We already know that addressable TV increases the relevancy of ads for consumers, which in turn improves their overall viewing experience. What we haven’t explored, until now, is how bringing programmatic technology to linear TV inventory can drastically enhance the benefits of addressability for both the buy and sell side.
The key to unlocking the full value of linear addressable TV is helping advertisers identify their target audiences and create reach and frequency at scale, which is where programmatic plays an important role. I chatted with my colleague, Kristen Williams, VP of Strategic Partnerships, about this very topic during SpotX Connect, which you can watch here:
Before we go any further, it’s important to understand that the term “addressable” simply means the ability to target households or individuals. That makes over-the-top (OTT) video inherently addressable. Generally though, when you hear addressable TV come up in conversation, it is in reference to targeting households or individuals in the traditional linear TV space.
Programmatic is the ideal way to monetize addressable inventory
Brands can already engage specific audiences with highly effective, scalable, and targeted messages at the exact right moments with addressable TV. This is only possible through the use of data, which is best activated through programmatic technology.
Plus, programmatic is uniquely suited to unlock the full value of addressable as buyers can value individual impression opportunities differently in real time through first- and third-party data sets. This drives efficiency for advertisers and increased revenue for media owners.
SpotX has long been a leader in programmatic and OTT, and now we’re bringing those same tools and technologies to linear TV through new programmatic solutions to scale linear addressable TV. SpotX supports the Project OAR open standard to create new addressable opportunities by replacing linear spots at the glass or smart TV level, as well as powers programmatic executions within traditional multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) set-top boxes.
There are two broad approaches to replacing linear ad spots. The first is single advertiser spot optimization (SASO), in which an advertiser replaces a national ad spot with different versions targeted to local or demographic audiences. Then there is multiple advertiser spot optimization (MASO), where a variety of advertisers can replace the original linear ad spot.
Jon Tabak, GM, Strategic Partnerships at The Trade Desk, one of the DSPs using the SpotX solutions, said, “Combining the precision, activation, and measurement capabilities of CTV with the ubiquity and scale of linear TV creates an incredibly attractive sweet spot for our customers. This new wave of addressable solutions levels the playing field across all TV inventory and potentially paves the way for an impression-based future that will benefit the entire TV ecosystem.”
The future of programmatic addressable TV
SpotX is unifying previously fragmented sources of addressable inventory including set-top inventory, different formats from various MVPDs, and other sources. This creates a single ad server-agnostic marketplace for addressable inventory, powered by programmatic, that advertisers can buy through seamlessly.
Scale has long been one of the major challenges of addressable TV, in part because there’s a perception in the industry that addressable is the sole domain of MVPDs as they own the data collected through set-top boxes. We’re now working with programmers as well as MVPDs to open up more addressable opportunities and scale the overall marketplace. Programmers typically sell 15-17 minutes of ad time during every linear TV hour, so providing them with addressable tools increases their revenue potential and dramatically expands the size of the overall addressable marketplace.
AMC Networks is one of several media owners working with SpotX to monetize addressable TV. Evan Adlman, SVP of Advanced Advertising at AMC Networks, said, “The industry has been working toward a smart, scalable solution to accelerate the growth of addressable TV for quite some time. SpotX is uniquely positioned to create that scale because of their wide breadth of close relationships with media owners as well as their proven expertise in connected TV.”
Bringing programmatic capabilities to this environment presents an immediately scalable solution for maximizing the value of linear inventory. As budgets increase, more inventory will become available. Future addressable TV opportunities will ultimately be monetized through digital workflows and technologies, of which programmatic is a key component.
Matt McLeggon is Vice President, Advanced TV at SpotX. In this role, Matt is focused on the continued growth of SpotX’s rapidly expanding OTT business, as well as new initiatives in the addressable television and cross-platform space. SpotX is ubiquitous in the world of OTT, working with the world’s leading television programmers, vMVDPs, device manufacturers, and digital-first streaming service providers. Relative to the broader world of online video, OTT media owners face a unique set of challenges — from live event monetization to merging linear and digital sales operations. At SpotX, Matt oversees a wide range of cross-functional strategies and initiatives aimed at ensuring that SpotX embodies both thought and technology leadership in addressing these evolving OTT-specific needs.
Matt has over a decade of experience in advertising technology, having cut his teeth building technology and data partnerships for FreeWheel as it grew from a small startup into an industry powerhouse that was acquired by Comcast. Prior to his time in ad tech and media, Matt earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.