Big Media Will Become Bigger Media

Buying models for television and radio haven’t changed much in decades. But the programmatic approach has already begun making an impact. The evolution won’t be as rapid as it had been in the online advertising world. Yet, programmatic characteristics such as real-time decisioning, automated execution, and data-driven audience targeting are definitely starting to affect television and radio ad buys.


Watch for Programmatic Television

Television has dominated media budgets – and the advertising landscape – for a half century. That’s an impressive feat for one medium. But, changing consumption patterns are now pushing television towards a converged marketplace that combines television with digital video.

Let’s emphasize a key point, though; television and digital are inherently different. So programmatic does not translate exactly into the television space. Unlike in digital media, there are no open exchanges for television inventory. Also, there is no such thing as real-time bidding in the TV space — all deals are secured well in advance.

While there are technologies that automate the process of television buying, the digitization of television focuses on the use of data to drive planning, targeting, cross-screen convergence, and measurement. In fact, programmatic television may not be the ideal term for the digitization of television. It would be more accurate to call it data-driven television.

While impression-level targeting is available through multi-video program distributors (MVPDs) such as DirecTV and Dish Network, there is limited scale today and it exists at the household-level only — not individual. (For more detail on both linear and addressable television, take a closer look at From the Edge to the Core; The State of Programmatic Media.)


Implications for Television Marketers

Data-driven television will allow marketers to plan video campaigns holistically, without siloing media into television and digital buckets. This strategy won’t replace traditional television buys in the near future, but the programmatic planning, insight, and buying platforms will allow for more defined targets consistently across both television and digital platforms. Those developments will help move the video industry closer to a continuously optimized, audience-based planning and buying model.


Expect Programmatic Techniques to Improve Radio

Would you be surprised to hear that people spend more time with terrestrial radio than any other medium except television? In fact, more than 91% of Americans (or 243 million people) over the age of 12 tune in each week.* So, it’s definitely a big market to address.

Now, you might wonder just how programmatic could be applied in an industry that has conventionally relied on email and spreadsheets to help determine ad buys. But, the end-to-end automation of buying, running, and reporting for terrestrial radio advertising is bound to make all these activities more efficient.


Opportunities for Radio Marketers

Though terrestrial radio won’t disappear anytime soon, the emergence of streaming services – increasingly being adopted by younger listeners – will enable more programmatic techniques. In fact, streaming may become a catalyst for disruption. Standard cars will soon come equipped with built-in technology for content streaming, with data agreements that make Internet-based audio more affordable, perhaps rivaling the appeal of radio in the car.

The bottom line is, while programmatic won’t impact television or radio as quickly or in the exact same ways that it has for online advertising, it will affect changes over time. There’s a huge upside here. All stakeholders have a unique opportunity to apply programmatic techniques in a purposeful, deliberate way that should deliver better results across the board.

To learn more about how programmatic is likely to affect television and radio, take a closer look at From the Edge to the Core; The State of Programmatic Media.


—Adapted from Big Media Will Become Bigger Media, by Brett Salinas, Programmatic Planning and Optimizations Director, Accuen and Vanessa Courtright, Senior Marketing Manager, Accuen