What are the prospects for programmatic TV (PTV)? As the TV upfronts and digital NewFronts season gear up, panelists at MediaPost’s Data & Programmatic Insider Summit explored the topic.
One challenge for PTV is on the network and broadcast side of the equation, said Adam Gassman, director of marketing & acquisition, Freshly. “The fact of the matter is that the value of the upfront is far greater than enabling programmatic delivery—TV is a $70 billion market. It’s not going away next year or the year after that,” Gassman said. He said he would be surprised if over the course of five or 10 years the majority of TV dollars goes to PTV.
“It’s going to be a slower evolution than eMarketer’s projection [6% of all TV ad spending by 2018]. The inventory is just not being made available by the TV side. The planning side wants it a lot faster than the sellers want to make it available,” said Adam Herman, EVP, chief integrated media officer, Zimmerman Advertising.
Tests of programmatic TV are necessary to get it right. “You have to test to understand how it influences media mix modeling or if it doesn’t at all,” said Tripp Boyle, VP, emerging platforms, YuMe. Further, Boyle said since consumers move between screens, marketers and media planners need to examine their behavior across screens and ensure that TV works well in conjunction with mobile and PCs. Plus, “the large living room screen still has an impact on people if we can get them to watch an ad.”
For Gassman’s subscription-based food delivery business, TV is critical to growth in the coming years. Still, it’s “far more expensive to go and test on TV than it is on Facebook.” Charges can go up to the low six figures to test on TV.
The fragmentation and the proliferation of vendors in the ad-tech space has made it harder for marketers and planners to dip into PTV, according to Boyle. While demand-side and supply-side platforms are adding PTV capabilities, cable multi-service operators have built their own programmatic platforms using their household-level data. This type of platform enables brands to reach users across all scenarios:connected TV, over-the-top TV, and other platforms and devices.
Andrew Sussman, vice president, Empower MediaMarketing, noted that Google is well-positioned for PTV, since it has more data than anyone else. Also, he said manufacturers of the chips that go into TVs also are in a good position, since they know what everyone’s watching.
Discussing creative and programmatic media, Sussman said the media is learning what informs creative messaging and ad formats. “The media affects the message and the message also affects the media,” he said. “We need to build new creative capacities that take advantage of the different media channels.”
Boyle noted that currently, data is overshadowing creative. "There’s value in getting the message to someone across multiple screens, but how do we enable the user to engage with the creative based on the device they’re on? We must enable things like dynamic overlays, or dynamic engagement buttons on mobile, CTV, and PCs, which will enable lower-funnel metrics to be achieved."