The Shifting Tides Of Video Advertising

We don’t use travel agents to book flights anymore, we can do all of our banking digitally, there’s no need for record stores since our music is just a mouse click away and our friends all stay in touch through social networks. Virtually every facet of life has experienced a transformation from an old, manual process to a newer, more automated way. If we value the conveniences offered and the capabilities afforded to us by self-service and automation, why are we still trading advertising like it’s the 1960s?

If you haven’t noticed, there is a significant shift occurring beneath the feet of those involved in television and video advertising. The old way of buying the advertising space for television, which was grandfathered into the digital media business, is dying out. What was once a logical way to buy video real estate has become time-consuming and costly in today’s digital world. While there are many similarities between TV and digital, the fluidity of online purchasing capabilities renders that traditional process inefficient to a fault and anything but complementary to bottom lines. The traditional method for media buying simply takes too much time and labor to be valuable to video advertisers. In short, modern media requires a modern way of trading.



The time has come to usher in a new and improved way to buy and sell video advertising and effectively destroy the old practices that have caused many headaches.

As we’ve seen in the recent comScore rankings, there has been an influx in the volume of video ads traded using self-service and automated buying tools. This proves that the industry is moving towards a more programmatic way of buying and selling media. But what exactly is “programmatic buying”? Michael Greene, senior analyst at Forrester defines it best, as a process that “is largely about creating workflow efficiencies through increased automation -- both within and outside of auction environments.”

Finally someone is speaking the language of 21st-century marketers! Programmatic buying and selling will triumph over inefficiencies such as the tedious and time-taxing RFP. A more automated and efficient approach to carrying out media transactions will deliver greater returns for agencies and publishers. Nothing instigates change like dollars and cents.

As the traditional distinctions between television and digital video continue to blur, so does the model for how to transact. Programmatic buying has already seen tremendous adoption and is likely not only to transform how video is bought and sold, but the scatter television market as well. Just as Amazon removed the need for a storefront by offering a better shopping experience online, programmatic buying removes the constraints of a physical ad buy. The only question that remains: How long until the RFP is dead?

4 comments about "The Shifting Tides Of Video Advertising".
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  1. The digital Hobo from, February 14, 2012 at 7:23 p.m.

    All reasonable points, but could the premise of this article be any more self serving?

  2. Jason Burke from clypd, Inc, February 14, 2012 at 11:12 p.m.

    Programatic buying certainly has benefits, but efficiency != effectiveness.

    Opentable makes restaurant reservations easy to make, but doesn't guarantee a great meal.
    Marketers need to make SMART media buying decisions; an EASY method of getting to that destination is secondary

  3. aseem bakshi from seachange international, February 15, 2012 at 12:57 p.m.

    Ad sales will be similar to the finance industry in many ways. For more complex sales there will be the need for a human interaction. For the simpler ad sales automation will increase over time as the tool and technology fall in place

    In the finance industry many times the imminent end of all human traders was announced with all trades becoming automated.

    The reality was that as more complex finance intstruments were created the need for the traders remained.

    In a similar manner Ad sales is becoming more complex. There is linear ad sales and VOD ad sales. There are multiple destination devices ( not just TV). Addressability is increasing particuallry on Multiscreen devices.

    Thus although automation will increase the sale function is unliley to be completely automated.

  4. Tanya Leis from PubGears, February 16, 2012 at 3:55 p.m.

    Aren't we all still kind of waiting for this to happen with standard ad units? All the DSP's in the world can't seem to kill standard media in an RFP. I think video will get there eventually but I think it a bit dramatic to suggest there is a 'significant shift occurring' beneath our feet when we aren't quite there with standard banners. It will shift one day. Hopefully. But somehow I think there will be plenty of time to prepare.

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