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.
Yet there are some who seem to think that TV has already "embraced" the programmatic concept and, various gurus, including some from the same agencies, are busily putting out forecasts indicating how many $billions of TV ad dollars will be bought programmaticly by 2019 .Hmmm?
We haven't yet seen much efficiency in programmatic TV since supply is limited, creating value primarily via supply and demand. I can envision a future of mass integration of internet and TV, creating better value for inventory via addressable. In other words, programmatic will work when I can buy TV against a behavior, rather than demo, and at scale. Right now I can have one or the other.
Amazing. Where can units within Game of Thrones be bought?
The top players in the cable/network/etc ecosystem have strong incentives not to move to programmatic, but IMO it's an inevitability.
And to Benjamin Glatt's question re: "Where can units within Game of Thrones be bought?" the answer today is of course nowhere. But there's absolutely a market for those units -- and really not much from a technical POV preventing HBO from creating exactly that kind of offering whenever they decide that's a good idea.