The Skinny on Programmatic TV

The Skinny on Programmatic TV

For a while the term programmatic TV has been getting a lot of lip service in industry trades and conferences, but it’s also caused a great deal of head scratching. Turns out, programmatic TV is one of those vague catch-alls the industry loves (remember programmatic premium?) that covers several sorta-related channels.

Programmatic TV is still not completely defined and the channels laid out below are changing at a clip. Many of these are still in early stages when it comes to advertising, but opportunities for both the open marketplace and private marketplaces are quickly appearing.

Addressable linear television. Many multi-service operators now offer set-top boxes that can dynamically insert advertising into live linear television because the content is being delivered digitally. From what MSO and broadcaster ops people tell us, home-built or provider solutions are rickety at best, and often limited in their offerings. Tapping into the video exchanges for programmatic buys is mainly in the experimental stages, but offers a great deal of promise, particularly when it comes to targeting demographics. But there also strict rules for TV advertising (e.g., competing advertisers cannot be featured in the same pod) that make this a trickier path to go down.

Dynamically inserted advertising in MSO-based video on demand. Similar story to addressable linear television.

Live digital television streams. Companies like Bloomberg have digitally streamed their TV offering for years, with advertising dynamically inserted thanks to home-built technology. Recently Dish introduced SlingTV, which digitally streams content from a selection of broadcasters. The dynamically served advertising is done in partnership by SlingTV and the broadcasters, as detailed during the opening keynote at AdMonsters’ OPS conference in June 2015. This space is very nascent and definitely still developing.

On-demand digital television. This is actually a prime space for video exchanges and PMPs – broadcasters like CBS and streaming video-on-demand providers like Hulu have launched subscription-based services offering consumers access to vast libraries of content. The targeting is further enhanced by publisher first-party data (i.e., much beloved registration data). These services are available on desktop, mobile and connected TV.

Video spots within over-the-top or connected TV apps. Another big opportunity for transacting programmatically. The biggest advertiser complaint about OTT is a lack of metrics, specifically GRPs, advertisers’ preference. The major measurement companies are currently tackling these channels, but the lack of GRPs make them prime to be sold programmatically, which can take advantage of other data points for targeting.

This is an excerpt from the AdMonsters Playbook: Private Marketplaces and Advanced Studies in Programmatic Video. Download your copy today!