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Programmatic buying is a catalyst capable of bringing ad markets together

Could Programmatic Buying Unify the Ad Market?

March 14th, 2016   ||    by Duane Craig

AdRoll partnered with Qualtrics in surveying over 1,000 US marketers and found programmatic buying in the TV ad market had increased significantly. Twenty-five percent of respondents to the survey said they are now using programmatic buying for TV ads. Adam Burke, AdRoll’s president and CMO, ranked the spending priorities this way:

  1. Retargeting across all media channels
  2. Mobile
  3. Social
  4. Programmatic TV

Burke said programmatic TV was still getting “figured out” and that its newness meant it wasn’t fully incorporated “into the attribution models most marketers use.” He also said programmatic TV needed more inventory and predicted that as inventory rose, so would demand. As supply side platforms work to increase inventory from broadcasters, programmatic digital is also poised to influence demand.rammatic digital is also poised to influence demand.

It’s Just a Transaction

Jeremy Ostermiller, CEO of Altitude Digital, suggested on MediaPost that the ultimate state of programmatic is one where all inventory transactions, whether mobile, desktop, or TV, are done through automated buying. Top level benefits include immersive messages delivered on the right device, to the right consumer, right when they are most receptive to those messages. On the back end, the benefits are greater efficiency in the transaction and better reporting. Whether the message is related to television inventory or digital inventory makes little difference from a transactional perspective. And one type of digital inventory—video— might be the bridge that carries programmatic buying across the TV and digital divide.

Aligning TV and Digital

Aol.Platforms partnered with Advertiser Perceptions to survey executives from about 300 brands, agencies, and publishers for its 2015 US State of the Video Industry Report. While the survey results confirmed the continued movement of TV ad spending to digital video, the implication is that the shift is short-term, and a step in the direction of programmatic transactions across all inventory. That was reinforced by results from a Digiday survey, reported in eMarketer, where more than half of respondents said it was very important or important to purchase programmatic TV and digital video together. Including all digital in transactions is the next step because having programmatic TV and programmatic digital together is the ultimate for ad buyers and sellers. Over half of respondents to the AOL survey said they are investing in programmatic TV because of the opportunity it presents for aligning TV buying and measurement with their digital efforts. They were also highly motivated toward programmatic buying so they could measure the impact of TV ads.

Unity in the Longer Term

The unifying of TV and digital through programmatic buying is also considered a way to find the opportunities in fragmentation. Consumers are bloated with digital devices, and already expect a seamless video experience across them. Advertisers are embracing the fever surrounding video, but they also don’t want to be left behind in the programmatic evolution. So, they are increasing their programmatic buying, while increasingly using video to deliver the compelling messages consumers now expect. Over the near term, that’s siphoning ad spend away from television.

As reported in the AOL survey results, 68 percent of brands recently said they are shifting budgets from network TV to video, and 46 percent of all ad buyers are moving dollars from cable TV to video. As an ascending and disruptive technology, programmatic has stages it must go through before becoming widely adopted. Advertisers, who hold the purse strings to the ads, continue pushing programmatic forward in both the digital and television marketplaces. That’s starting to look like an ad market unified under programmatic transactions.

To find out more about programmatic TV, connect with Videa.

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