Programmatic TV Is Turning On

Television advertising is the standard bearer for “traditional” trading, but marketers are rapidly introducing new technologies to make TV ad-buying new again. How well the reinvention works and how far it can go remain to be seen, but there’s no denying that Madison Ave.’s shift toward audience-buying has infiltrated TV.

Case in point: Turn, a demand-side platform (DSP), on Tuesday announced a partnership with AudienceXpress, a programmatic TV ad buying platform. Turn made its first moves in the “programmatic TV” space in May and just last week struck a partnership with AdMore, another automated TV ad buying platform.

So why the push? Paul Alfieri, senior vice president of marketing at Turn, said in a statement that “marketers are increasingly looking to apply audience data and insights to all channels -- including television,” pointing out that “data-driven TV is on the rise.”

He’s not wrong. About 8% of ad buyers are currently using programmatic (read: data-driven audience-buying) for TV advertising, per a recent AOL survey. According to the same study, the use of programmatic for TV is expected to rise by another 12% in the next six months.

A recent Audience Buying Insider piece stated that “TV automation is already here,” and that “the right discussion is not if TV can be automated, but which ad tech approach is the correct one for different sectors of the industry.” The two approaches are A) “software plugins that can send and receive instructions and data directly into the traffic system,” and B) to “integrate independent hardware and software alongside the traffic system and accompanying ad servers.”

Turn is not the only, not the first and certainly won’t be the last ad tech company that will attempt to bring programmatic TV to life, but its two recent announcements bring the overarching topic to light: Marketers want to be able to buy the same audiences across all screens.

"Watching TV" image from Shutterstock.

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1 comment about "Programmatic TV Is Turning On".
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc , September 2, 2014 at 4:17 p.m.
    Once again, I feel compelled to point out that even if we assume that the survey's finding that 8% of advertisers now use programmatic to buy TV is accurate------color me extremely skeptical on that one---- that does not mean that 8% of TV ad dollars----or more than $5 billion-----are now bought in this manner and, by manner, I mean by real time bidding via "trading desks". The real volumetric figure is probably only a fraction of this----a very tiny fraction.