"On TV And Video" is a new column exploring opportunities and challenges in programmatic TV and video.
Today’s column is written by Jonathan Bokor, senior vice president and director of advanced media at MediaVest.
Although a commonly agreed upon definition of programmatic TV doesn’t exist yet – making it perhaps the most abused term in advertising these days – most industry players agree that it encompasses using data and technology to make TV advertising more precise via improved targeting and more efficient via automation.
Cable, satellite and telecommunications TV operators, also known as multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), control valuable data and are in a position to deploy key technology, putting them in the best position to bring scale to programmatic TV.
Set-top boxes, owned by MVPDs and leased by their subscribers, remain the dominant source of viewing and tuning data in the roughly 100 million US households that pay for a traditional TV subscription. Set-top box data is critical to moving beyond the age and sex demographic targeting that has dominated TV for the last half century.
This data is so important because once you’ve identified a target segment that you want to reach with a programmatic ad, you need to know where that segment can be found, and set-top box data is key to finding them. Although there are a few “independent” sources of set-top box data, for the most part these sources license it from the MVPDs, so as a group, the MVPDs hold a very strong position in terms of TV data.
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