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Programmatic TV a step nearer

News, 25 February 2015

NEW YORK: A new consortium of 15 cable networks aims to advance the cause of programmatic buying in television and help media investment group Magna Global achieve its aim of automating half its buying in 2015.

Digiday reported that while the networks were small individually they reached specific audiences such as Hispanics, African-Americans and young people that are hard for advertisers to pinpoint elsewhere.

Todd Gordon, evp/ Magna Marketplace for Magna Global, explained that the consortium would move beyond simple demographics to use consumer behaviour data, such as purchase history, to target ads and employ technology to serve them while applying a performance metric.

He conceded that this process did not include the use of real-time bidding, but argued that as long as the first three elements were present "you don't have to be that strict about what we call programmatic".

Not that real-time bidding is a necessary part of programmatic, as the practice has evolved to include private exchanges and other forms of trading that are not done in real time.

Just "using data to ID audience segments in a linear environment is a big step forward," Gordon said. "This can bring more value to these audiences that could be overlooked because they're small."

And this approach could also help serve ads to non-typical viewers: "Beer drinkers who don't watch sports," Gordon suggested. "There's plenty of them out there."

Separately, Randy Cooke, vp/programmatic TV at video advertising platform SpotXchange, explained to Beet.tv how programmatic was opening up new opportunities for both TV operators and content owners to fully monetise every audience they had.

"A TV-everywhere opportunity requires an audience-everywhere supply-side solution for content providers and TV operators," he said.

On the issue of real-time bidding, he was of the opinion that "we can increasingly get to something very similar to real time, certainly with more insightful decisioning closer to the ad airing".

What programmatic could do immediately, he argued, was help with optimisation and "streamlining what is a very archaic process relative to how other media are transacted".

He expected the year ahead would be pivotal: "We're at a confluence where measurement, data and inspiration are coming together in an automated fashion."

Data sourced from Digiday, Beet.tv; additional content by Warc staff