“This allows us to bring our proprietary tools and data into the equation more seamlessly and fully automates the process from planning [on the agency side] through to on-air execution,” explained David Campanelli, SVP and director of national broadcast for Horizon.
The agency buyers’ biggest challenge was marrying client-side data with broadcaster or other third-party data sets, as well as reaching a scaled footprint in national inventory.
“One of the reasons we chose to partner with AX is their nearly full national footprint of inventory,” Campanelli added, “rather than it being a mix of local and national with geographies on the local side that might not match our client’s business needs.”
AudienceXpress has access to dynamically inserted ad inventory spanning 210 DMAs and more than 100 multichannel video programming distributors, telcos/satellite and cable companies. In addition, it’s working with 20-25 national cable networks.
There was a lot of movement in programmatic TV in 2015. Over the last 18 months, Horstman has seen the TV supply side become more receptive to buy-side demand for greater data and automation in the planning and buying process.
But the changing ecosystem is igniting some ongoing tension between managed service providers and agencies, particularly in TV.
“Ad tech companies using managed service approaches to providing a solution are starting to look and feel like agencies,” he said, and “that’s starting to create certain conflicts for an agency who has a planning team and a buying team responsible for maintaining relationships with inventory partners.”
That perception was one reason AudienceXpress saw the value of developing a self-serve interface. Additionally, some agencies wanted to bring their own and their clients’ data into their buys instead of using pre-packaged segments, which some view as commodities.
Self-serve capabilities are a key part of fully automating TV, Horstman argued, “because if we’re just creating a different version of an agency, that’s not actually adding any incremental value into the ecosystem.”