television industry to thoroughly target users and advertisements because there isn’t the same degree of two-way interaction. That has become even more complicated with the popularity of Smart TVs and the fragmentation of streaming.

“What the ecosystem has done with Experian is better trace these households through trends we’re seeing beyond just the cookies,” Mack says.

What makes Experian different in its approach from other identity competitors is that it covers both identity and audience. Thus, it can serve as a partner between the two worlds for higher accuracy rates across targeted advertising. Partners like Samsung can understand how ads are performing across key audiences and deliver that information back to advertisers.

“What’s important in this industry is that accuracy matters more,” says Mack. “When you tie those worlds together, the impact can be pretty strong.”

Beyond the improvements for advertisers, further partnerships to refine addressable TV comes with ethical considerations on how user data is mobilized to target communities. This is where, to Mack, the industry know-how of Experian stands apart from its competitors. “Though the credit bureau and marketing are separate, privacy, compliance and data integrity matter the most in this industry… This is a national conversation advertisers are keeping a close ear on to what people want.”

This remains top of mind for CTV partners because streaming services want viewers to be happy, comfortable, and for them to keep coming back.

That being said, such specialized tailoring of ads could open the door for two users watching the same exact programming to receive entirely different experiences. This may have implications at times like election season.

While Mack acknowledges it’s too soon to tell if the Experian and Samsung partnership will create funnels for viewers, she is confident in the integrity of the larger television advertisement ecosystem.

“One thing that the TV community is careful about at conferences is not wanting to... build the same challenges we've had in digital,” she says. “Facebook and ads online are targeted to specific individuals, and we see what it does to the ecosystem. We’re trying for TV to not just become digital for that reason.”

In the next few years, Mack is anticipating that such partnerships like this one will be the tip of the iceberg for the next interaction of CTV to reshape what’s possible within the TV ad industry.

“All Smart TVs are going to be a more important role in TV advertising in the future,” she says. “I’m excited to see where [Samsung] takes their ad business and how we can be around for the ride.”