Unfortunately, predictions for [INSERT FOLLOWING YEAR HERE] are much like the weather forecast for a November weekend in Boston: It always seems to be a logical guess, but it rarely pans out.
A small group of folks spent 2013 touting programmatic TV as an important sales and buying initiative, but it was merely a twinkle in the eyes of those making 2014 predictions. When we flip the calendar forward to the prophecies for 2015, programmatic TV and its growth trajectory are now part of nearly every prediction list. Here are some standouts:
1. “Programmatic TV will also have a larger presence in media buying in 2015.” - Ernie Capobianco, Founder of Sq1,via Venture Beat.
We say: Media buying for sure, but purchases do not happen without media owner participation. Programmatic TV sales will be a major theme in 2015, withmajor networks and distributors making noise.
2. “[Expect] increased TV ad spend in 2015, largely fuelled by the coming of age of TV audience targeting, as well as the pay-TV industry’s shift in focus from ‘media-selling’ to ‘audience-selling.’” - Anthony Shiner, CRO of SingTel,via marketing-interactive.
Our take: Programmatic focus has provided digital publishers with weapons to empower their sales forces with tools to sell smarter. This now comes to TV.
3. “Programmatic [TV will play] an increasingly important role in the delivery of TV ads…. [But], the technology is not real-time and the ads don’t offer the same automated workflow as other digital programmatic media.” - Ben Plomion, vice president/marketing of Chango, via MediaPost.
In other words: Programmatic TV will continue to grow in importance with marketers and media owners, but we must recognize that programmatic transactions in digital are a different beast than what happens in TV. While real-time generally doesn’t exist within television, the intelligent marriage of automation and data-driven decisions will bring big wins to the parties involved in these transactions.
Programmatic TV themes that will stand out in 2015
The human survives. People will continue to play a crucial role in TV sales. The power-lunch crowd will stay satiated, since negotiation between people will continue to play a key role in many parts of TV ad sales. Programmatic and process automation will empower those humanoids with an arsenal to sell smarter through sponsorships and special events; and these new weapons will enhance, rather than change, the way that media owners and marketers transact.
A common programmatic TV audience measurement source. The industry can currently choose from
a number of data suppliers for granular measurement and reporting of TV audiences beyond age/gender. In 2015, a single data supplier will emerge to supplement the standard measurement sources. Whether it’ll be an existing player or a new entrant, no one knows at this point, but the benefits to be gained from having a common measuring standard are critical for the continuation of programmatic TV’s hockey stick growth.
The “tipping point” for any new initiative, especially one in an established industry, often takes time, but many experts are optimistic on when that will happen. Industry consultantGerard Broussard prognosticates that “it’s quite possible that some TV networks will position programmatic TV capability as a point of distinction prior to initiating upfront sales in May.”
Whenever that conversion is upon us, those who are innovating in this exciting space will be sure to benefit from the work in defining this strategy. Question is: Will this happen in 2015, AKA “the year of programmatic TV,” or will we be writing it in our predictions list for next year?