At MediaPost’s Outfront event on Wednesday, media agency pros debated the prospects for linear and over-the-top TV and trends leading into the TV upfronts. And, by the way, they seem just as confused as everyone else is about the prospects for programmatic TV.
Naturally, programmatic media came up during the panels. It was noted that programmatic is a broad term and it’s misused in a lot of ways.
“I’m all for more automation. There are a lot of legacy systems that could use improvement, but I don’t see programmatic inclusive of demand-based pricing and I don’t know when it will,” said Chris Geraci, president of National Broadcast Investment, OMD USA. That’s a strong statement.
That said, Geraci believes programmatic does bring more efficiency to the media-buying process, and he said it’s something he fully supports.
Quality inventory is absolutely necessary. Gibbs Haljun, managing director, Media Investment, GroupM, said that he’s concerned about putting quality inventory through a programmatic process: “It’s less appealing.” However, he conceded that programmatic is a great way to look at media with a new perspective. “It’s a new way to source local inventory in new ways,” Haljun said.
His experience with clients is that after he sits down to talk with them, all they really want to know is “how many units in Empire or Game of Thrones am I getting?.” Haljun said the questions are: How do you balance audience, inventory source and other elements?”
No one seemed to have clue what the TV upfront process will look like five years from now, or how programmatic TV will play into the equation.