New Facebook Tool Lets Publishers Use Its Data to Sell Video Ads

What: Facebook has unveiled its’ new tool Audience Direct to let media companies and publishers sell ads using Facebook’s data.
Why it matters: Audience Direct is a new way for Facebook to help media partners selling their ads directly to advertisers, keeping their own ad tech infrastructure in place.

Facebook is  offering media companies and publishers sell ads using Facebook’s data, adAge has reported.That is, make more money from digital ads by using Facebook’s data for streaming video publishers to target video ads on their sites and in their apps.

A&E Networks, ESPN, Hearst Television and Scripps Networks Interactive are testing an automated system that lets marketers find their intended audience using Facebook data such as age, gender and location.

The social network’s new product Audience Direct has been designed to help web publishers sell targeted video ads using Facebook’s demographic and location data. A publisher could use Audience Direct to make sure that an advertiser running a campaign aimed at women between the ages of 18 and 34 gets what they paid for, according to Business Insider.

Although Facebook is not making money off the beta test, Audience Direct allows the social network to expand its ad footprint. It already operates its Facebook Audience Network, but that counts on publishers opening their inventory and letting Facebook handle the relationships with advertisers. Publishers opt in to the audience program, and advertisers can expand campaigns outside of Facebook to those partner properties by just clicking a button.

The more publishers that use Audience Direct, the more that will likely employ other Facebook ad products. Facebook already sells ads that run on a large number of websites as part of its Facebook Audience Network.Facebook has data on nearly 2 billion users, including their real names, locations and interests, so its data and technology should be able to help the average web publisher improve ad targeting precision. Media partners won’t be able to pull any individual Facebook user data and won’t be able to reuse this data for other ad campaigns.

“This is Facebook’s attempt to take away traditional TV dollars,” said one publisher familiar with the new program. “It’s their way to gain access to more original programming,”said Brian Boland, VP of publisher solutions at Facebook.

According to Boland, a publisher might have to deliver 2 million ad impressions just to make sure that an advertiser gets the 1 million targeted ads it commissioned. “This is a problem that we’ve heard about from large video publishers. This helps them solve that problem.”