NBCUniversal adds more digital, streaming ad options for local businesses

The Comcast NBC Universal logo is shown on a building in Los Angeles, California

By Sheila Dang

(Reuters) -Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal on Thursday said it will give local U.S. advertisers access to buy more digital and streaming TV advertising inventory and introduce the ability to target those ads to consumers by their region, as the media company looks to gain more revenue from small to mid-sized businesses.

NBC Spot On, a program that serves advertisers on NBCUniversal’s local TV stations, will expand to let local businesses buy ads on its streaming service Peacock, and on NBCUniversal content that appears on Google’s YouTube and Apple News.

The move is another step in NBCUniversal’s push to simplify how advertisers of all sizes purchase ads across all the platforms where viewers watch content, including TV and streaming services.

NBCUniversal said it will also double the amount of ad inventory local advertisers can access on the NBC App, which has content from networks including MSNBC, Bravo and E!.

Local advertisers will now be able to target their ads to viewers in more sophisticated ways, such as by what content they like to watch and geo-targeting, which is key for businesses that will aim to reach potential customers near their stores.

A local car dealership, for instance, will want to know “who’s within driving distance of [their] dealership, what car they’re driving and what car they’re in the market for,” so that it can tailor its message, said Krishan Bhatia, executive vice president of business operations and strategy at NBCUniversal.

“That’s helpful for a local advertiser who wants to make the most of every dollar,” he added.

While categories such as travel will take time to return to pre-pandemic levels, local businesses are looking for more ways to turn to ecommerce and advertise features like curbside pickup, said Frank Comerford, chief revenue officer of local advertising and partnerships.

“The advertisers need to get their messages out,” he said.

(Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by Mark Potter)