GroupM Trading Desk Unveils Programmatic TV Audience Buying, Claims Xaxis TV First To 'Sync' Digital Campaigns With TV Ads

Editor’s Note: The original version story incorrectly implied that Xaxis TV would facilitate programmatic audience buys of television inventory, when in fact, it will only utilize TV-like metrics to target audience-buying in “broadcast-quality” inventory online. Moreover, ABC has not agreed to incorporate TV or video inventory as part of its agreement with Xaxis, just static online display ads. For more about how Xaxis TV actually works, read an interview with Xaxis’ Brian Gleason in RTBlog.

GroupM’s Xaxis unit, the largest of Madison Avenue’s so-called trading desks, this morning unveiled its push into programmatic television audience-buying with a new platform dubbed Xaxis TV. The move comes as others, including Interpublic’s Mediabrands, a spate of online video ad networks, and targeted and addressable TV infrastructure players such as Visible World and Invidi, have begun accelerating the development of programmatic exchanges for buying and selling TV audiences that are akin to online’s.



Xaxis TV, along with a second new platform called Xaxis Brand Suite, is part of an ongoing push by Xaxis, “the world’s largest audience buying company,” into traditional media. It previously developed audience-buying exchanges covering out-of-home, radio and conventional online video, and now it’s extending its reach into television.

Significantly, Xaxis claims to have already gained access to “premium inventory” from dozens of top “broadcast-quality media owners” as part of its foray into programmatic TV audience buying. While it did not disclose those partners, it cited ABC as being among them.

“We are not only creating new channels and formats for audience buying, we are connecting them, via our DMP, to the broadcast metrics advertisers already understand,” Xaxis North America Managing Director Brian Gleason stated, referring to the acronym that stands for “data management platform," or the organization that helps trading desks and DSPs identify which users to target and serve ads to.

“The ability to measure activities across all channels together in a single location provides a clear competitive advantage for our clients,” he added.

One thing that differentiates Xaxis' push into TV is its privileged access to actual TV viewers’ behavioral data via TV set-top data agreements through its sister WPP companies, Kantar Media Audiences and I-Behavior. As a result, Xaxis claims to be “the first solution to allow advertisers to sync their digital audience buying campaigns with broadcast TV ads and programming."

6 comments about "GroupM Trading Desk Unveils Programmatic TV Audience Buying, Claims Xaxis TV First To 'Sync' Digital Campaigns With TV Ads".
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  1. Adam Gerber from ABC, September 9, 2013 at 2:28 p.m.

    Wanted to correct the story, so there is not confusion in the marketplace. We (ABC) are thrilled to be working with Xaxis, however we do so only for display inventory. We do not currently have any agreement in place for inclusion of ABC video inventory in any programmatic buying platforms, including Xaxis TV. We continue to evaluate the marketplace, and are always open to new opportunities that bring value to advertisers, their agencies and our business.

    Adam Gerber, VP Sales Development & Marketing, ABC

  2. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, September 10, 2013 at 9:05 a.m.

    Must be great to have a story that begins (editor's note) and ends (first comment) with the VP from ABC discounting the claims of this DMP from WPP. Is it just me or does RTB seem a silly way to buy and sell TV? Where's a good DSP when you need one?

  3. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, September 10, 2013 at 9:12 a.m.

    @Mike Einstein: Even greater to have yet another commenter weigh in on that. For what it's worth, this is a fast-moving industry we cover, and when the information we base our first reports on isn't 100% accurate or clear, we do our best to clarify it. Importantly, unlike other publishers, we do not try and hide the mistakes by fixing them on-the-fly, but try to do it transparently by adding new information for all readers (those whom already were exposed to the misinformation, as well as new readers who might have seen the first reports) to set the record straight. We do that by adding notes on initial reports, publishing additional content, including corrections, providing subsequent reporting such as Tyler Loechner's excellent follow up interview with Xaxis' Brian Gleason, or enabling our own readers to set the record straight, as Adam Gerber, and you have now done. Thank you for contributing to it.

  4. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, September 10, 2013 at 9:44 a.m.

    @Joe. I just found amusing all these acronyms surrounding RTB. I fully expect it all to manifest in one we already know: RIP.

  5. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, September 10, 2013 at 9:50 a.m.

    @Mike Einstein. You are right, we didn't do a good job of clarifying the acronyms. Normally, we try to spell them out -- even explain what they are (to the best we can), but slipped up here. A DMP is a "data management platform," which normally utilizes third-party cookie data and/or other data sets to target an ad to an individual user. A DSP is a "demand-side platform," which is an intermediary that does the actual bidding for inventory on behalf of an agency, trading desk or a brand. Re. RIP, no comment.

  6. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, September 10, 2013 at 10:45 a.m.

    Thanks Joe. FWIW, I knew what they all meant. Just thought it amusing that we've got a designer label for every piece of the naked emperor's wardrobe.

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