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Programmatic I/O Conference: “Linear TV Ecosystem is a Mess, Ready for Disruption”

by | Oct 27, 2017 | BIA, Blog, CTV/OTT

AdExchanger’s Programmatic I/O New York conference brought together 1,500 marketers, agencies, media, tech and other practitioners to talk about how data, tech, and business models are evolving in programmatic advertising. Day 1 consisted of instructional, hands on workshops. Day 2 featured the plenary sessions. While the conference covered the whole  programmatic landscape now a decade old, the newcomer in the mix, linear TV came up a few times. In particular, Zach Rodgers, AdExchanger executive editor put the question to Omnicom Digital’s CEO, Jonathan Nelson, “where do see the challenge and opportunities ahead in programmatic?” Nelson responded after just a moment’s reflection, “the linear TV ecosystem is a mess and ready for disruption, it’s an important part of the ad mix and there’s a lot of money being spent there.” He continued to offered a couple more thoughts about the culture of linear TV versus the automation and efficiency programmatic can bring to the marketplace. Actually, in another session Forrester’s Susan Bidel sort of nailed this point when she plugged the reality of programmatic as more like “program-manual.”

Two of the bigger challenges in programmatic are developing data to get a single customer view and cross-platform media audience measurement. Jane Clarke, CEO and Managing Director of Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM) shared her views on audience-based buying in linear TV citing several trends. First, she sees the linear TV programmatic ecosystem is being, “driven by advertiser and agency demand and growth in DMPs.” This sort of sets up the means and motive for the plot in programmatic storyline. Clarke also noted that, “networks including Viacome Vantage, NBCU ATP, Turner Ignite, etc., have accelerated their adoption due to the opportunity for higher CPMs and the ability to monetize unsold but premium inventory.” Additionally, Clarke notes the, “sell-side collaboration on standardization of segments through OpenAP and Clypd’s ATSC (Advanced TV Standards Group). Ultimately, Clarke distinguished the linear TV and digital markets, “unlike digital, TV is a ‘futures’ market where the majority of the inventory is bought in an upfront market.”

So unlike other parts of the programmatic marketplace, linear TV brings additional challenges of, as Clarke put it, “trying to forecast audience segments from unstable ‘big data’, with the need to create standardization for segments where there are no universe estimates.” At the bottom of all, many presenters spoke to the need for greater transparency for third party data providers, as data is the fabric upon which the programmatic promise is stitched.

BIA/Kelsey’s research program into linear TV includes reports, conference sessions and webinars. Click here to see our latest report on advanced TV.