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TVB Forward Event Doubles as Launchpad for New Videa Offering

October 7th, 2016   ||    by Todd Wasserman

TVB Forward, a broadcast TV leadership conference in New York on Sept. 29, was the backdrop for a major announcement from Videa that puts it at the center of a looming surge in local programmatic TV.

Videa launched its supply-side programmatic platform, which automates the buying and selling of full-schedule, forward-reserve local broadcast television inventory, and then optimizes results by injecting data and analytics. Shereta Williams, president of Videa, said the show was the perfect venue to launch because “it’s not only the largest group of the top broadcasters at the highest level of those companies, but it’s also a conference that’s focused on the future and what’s next.”

Many in the industry believe local programmatic TV is next.

Local Market Focus

Just 1–2 percent of the $21.9 billion local spot TV market is programmatic right now, according to BIA/Kelsey, which predicts the practice will take off over the next few years. Williams was more optimistic, estimating that late 2017 would be an inflection point for local programmatic.

Williams said people at TVB Forward were excited about the prospect, and voiced interesting questions. One was measurement: “That kind of plays alongside this move to programmatic,” she noted. “Both sides of the table have some frustration about how local TV in particular is measured and also how this move toward cross-platform measurement will occur.”

Videa Plus Local

Williams said Videa is not looking to make wholesale changes in the way local TV is bought and sold, but rather “keeping the parts of the TV sales process that work and augmenting them with new attributes from digital that make spot TV more efficient, but doesn’t cause a station to completely change how they sell.” For instance, customers can buy TV weeks and quarters in advance with Videa, while others only allow for last-minute buys. TV stations can also set their pricing and subsequent rules.

Looking Ahead

On the technology front, another big topic at TVB Forward was this year’s launch of ATSC 3.0, a new broadcasting format that will allow broadcast signals to be mobile, two-way and interactive. “It opens the door for dynamic ad serving and one-to-one addressability for broadcast,” she said.

The final piece of the puzzle is accurate cross-device targeting and attribution. Williams said we still have a while to go until it’s a reality. “It’s what we’re all marching towards, but it will take time.”

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