Linear television is characterized by brand sponsorships and unit-based commitments on shows. Because of the specificities required for large-scale brand integrations, “large swaths of business will remain focused on human-to-human contact,” Gerber said.
While many people incorrectly believe programmatic only applies to inventory on open exchanges, data-driven targeting and workflow automation – even if transacted directly – are also by definition programmatic. And these elements drive the efficiencies that networks are interested in. NBC for instance, is growing its NBCUniversal Audience Platform group so its programmatic offerings can complement its direct sales offerings across digital and linear properties.
Increasingly, networks need to perfect the mix of talent and technology.
“If [programmatic is] going to work, it has to scale at the TV size. It’s not just a question of technical pipes connecting, but parties from both sides of the table working through the business rules of the road,” said Jon Heller, cofounder and co-CEO of FreeWheel, in a recent interview.
Additionally, the marketer needs to figure out how much of their budget and media plan will be allocated toward the traditional TV upfront, traditional TV scatter, video on-demand and dynamically served through digital, as well as, “How much am I going to do based on Nielsen and comScore demo comps vs. content targeting?” Heller said.