WideOrbit, an ad management software firm that has been making a name for itself as a programmatic TV tech provider of late, on Monday announced the launch of WO Programmatic TV, a marketplace where buyers and sellers can trade local broadcast TV inventory programmatically.
The announcement comes just days after Videa launched its own platform for programmatic TV and clypd, another SSP in the space, raised nearly $20 million.
In a recent article in Audience Buying Insider, AudienceXpress President Walt Horstman neatly described programmatic TV as “the marriage of TV audience data with tech automation to optimize a campaign in-flight.” The marketplace WideOrbit is launching is akin to the “programmatic direct” ad platforms cropping up in the digital world.
To power the marketplace, WideOrbit has released two features — a “Seller” platform for broadcasters and a “Spot Bank” for demand-side platform (DSP) partners to tap into. Through the Seller platform, broadcasters can access demand and make their inventory available (with whatever their placement and execution rules may be), per a release. The Spot Bank allows creative to be transferred, approved and aired. A WideOrbit representative said the Spot Bank is an "important feature for broadcasters because the ad execution is directly delivered to their traffic system and transcoded once a transaction is approved."
WideOrbit did not disclose exactly which broadcasters would be using the new marketplace, but it counts big media companies such as Hearst Television, NBCUniversal, Scripps Television Group and more among its clients.
WideOrbit also declined to reveal specific demand-side platform (DSP) integrations, but said “announcements are coming shortly,” adding that “more cooks are in the kitchen.”
To be clear, there is no real-time bidding (RTB) on WideOrbit’s programmatic TV marketplace. In fact, a WideOrbit representative said RTB may technically never really be possible for TV advertising, due to regulatory, creative delivery and creative approval obstacles.
“We do think that we will eventually see more creative assets delivered close to air time, but frankly solving this problem is not something the ecosystem is prioritizing today,” the rep explained.
“On the other hand, what is super-sped up is billing and reconciliation – a big deal for broadcaster who spend endless time and labor on make-goods, rebates and so forth,” the rep added. “Now the stations can invoice as soon as the spot airs. Admittedly not sexy, but a huge difference maker on TV sell-side.”
It is a sell-side powered exchange, WideOrbit notes, meaning broadcasters can set strict price floors to “stop any perceived race to the bottom,” the rep said. Broadcasting partners also still retains the right to accept or reject any offer that comes through the marketplace.
WideOrbit is expected to unveil the marketplace on Monday at the 2015 NAB Show in Las Vegas.