The relationship between supply and demand is a seesaw balancing act present in all marketplaces, whether it's a local farmer's market or an e-commerce website. Seasoned marketers know that this dynamic varies a lot depending on the medium, especially when it comes to understanding the future of television advertising in comparison with the past 20 years of digital media. While linear TV (i.e., what comes through set-top boxes and digital antennae) is supply-constrained, digital media is just the opposite, with demand that can't match the available inventory.

Comprehending this key distinction is critical to preparing now for the present and for the nearer- than-one-might-think future of TV advertising, one that features software-enabled programmatic elements that brands, agencies, and networks can take advantage of.

Most descriptions of programmatic TV imply that it's merely following a digital advertising programmatic blueprint, but that's misleading. In fact, TV's version of programmatic advertising isn't just a carbon copy of digital programmatic advertising because TV differs from digital media in many ways — but none more so than the relationship between supply and demand of advertising inventory.

Keeping Your Footing in a Rapidly Shifting Market