OpenAP was built by traditional TV companies hoping to get their collective hands around new ad-tech that is generating millions of advertising dollars Now they are reaching outside of their circle.

The advertising consortium, owned by NBCUniversal, Fox Corp., Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery, has enlisted an investment from Snowflake Ventures, a company that specializes in cloud-based data and analytics. Snowflake will be the first company from outside the traditional TV business to have ownership in Open AP.

“This investment from Snowflake is really a testament to the publishers saying, ‘We know this is where the industry is going,'” says David Levy, CEO of Open AP, in an interview.

Since launching in 2017 under the auspices of the former WarnerMedia’s Turner, the former Viacom Inc. and the Fox Networks Group of the former 21st Century Fox, Open AP has tried to facilitate the increasingly common practice of “audience buying” among advertisers. By helping advertisers reach certain consumer categories that remain the same no matter which company’s inventory is being purchased, Open AP gives marketers the chance to create benchmarks that can be more easily compared.

Creating those standards, however, requires the disclosure of all kinds of bespoke and proprietary consumer data, leading for the call for so-called “clean rooms” that allow information to be matched without having to cede control of one company’s reserarch.

“All the publishers are leaning forward and saying, ‘Hey, we really need to invest in clean-room technology allowing our data to be matched and moved without the data having to change hands,'” says Levy.

OpenAP expects Snowflake’s investment to accelerate the development of its OpenAP Data Hub., introduced in June 2022. That technology offers a “clean room” solution for the television industry and utilizes Snowflake technology. The investment will be followed by an initial release of data and services to the OpenAP Data Hub in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2022.

“Since OpenAP’s inception, the programmers have proven that collaboration and partnership is a powerful mechanism in transforming the entire television advertising industry. Now with this partnership and investment, cross-cloud data collaboration at scale will accelerate that transformation,” said Bill Stratton, Snowflake’s head of media, entertainment and advertising.