The Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International Technology group’s new Advertising Platforms team will be led by Jeremy Helfand, previously Hulu’s VP and head of advertising platforms, which he joined in 2018. The group brings together the existing Hulu and DTCI Advertising Product and Technology’s teams to develop strategies, technologies, tools and products for linear TV, streaming and digital advertising across the media conglomerate.
The consolidation move aligns the ad-tech side of the Mouse House with the unified structure of Disney Advertising Sales under president Rita Ferro, who now oversees Hulu ad sales.
“Advertising is a critically important aspect of Disney’s business, and the future of advertising requires a new level of viewer-first innovation powered by the industry’s most advanced TV ad platform,” Aaron LaBerge, EVP and CTO of DTCI Technology, said in a statement. “Jeremy is an accomplished, business-focused technology leader, whose teams have turned great ideas into groundbreaking technologies and products.”
Key areas of focus for DTCI’s Advertising Platforms will include the long-term development of a unified, Disney-wide ad platform, along with to ongoing support for cross-platform offerings like Disney Hulu XP; expansion of “viewer-first advertising experiences,” including development of new formats that improve advertising for both viewers and brands across Disney media properties.
The new group also will work to expand programmatic ad buying and selling platforms, as well as mine data for research, to expand addressable advertising, to provide end-to-end attribution across media buys.
Disney’s formation of the new ad-tech team comes on the heels of the Disney Advertising Sales virtual annual Upfront Road Show, and ahead of Hulu’s livestreamed Digital Content NewFronts presentation on June 22.
DTCI Technology comprises a global team of nearly 3,500 employees, including developers, data scientists and engineers. The group is responsible for the design, development and consumer experience of over 200 of Disney’s branded digital products, including ABC, ABC News, Disney, DisneyNow, ESPN, FX, Marvel, National Geographic, and Star Wars. It also manages advertising technology and products; data platforms; and worldwide digital and linear media distribution.