At CES 2017 there were plenty of new gadgets and technologies, and also some decent talks with technology vendors, media agencies, and publishers about what lies ahead for programmatic. OnlineVideo.net and VideoAmp, a video platform provider, teamed up to chat with these folks about the future of programmatic video advertising and the hype surrounding it.
So does programmatic video live up to the hype? Claudia Barbiero, VP marketing and live events production, LiveU Inc., said she’s excited about the ability to target customers at highly granular levels. That said, “I think it’s hard for advertisers to get their head around the fact that they can change a campaign midstream, getting the data and analytics in and finding out what audiences are responding to.” Barbiero said marketers can be much more agile now, adapt their campaigns, get an even better response, and a return on their investment by using programmatic video.
Eric Franchi, cofounder, Undertone, sees programmatic simply as a “workflow solution and a way to transact.” In his view, programmatic lives up to the hype, and he’s most excited about new cross-channel ad formats. “We’re seeing more companies bring interesting formats into the marketplace—really thinking about how a consumer behaves on a specific device. They’re creating video experiences that are native to the device,” he said. He noted he’s particularly excited about large-canvas mobile ads and AR and VR integrations.
Hank Frecon, founder and CEO, Source Digital, said programmatic allows marketers to take advantage of the fact that a person is already watching a specific piece of content for a reason. By combining some of the knowledge they have about what people are watching, marketers could potentially be serving people more-intuitive ads.
Frecon said younger people aren’t interested in watching advertising at all, so “the real question is, how do you create more discoverability around the programming? How do you create more possibilities within the programming that lets them monetize on their own accord without telling them [what to do] or programming them in terms of what we think they should want to watch or do?”
Jon Schulz, CMO, Viant, said programmatic video is more of a challenge for publishers. “The clients and the agencies are very keen on leveraging programmatic because of its efficiency, but for the publishers and content creators, it’s more about keeping the value of their content high and not allowing it to get commoditized,” he said.
Lewis Rothkopf, CRO, AdsNative, said that programmatic media can be direct-sold through arrangements including automated guaranteed, programmatic premium, and programmatic guaranteed. He said that artificial intelligence has a role to play in terms of which ad gets seen by whom, when, and on which device.
Josh Stivers, director of product management, Immersion, said his concern with programmatic video is that video players need to be able to talk to each other across screens. He also wants to see better standards for cross-platform video rendering and interactivity. “Very little video is interactive. To make it more interesting for brands, we need to figure out how to scale interactive video across all screens,” Stivers said.
Larry Harris, chief strategy officer, Sightly, believes tech vendors need to work with the agencies to do a better job of “storytelling across the data so you’re prepared to serve up the right story at the right time.”
Dave Otten, CEO and Founder, JW Player, expects programmatic to emerge as a key factor in over-the-top TV (OTT) environments, as well as desktop and mobile. “Programmatic will follow the eyeballs to OTT. There should be a lot of cross-platform targeting.”
Tobi, the main questions I would ask, were I an advertiser---aside from the usual ad viewability and fraud issues as well as reservations about video program content----would be what percent of my target group can I reach via "programmatic video", at what cost, and how many of these "viewers" are not already being reached by my "linear TV" campaign? If the answer is that I can reach, perhaps, 10% of my national target group at a true cost---the ad is actually viewable---that is double the normal CPM of "linear TV" and 85-90% of this reach is already exposed to my "linear TV" spots, then I might not be as enthusiastic about the frills, like supposedly knowing exactly what each viewer buys---if that is really possible for all products and services---or being able to change my copy almost instantly,viewer by viewer, based on said "responses---if that is even remotely practical---which I doubt. Eventually, all of the hoopla will settle down and real world adverrising ande media planning/buying issues must be addressed.
Ed, these are good questions about reach. I'm going to ask them.