Google says advertising will be able to buy traditional TV inventory through its DoubleClick Bid Manager, which will look to bridge the gap between TV and digital video. Brands can also measure the lift through searches on Google or YouTube after seeing their TV commercials.
Sounds great. But what exact inventory will be available? This has always been a key issue for programmatic media sellers. Will inventory from the big TV networks -- broadcast and cable -- be available? Syndication? Local TV, or local cable? And if so, what kind of scale/reach will be offered?
Google hasn’t offered any answers yet. But partnering up with programmatic media platforms -- WideOrbit and clypd -- might give us some answers down the road.
Still, we know this: Major TV networks -- keepers of the big scale of TV gross ratings points -- would be loathe to allow any third-party provider sell their prized inventory. If any programmatic TV offering is going to happen, all that will be through their own sales organization.
As Google found out in previous attempts to grab onto traditional TV advertising revenue, this continues to be hard place to operate.
Remember Google TV Ads?
It offered remnant inventory from second- and third-tier cable networks -- mostly from daytime afternoon and overnight time periods. Who exactly needs that kind of commercial inventory? After five years of dealing with limited results, Google close its TV Ads unit in 2012.
Much like its previous TV ad effort, Google isn’t like dealing with millions of digital media sites/platforms desperate to find advertising revenue, vying with millions of competitors.
Traditional TV is still largely a scarcity game -- which is why good TV ad inventory probably won’t be available on Google’s new effort.
Dave Morgan, CEO of Simulmedia, offers this analysis: "It is fundamentally an automation play, giving marketers automated access to TV programs, stations, geographies and audiences. It is not about making TV advertising more predictable, provable and performant. It is not ‘Performance TV.’ ”
He adds: “We applaud this move in that it is yet one more attack by a large digital disruptor on the core of legacy TV ad buying and selling ... The more disruption to the TV ad business, the more marketers will rethink and reevaluate their current practices.”
Hand it to Google to continue with its disruption, especially this time of year.
With the traditional TV upfront advertising market set to commence the big digital media facilitator offers this new TV ad diversion — that Google’s well-entrenched digital media ad platform DoubleClick can now do more.
It comes down to what all TV/media advertisers and their media agency executives ultimately want, formulated in their ever-consistent question for this new digital media world: How are you making my life easier?
There's probably going to be a distinction between how the "Big 4" TV networks and TV station groups respond to GOOG's entry into the TV ad inventory arena. The former will maintain their orderly upfront/scatter market arrangement The latter, which are already in scramble mode, will "quietly" cede "distress inventory" to GOOG. Spot TV inventory has morphed into a commodity over the past 15 or 20 years, and GOOG is merely automating the transactions to a greater degree and scale.
James, you are probably right. I can even see a broadcast TV network experimenting with Google with suddenly cancelled time in marginal fare ( 3AM news? )---to see if some sucker will pay a lot for it rather than simply giving it away to bottom feeding national buyers. As for cable and/or TV stations, sure, why not offer weekend news spots and even lower priced content for sale at much higher than normal CPMs ---especially for so-called "long tail" channels---and see if someone who thinks that buying digitally is cool will bite. But as far as challenging the current buying/selling system and the upfront/scatter buys made mostly on a corporate basis---LOL.