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Discovery picks up stake in Fox, NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS joint venture

Discovery Inc. has been become the latest media giant to pick up a stake in OpenAP, an advanced advertising joint venture between Fox, NBCUniversal, and ViacomCBS.

In becoming a minority owner in the company, Discovery extends its existing relationship with OpenAP, having integrated with its OpenID identifier product last year, and partnered with the joint venture on the launch of the cross-platform measurement framework XPm.

Discovery’s Chief US Advertising Sales Officer, Jon Steinlauf, and Executive Vice President of Digital Ad Sales and Advanced Advertising, Jim Keller, will both join OpenAP’s Board of Directors.

“Discovery is excited to take an active role shaping the future of advanced audience buying,” said Keller. “Given our current momentum, influence and growth of audience-based sales, we believe Discovery can help further the work OpenAP has been doing to initiate meaningful change in the market.”

OpenAP will use Discovery’s investment and influence to help grow the overall market for audience-based advertising, and expand on its services across cross-platform identity, measurement, and planning.

OpenAP currently works with more than 100 advertisers, and expects to run half a billion publisher-driven advertising sales through its platform in fiscal year 2022, which would represent 140% year-on-year growth.

In a joint statement, Dan Callahan, Senior Vice President, Data Strategy and Sales Innovation at FOX; Krishan Bhatia, President & Chief Business Officer at NBCUniversal; and John Halley, Chief Operating Officer, Advertising Revenue at ViacomCBS, said: “Discovery’s commitment further validates OpenAP’s mission and builds on the success and scale of our collective organizations work to build a more advanced model for TV advertising that focuses on audiences. OpenAP has been a catalyst for bringing programmers and marketers together to change the model, and we’re proud to now have Discovery join us to accelerate these efforts.”