Takeways From the Programmatic TV Summit

By Charlene Weisler

“It’s TV but not quite TV anymore,” posited Tim Hanlon, Founder and CEO, Vetere Group. Randi Schatz, VP, Market Leader of Media Entertainment, Future plc, called it, “the most transformational topic in media today with rapidly changing developments offering a myriad of opportunity and challenges to TVs technological future.”

Arguably one of the fastest growing and increasingly morphing movements in media today is in programmatic. From its early years of automatic buying and real time bidding, today’s programmatic has been both humanized and computerized in a way that lends itself to all platforms of media buying and selling. How is the industry handling yet another area of transformative change?

Here are the takeaways from the recent Programmatic TV Summit held in NYC:

  • Programmatic TV is expanding into more areas of television and spending is on a steady rise according to eMarketer, offering opportunities even in linear avails. The whole nature of programmatic has evolved. Will Offeman, Chief Product Officer, WideOrbit, noted that, “now there is programmatic against premium inventory.”


  • But legacy systems and protocols are slowing down progress. As Gerard Broussard, Principal, Premeditated Media, pointed out, linear TV currently lacks the technological bones for exact digital-like programmatic and older systems are slowing down the roll-out. But there are industry initiatives likeTIP (Television Interface Practices) that are tackling the obstacles.


  • Creative is innovating so as to take advantage of the flexibility of formats, messaging and pod lengths that are enabled by the various device platforms. Xandr has “a brand new user interface with a suite of products to expand creative formats and a powerful optimization engine with a new user interface that can activate on these different formats,” according to Lindsey Van Kirk, Vice President of Product Management.


  • Consumer opportunities are expanding. Technological innovations like driverless cars (where consumers will have uninterrupted travel time, ripe for messaging) and smart products (like dog collars that indicate when to feed and when to walk the dog) are creating new advertising opportunities coupled with new data streams.


  • Technology is streamlining and improving the business. Joan Fitzgerald, SVP Advanced TV Global Partnerships, PremiumMedia360, explained that A.I. is enabling clients to, “figure out media in advance along with stewardship, reconciliation and payments.” Adam Lowy, Chief Commercial Officer, Telaria, noted that “There is traction. In OTT the supply is growing and more facets of the inventory is being realized. More people experimenting with programmatic to target smarter.” Programmatic, according to Lowy, “is more of a core part of businesses.”

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