Operative, Imagine Communications Partner on Unified Ad Tech Solution

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NEW YORK—Imagine Communications and Operative announced today they have entered into a solutions partnership agreement that will offer media companies a solution that unifies and automates TV media sales and execution.

The agreement combines key pieces of Imagine’s portfolio, OSI, XG Linear, GamePlan and the newly announced SureFire with Operative’s AOS and OnAir platforms.

Combining the strengths of both companies will enable media companies to optimally plan, sell, and execute advertising in an audience-centric manner across all digital and linear properties from a unified, cloud-native platform, the two companies reported. 

The companies also stressed that the partnership will help pave the way for alternative measurement and buying currencies similar to digital, with such companies as Sinclair becoming customers of the combined offering.

“We are excited to see solution vendors in the advertising technology arena partner together in a collaborative fashion,” said Del Parks, president of technology of Sinclair Broadcast Group.  “The industry needs more open, standards-based platforms to allow broadcasters to innovate and evolve as audiences fragment and new technologies offer more opportunities for advertisers. Imagine and Operative are trusted partners and we fully support their collaboration.”

This partnership between ad tech companies is designed to help media companies consolidate assets across their portfolios, reduce manual work and deliver on cost-savings initiatives while improving responsiveness to media buyers’ needs.  

Specific capabilities include bidirectional order data flows, ongoing synchronization of orders and campaign performance, and real-time inventory management, the companies said. 

"Customers require flexibility and extensibility when it comes to technology and data in media today,” said Lorne Brown, CEO of Operative. “The companies who are willing to partner and collaborate will provide the most value to their customers. Operative has always had an ‘open’ philosophy and our flagship product AOS was designed to accelerate data sharing across the entire ad workflow. Imagine shares our strategic vision of platform interoperability.”

“We are getting loud and clear messages from customers, ‘don’t lock me into an inflexible architecture’,” said Tom Cotney, CEO of Imagine Communications. ”Our partnership with Operative enables our clients to streamline their operations across multiple media forms and to address the increasing desire to be able to sell on an audience basis.”

AOS is Operative's next generation ad operating system; through AOS Operative can integrate a wide variety of first and third party applications, systems and data sets while unifying and automating the associated workflows and execution. Major media companies such as Sinclair use Operative to power their linear, digital and converged ad tech stacks.  

Through this partnership, AOS will enable a buyer to target audiences across a multitude of impression-based currencies and process the order across all platforms while leveraging Imagine’s next-generation order execution and inventory management solutions, GamePlan and SureFire.

Imagine’s GamePlan is an audience-aware ad-decision and optimization engine for linear television.  Imagine’s recently launched SureFire is a video ad server providing linear-like control and brand protection for direct selling of OTT inventory. Imagine’s unified monetization solutions increase yield,  improve the quality of advertising,  and decrease costs, Imagine said. 

Imagine will ingest orders from AOS and optimize the respective ad decisions at the edge, with GamePlan and SureFire, to guarantee reach and frequency to a particular audience across both digital and linear viewers while maximizing the yield across all inventory. Ad execution data is sent back into AOS, where powerful dashboards provide advertisers with real-time campaign fulfilment and forecasting reports, the companies said. 

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.