Comcast’s FreeWheel Hires Utpal Kalita As Blockgraph CTO In Blockchain Data Push

Comcast’s FreeWheel Hires Utpal Kalita As Blockgraph CTO In Blockchain Data Push


Comcast first mentioned its blockchain advertising ambitions in 2017 at Cannes, and since then the initiative has been incubated by Comcast’s FreeWheel ad tech subsidiary.

On Thursday, FreeWheel said it had hired Utpal Kalita as CTO of the Blockgraph business.

After bringing on broadcast partners and setting terms for the service, Blockgraph needs a tech chief and more product execs to handle its first product update cycle. The company plans to start running its first live campaigns next month.

Kalita said it will be the first time a marketer uses CRM data or other first-party audience data to match against a TV distributor’s targetable data, like household IP addresses or Wi-Fi networks, with the transactions and data use tracked by Blockgraph’s blockchain ledger system.

The three broadcasters pledging inventory to the platform so far are Viacom, Charter and NBCUniversal, a Comcast sibling. Blockgraph monetizes differently for marketers, TV distributors, like large broadcasters or cable providers and publishers like OTT apps or video creators.

Blockgraph will start with publishers and broadcasters, who want to enable targeting and measurability similar to ad platforms like Google or Amazon, but plans to launch separate products designed for direct brands and for agencies.

Media companies pay a fee to use the platform, listing their inventory and first-party data, as well as fees depending how much data they use, Kalita said. Marketers pay in tiers based on how many look-ups they do on broadcast data and the overall number of audience matches with their own data.Blockgraph’s economics and monetization could change, […]