Programmatic Buying Makes Its Way To TV

Television remote control changes channels thumb on the blue TV screen

Programmatic Buying, an advertising tool that is used to match ads with predefined audiences, has been a dominant feature on the World Wide Web for some time now. In recent months, programmatic buying is now making its way into TV advertising and it is here to stay.

In the past, TV advertising was archaic when it came to targeting and analytics. Agencies were hired by brands to buy large chunks of TV advertising that focused on high volume. There was little to no insight on audience and demographic breakdown. Trying to pull analytics from TV was also very limiting and, as a result, it was hard to dictate who saw the ads and how often.

Today’s digital revolution facilitates data-driven placements. As a result, broadcasters can access cost-effective and efficient ad-placement at their fingertips. TV has been transformed from a mono-directional to a bi-directional communication medium. Data is now accessible in a way where we can put the right content in front of the right people at the right time.

Dish Network is an example of a TV network that is starting to use its own programmatic ad marketplace. Dish plans to use 80 data points to target specific ads to specific viewers on an “impression by impression” basis. Advertisers will now be able to bid on impressions through trading desks such as TubeMogul, Rocket Fuel, and DataXu. Although Trading Desks are not new to agencies, these centralized management platforms will help broadcasters improve their advertising performance and receive increased value from their TV advertising. In addition, they will be able to monitor performance and measure results for broadcasters.

Other programmatic ad exchanges such as Ooyala give broadcasters an alternative to programmatic ad buying and selling. Broadcasters can create packages of unused local and national advertising slots and sell them off to a place, like Ooyala, that provides technology linkages between advertisers and broadcasters to facilitate programmatic buying and selling.

Even though it is easier to manage and track through programmatic buying, it’s only expected to account for 4% of TV advertising budgets for 2015. For TV, programmatic buying is still in its infancy stage. Over the next few years, you can expect it to be quickly adapted by broadcasters given its success with web advertising.