The Trade Desk

Day 24: Connected Life - What's next for programmatic TV?

Programmatic buying is coming to TV - we look at how it's set to change the face of TV advertising

Day 24: Connected Life - What's next for programmatic TV?

Programmatic buying is making its presence felt across different media, from audio to native advertising - and TV.

Ever since programmatic burst onto the scene, it has pushed agencies to the limits of their comfort zones by challenging some of their most ingrained practices. Programmatic media buying now accounts for more than half of all ad-space purchasing and that’s only going to grow as more decision makers become familiar with the capabilities programmatic media buying affords. Coupled to that, the technology that enables it will only get better, which means programmatic will continue to flourish.

Data is at the root of all digital advertising. Every time any of us logs onto the internet, we leave a trail of data, that’s lapped up by potential segmenting identifiers, that could lead to brands pinpointing their most engaged audiences. That’s how adverts are served that are seemingly a perfect match for the eyeballs viewing them.

Currently, this has not been refined enough to be available in the linear TV space, but it’s on its way, with Sky Media, ITV and Channel 4 all setting up programmatic systems and exchanges in recent months. Advanced data set targeting is being applied to TV advertising, but as it currently stands, not every ad will be directly relevant to each person in the audience. This means brands and advertising agencies are still buying spots and not the individuals watching them - but that could be set to change, as viewing habits change and new technologies proliferate in broadcast TV.

One space where programmatic is making inroads is in addressable TV. Specific ad targeting can happen due to the set-top-box delivery system that is available in at least half of the population’s homes. Whilst it currently can’t deliver the one-to-one advertising experience that digital can, it should be able to deliver adverts that are relevant to the household as a whole. And because of this capability, programmatic TV ad buying is becoming a viable solution for advertisers. Just not in the linear broadcast TV space.

So, while programmatic TV hasn’t yet made a huge dent in the overall market, media owners are beginning to feel its presence thanks to the new emphasis on data. It might take time to refine how programmatic TV will impact on the media landscape - but it’s coming, there’s no doubt about that.

Photo by Ryan Merritt licensed under CC BY 2.0

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About The Trade Desk

The Trade Desk is a technology company that empowers buyers of advertising. The Trade Desk provides a self-service platform that enables ad buyers to manage data-driven digital advertising campaigns using their own teams across various advertising formats, including display, video, and social, and on a multitude of devices, including computers, mobile devices, and connected TV.

Headquartered in Ventura, Calif., The Trade Desk has offices across the United States, Europe, and Asia.