Programmatic TV advertising has become a hot topic over the past year, but what does it really mean? The digital advertising players have been developing a programmatic ecosystem for some time, yet they define programmatic in what amounts to a "I'll know it when I see it" manner. So how might we map such a loosely formed concept to the TV advertising industry?
We are entering a new era of television history, an era where data has as much value as content. In the 2015/16 upfront season, the networks will still need to deliver on the promise that content will carry the audience weight it has historically delivered. But starting this year, the networks will also need to predict, guarantee and deliver the audiences most likely to buy an advertiser's product.
With each week, it seems that more TV networks and media agencies are embracing the future of programmatic TV. The benefits for TV advertising are simple and straightforward: Automation and audience data benefit all the players in the ecosystem. But now the question on many minds is coming up with greater frequency, often in a hushed aside, "Is this all really a job killer?" The answer is "No." Programmatic TV will not kill jobs. In fact, just the opposite is true. Programmatic will create jobs in TV advertising.
The major recent M&A announcements in the data industry are spurring the Big Bang in media: the powerful joining of online/digital audience data with TV viewership data. This union of formerly very disparate data sets has significant implications not only for TV targeting -- but, even more important, for the structure of media planning and execution.