What's Holding Back TV Programmatic? Q&A With eMediaTRADE's Pete Moran

Pete Moran has been in cable sales for over 30 years, including stints in addressable advertising. Now as chief revenue officer for eMediaTRADE, he says his company is “the plumbing, as it were, or the connectivity points that allow for some of the new advancements in TV advertising  -- such as programmatic trading  -- to happen.”

In this new world of programmatic, I am learning that there are many more moving parts -- from the companies that offer easy-to-navigate dashboards, to those who help create the segmentations, to those  who connect all the disparate parts together. It is in the latter category that eMediaTRADE lives.

Here’s an excerpt from a longer interview with Moran, with some of his words slightly rearranged for clarity.

CW:  Let’s talk about programmatic in television. Where do you see it now, and where do you see it going?

PM: Programmatic is clearly here to stay. The question is, how is it going to ramp?



There are two sets of issues that are blocking its mass appeal. One is clearly technology issues that have to be solved -- things like gateways and the connectivity, to the variety of destinations, to the ability to bring back the correct data points to be able to understand how the buys are actually performing.

It is not just the question of posting of inventory, as you will, or crunching a bunch of data together. It is a very complicated piece that has to be solved first. That is where we come in. We are that glue that will help connect all of those programmatic players to all of the clients they want to connect. 

The second may be the more interesting piece, and that is the psychology of programmatic. Having been a media seller for a very long time, you come to me and say that you want to post your inventory online, you want to create a real-time bidding process. Those words scare me and I am sure that they scare others out there. We talk about applying digital principles to television and streamlining the processes like digital already has, and that is pretty complicated. But more importantly, how are you going to move the business forward?

If I am a cable or broadcast network or television station, I package my inventory up on purpose. I have some very popular products that create scarcity, like the “Seinfeld” effect, where everybody wanted to buy “Seinfeld” on Thursday nights.

Same too with ESPN NFL Football. You couldn’t just buy the NFL. It was packaged, as my old boss used to say, mixing the scotch and the beer. That is not going to change. What we need to hear more of from the folks in the programmatic space is how you are going to drive incremental revenue for me and not disrupt my core business.

CW: What type of data is your firm eMediaTrade able to help process?

PM: Data, whether you call it programmatic or multiplatform, is the crux of our business. Data is key, and we are data-agnostic. We will work with every data company that wants to work with us. We have clients that use very different data sets. We allow those data sets to be imported into our platform so that the client on both sides can see, use and analyze the particular secret combinations of data that they like to use to present their wares in the best fashion. 

CW: Looking ahead three to five years, give me some predictions for the media landscape.

PM: First, programmatic is here to stay. It will continue to grow. It will become an ever-increasing piece of the media pie. There will be the necessary consolidations of the folks who are out there just like in any vertical, and it will become the fabric of advertising.

Secondly, I believe that by the end of 2015 or early 2016 it becomes the year of addressable, finally. Everybody has been talking about it….

There is a gaining momentum, a wave of acceptance, that buyers and sellers want in order to be better prepared to understand the value of their inventory. Addressable is one of the key ways to do that. The ad agency level is very silo’d – there are trading desks, there are buyers, there are spot buyers. But at least in the electronic media buying world, I see that these silos will eventually go away, and then… multiplatform buys will be relatively easy to execute and will become the order of the day.

2 comments about "What's Holding Back TV Programmatic? Q&A With eMediaTRADE's Pete Moran".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 7, 2015 at 7:28 p.m.

    2015 and early 2016 are the "year of addressable". Wow! That makes the prediction that half of all media ad dollars will be placed "programmatically" in 2015 seem almost believable. But, then, some folks will believe almost anything.

  2. Charlene Weisler from Writer, Media Consultant:, April 8, 2015 at 3:20 p.m.

    To me it means that attention will be focused on it and some solutions to buying TV programmatic will start to make inroads. But I could be wrong....

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