Neptune will bring together the publisher’s existing first-party data platform with data matching capabilities and custom-built AI contextual tools
To boost ad tech capability, Reach also announced the creation of its in-house Ad Tech Workshop, sitting in the commercial division and focussing entirely on commercial product development.
Reporting to Reach Group digital director Terry Hornsby, the Workshop will be both for in-house use and for licensing to other publishers. It will be made up of developers, testers and product managers, expanding to enhance and grow Reach’s digital products and publishing tools.
Neptune is a development of Reach’s successes in the field, including Mantis, an AI-powered brand safety and contextual tool launched in 2019 which was spearheaded by Hornsby and developed in partnership with IBM Watson.
Hornsby also launched a small team to develop Reach’s Plus products, offering a unique approach to customer matching as well as developing Ocean, Reach’s first party data platform.
Neptune and the Ad Tech Workshop come as part of Reach’s wider Customer Value Strategy announced in 2020, fast-tracking company efforts in bolstering data and technical capabilities. The publisher has set a target of reaching 10 million registered customers by the end of this year.
Hornsby commented on Neptune’s launch, saying: “This latest investment in our in-house workshop and the Neptune platform underpins our approach – trying new things, finding new opportunities for growth, and taking our destiny into our own hands.
“When we need a tech solution, we roll up our sleeves and create it.”
Piers North, Reach chief revenue officer, added: “Continuing to boost our ad tech capabilities will set us in great stead as we look to the future.
“The ad tech landscape is at a pivotal point this year, and I’m thrilled for this team to play a big part in shaping it.”