Programmatic television isn’t yet a reality, but integrations between a number of linear TV inventory providers and the video demand-side platform TubeMogul may help move that needle.
On Thursday, TubeMogul rolled out Programmatic TV (PTV), a software-buying system designed to streamline the complex TV-buying process.
PTV hooks into linear supply-side platforms AudienceXpress, clypd, FreeWheel, place media, Videa and WideOrbit. TubeMogul will serve as WideOrbit's exclusive buy-side technology partner. PTV is available in platform self-serve or managed-services models.
Thirty campaigns run through the PTV platform from brands and agencies such as 3M, Diageo, Quiznos, Allstate, Dell , Motorola, and Gildan USA. In these initial campaigns, marketers had access to 80 networks and 35% of impressions ran during prime time, the company claimed.
“We aligned this set of advertisers and assembled test budgets in order to build this product and make these integrations happen,” said Brett Wilson, TubeMogul CEO. “This is programmatic cross-screen buying, not just TV.”
The WideOrbit connection gives TubeMogul access to about 75% of local television market inventory. WideOrbit develops a number of platforms, including WO Traffic, a system used by networks like FOX, NBC, and ABC to manage revenue, billing, orders, and ad trafficking.
TubeMogul began in digital video and is expanding into linear TV, but WideOrbit is taking the opposite path – it began in TV and is bulking up on digital video and programmatic capabilities (it has a programmatic partnership with IPG’s MAGNA GLOBAL, for instance, and has recently acquired dynamic ad-insertion and yield-optimization companies Abacast and Admeta). WideOrbit’s TubeMogul deal will help it enable digital, linear, and programmatic buys from one platform.
Eric Mathewson, founder and CEO of WideOrbit, foresees a time when half of TV ad buys are handled programmatically. “All of our clients know that nearly 100% of their content will eventually be delivered by IP and, eventually, linear will go away,” he said. WideOrbit is on a 2014 revenue run rate of about $100 million and projects that in the next three to five years, that figure to grow to $600 to $800 million as a result of digital and programmatic additions, Mathewson told AdExchanger.
One of the complications with linear TV buying is the fact that it's still a very manual business. Although companies such as STRATA, Mediaocean, and Simulmedia have advanced the process from both the planning and buying perspectives, television is still “a stagnant media format that hasn’t changed in a century,” according to Steve Parker Jr., cofounder and CEO of independent agency Levelwing, whose clients include activewear company Gildan USA and Bridgestone.
Levelwing, which started as a digital agency, has pushed extensively into traditional media due to client demand. It’s executed seven consecutive Super Bowl buys on behalf of clients, including Gildan USA, and is beta-testing a cross-screen campaign for Gildan using PTV.
“Having software where we can buy across other digital platforms is really important,” Parker Jr. said. “[PTV] is well put together and makes our time and effort smoother. It allows us to better target our audience, create automation in that process, and we can see our performance and reporting in near-real time. If you want to buy specific cable networks based on target audience, you can do so. It’s a really important first step, and it’s a strong one.”
Additionally, TubeMogul is integrated with both Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings and comScore Validated Campaign Essentials, which Levelwing says simplifies third-party verification and measurement.