How Big Will Programmatic TV Get? #NYCTVWK

New Models Will Take Hold, But Won’t Take Over TV Ad Biz: Panel
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New York – The future of TV advertising will involve more automated, programmatic models as audiences continue to become more fragmented, but few in the industry  believe that programmatic will completely take over how ads are bought and sold.

That was one of the big takeaways here Thursday morning during a Advanced Advertising track panel dedicated to the topic of programmatic during NewBay Media’s NYC Television Week event. 

“There’s a resigned understanding that there is this inevitable march of progress” toward programmatic television advertising, said session moderator Tim Hanlon, the founder and CEO of The Vertere Group.

As Hanlon sees it, programmatic includes automated processes that can speed up buying and selling, and extend into more audience-based targeting. While there’s some general acceptance of the first part (automation) by the “somewhat cozy business of television,” there’s still a bit of a question mark when it comes to audience targeting, he said.

And where you happen to be in the TV advertising system tends to determine just how bullish one is about the prospects of programmatic TV. 

It’s “inevitable” that TV advertising goes programmatic, said Brian Stempeck, SVP of strategic business development for The Trade Desk, a maker of a demand-side platform that is looking to enter the linear TV sector.

But Dave Morgan, CEO and founder of Simulmedia, warned that there are big differences between pure digital and the traditional TV industry, as digital tends to be fraught with more supply than demand, and that supply continues to grow. He said it’s “unrealistic” to think that the whole TV ad industry will shift to programmatic models. 

Seth Haberman, CEO of Visible World, a company that runs a programmatic division called AudienceXpress, agreed that the there continues to be a high value assigned to buying TV advertising based on content, but there’s also value that advertisers can yield from programmatic models as they try to reach more diverse audiences. “But it does start with automation,” he said, believing that more traditional Upfront models and programmatic methods can coexist.

And it’s not just about a technology shift, but a change in the “business culture” if networks decide to leverage more precise audience segments, explained Steve Marshall, CEO of Invision, a sell-side provider that works with cable and broadcast networks and syndicators. The Nielsen demo isn’t going away, but, when it comes to programmatic TV, Invision’s customers “are ready now to figure it out,” Marshall said.

Mark Lieberman, president and CEO of Viamedia, also believes that the TV ad industry won’t go 100% toward audience targeting, but that it makes sense to use programmatic as a way to complement how inventory is bought and sold for television’s biggest shows.