Comcast aims to bolster data sharing in advanced TV with Blockgraph

Comcast is rolling out Blockgraph to enhance targeting in advanced TV

Comcast Cable Advertising (CCA) is launching its next phase of Blockgraph, a blockchain-enabled software that aims to allow television and media companies to safely activate data at scale.

CCA announced today (21 December) it is making Blockgraph commercially available in early 2019 in an effort to better compete with digital-first companies by facilitating a secure exchange of privacy-compliant data for addressable advertising.

Rather than serving as a third-party provider that performs a blind bi-lateral match of data attributes, Blockgraph acts as a peer-to-peer platform allowing participants to perform blind matches directly to share insights from aggregated, anonymized information.

As the TV landscape continues to fragment, so too does audience data. Blockgraph establishes a multi-device identity layer that connects data points across the industry, general manager Jason Manningham told The Drum. It's a needed step forward as TV and media companies look to better compete with digital-first companies, he added.

"By establishing a common, safe identity layer, you're able to connect distributed insights in a non-identifiable way and take advantage of the collective information that the broader community has," said Manningham.

Blockgraph has been in production for two years under Freewheel, Comcast's ad tech brand.

Comcast is currently working with its subsidiary NBCUniversal to test Blockgraph's capabilities before the commercial rollout.

Blockgraph is not meant to be solely a Comcast-led initiative. Manningham said 15 companies are apart of an early involvement feedback program. These include Viacom and Spectrum Reach, which have assisted in shaping Blockgraph and pushing for industry adoption.

Kern Schireson, executive vice president and chief data officer at Viacom, said the software is a "necessary catalyst" to help scale the industry's collective data capabilities.

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