TORONTO: Corus, one of Canada's leading media companies, is aiming to take programmatic buying to a new level across all its networks.

The company, which currently operates 45 specialty and 15 conventional TV channels as well as 39 radio stations, intends to create a system that not only enables advertisers to buy inventory programmatically but to target households by zip code.

"When we talk about programmatic, we're talking about taking our schedules, applying set-top box data and programmatically creating a whole schedule for advertisers across our 45 networks priced consistently, which they can't do today," Greg McLelland, CRO for Corus, explained to Ad Exchanger.

"This is where the power of programmatic will benefit us and the advertiser."

Corus is also carrying out household addressable trials with auto advertisers in Ontario. Its own set-top box data is layered with third party data from marketing analytics firm Environics.

"We would know how many people are in a household, their education and income level, as well as psychographic data," McLelland said.

"We can go back to advertisers and say, 'If you're looking for moms with three kids who live in a suburb with a minivan, here's what they're watching'."

Corus can also identify for advertisers those programs that overindex on their desired audience.

Ad Exchanger noted that the Canadian market differed from the US in several important ways, having less reliable third-party data and stricter privacy regulations.

But in one respect, at least, Canada could be ahead of the US in developing programmatic buying for television, since it only sells national inventory.

"We don't have local avails in Canada where broadcasters have two-minute [pods] as their own revenue source," said McLelland.

"We sell on the national level in prime time, which is slightly ahead of what's happening in the US, as I understand it. It's a much bigger deal up here."

Data sourced from Ad Exchanger; additional content by Warc staff