The Weather Company opens its data trove to marketers on outside platforms
The Weather Company’s forecast calls for selling a lot more data.
Weather has a new product that allows marketers to use its location and weather data to make their own transactions on inventory outside of Weather’s properties. The product, which is in pilot with a handful of agencies and a few programmatic firms, will become available on the open market later this quarter when it will be sold to various players in the ad supply chain such as agencies, brands, retargeters and programmatic platforms. It is an extension of the data products that Weather has pushed for years.
“We are breaking apart the data from the media,” said Jeremy Hlavacek, vp of global automated monetization at The Weather Channel. “By offering data off-property, we can get into markets we haven’t been in before like search and social advertising.”
Weather has long been in the data business with products like WeatherFx that allow advertisers to target readers based off weather conditions, but the major differences with the new product is that it is available to clients outside of agencies and brands; clients now make the transactions themselves when they buy on outside properties while using Weather’s data and clients can make those transactions without having to purchase Weather inventory.
“The complaint over four years was, ‘We love this data, but we want more scale,’” Hlavacek said. “So now we are passing the data segments to other partners.”
For about four years, Weather has had a product called Extender where Weather bought inventory on outside properties on behalf of advertiser clients. The Extender product was used when advertisers made large buys that Weather’s inventory alone couldn’t meet. But, unlike the new product, clients had no control over what outside websites their ads would appear on.
“The problem with that model is the agency partners would say, ‘We are the ones in charge of the media buying,’” Hlavacek said. “Advertisers may want this data, but they want to execute the buy themselves.”
Four employees work on the new product full-time. Hlavacek said that number will grow throughout the year, but he doesn’t expect it to skyrocket since tech and sales people from parent-company IBM will pitch in part-time. He declined to share how much revenue he anticipates the new product will bring in, but he said that over the past few years its other data products collectively drove “hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue” for Weather.
Hlavacek credited the shift in how Weather allows marketers to access its data to the company’s acquisition by IBM last year.
“As a publisher in the past, we might be hesitant [to increase data access] as our main goal was just to sell media,” he said. “But now we are becoming more of a platform company by relying on [IBM’s] data and AI capabilities, and using that technology horsepower to offer unique solutions.”
Cheat Sheet: At IAB Podcast Upfront, diverse voices take center stage while podcast advertising revenue and audiences boom
Most of the companies that presented at the IAB Podcast Upfront signaled they had or were going to add more diversity to their programming, both in hosts and content.
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: What media companies’ latest earnings reports say about the state of the industry
Media companies' Q1 earnings reports signaled a continued return to business as usual — for better or worse, depending on the company's digital business.
‘Brands tend to be selective’: OMG report offers options to media buyers facing upfront inventory crunch
With a tight upfront TV marketplace expected, one agency group is recommending alternatives in video and CTV.
SponsoredHow The Company Store is reimagining customer experiences for pandemic-era growth
Throughout the pandemic, some retail categories have been inherently successful. Home furnishings and décor are among them; with consumers spending so much more time at home, updates and renovations flourished. Criteo data from the first half of 2020 showed sales for items like outdoor furniture sets up 434% year over year, with other home items […]
‘You’re fixing a number, not changing the culture’: Confessions of a media exec on diversity quotas
In the rush to improve diversity rates, businesses are in danger of overlooking more fundamental ways to sustain inclusivity in the workplace, according to our latest Confessions interviewee.
‘Direct revenue driver’: How local broadcaster News 12 is partnering with Google to build a younger audience
Local broadcaster used support and funding from Google News Initiative to build a new tool that can automatically identify and feed video content into new website verticals.