#AdvancedAd 2016: Programmatic Expands Choice

Bhatia says programmatic intelligent, easy way to buy media

Get more of MCN's Advanced Advertising coverage.

New York -- NBCUniversal’s decision to expand its programmatic advertising efforts across its platforms -- dubbed NBCUx -- is the result of a three-year effort by the content company to make it easier for ad buyers and sellers to purchase inventory smarter, faster and more efficiently.

NBCUniversal EVP of business operations and strategy Krishan Bhatia, speaking at the Multichannel News/B&C Advanced Advertising Summit, said prior to its NBCUx effort, which consolidated platforms, strategy and go-to-market approach, clients couldn’t buy across more than two NBCU networks and only had about 20-25 digital properties to choose from.

“The chapter we are embarking on now, how we converge these two, means our go-to-market approach is more holistic and uniform,” Bhatia said in a keynote session moderated by Multichannel News/B&C editorial director Mark Robichaux. “It means we offer solutions that span the total audience.”

Programmatic, Bhatia added, is the “marriage of the best of both worlds,” of video and digital content, making decision based on the information that clients provide it. With NBCUx, NBCU avails all of its inventory across all of its networks on a daily basis to a select set of demand side platforms [DSPs] that clients and agencies choose. Based on that data, NBCUx spits out inventory, creating a media planning  mechanism, taking steps out of the ongong process along the way.

“It’s theoretically an easier and  more intelligent way of buying media,” Bhatia said.

What it’s not, he added, is a way to clear unsold inventory.

“Typically programmatic in the digital space has been one of clearing unsold inventory; we’re coming at it from a different perspective,” he said.

Bhatia pointed to the company’s Advanced Targeting Platform, which was launched last year and allows clients to take third party data and create a an optimized  media plan targeted at specific audiences. With ATP, NBCU has demonstrated that ads have a higher reach, and are more efficient as they are run across the entire portfolio.

Bhatia wouldn’t guess how much programmatic could grow, but he added that most of the talks his company has with CMOs and other ad execs center around making video advertising more efficient, measurable and effective. Video, he said, accounted for 40% of NBCU’s digital growth last year and 40% of that came from programmtic sources.

“It will build over time,” Bhatia said. We expect hat a lot of the growth conversations will be around these things, and we expect programmatic will play a meaningful role in that.”