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Published November 2017

On weeknights, I like to unwind with TV shows that are trending around the office. I tend to follow the same routine: if there’s something specific I’m in the mood to watch, I’ll search for it on my phone and cast it. If I don’t have something in mind, I’ll click the guide to see what’s on TV, or maybe just watch videos on my phone or tablet.  

Research suggests that my viewing habits are fairly typical. As of the end of 2016, living room TVs still accounted for 92% of viewing time in the US,1 but video consumption on mobile devices has been growing rapidly: 20% more people watched video on their phones at least once a month in 2017 compared to two years prior.2

Further, the way we watch programming on TVs is changing. Consumption on internet-connected TV devices grew 47% in 2017 compared to 2016.3 And eMarketer predicts that in 2018, over half of the US population will have a smart TV or connected TV device.4

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TV and digital video are converging, and as consumers, we no longer differentiate between the two. To us, a screen is just a piece of glass — we want to watch great content, regardless of the device.

The future of TV advertising is programmatic

This shift in consumer behavior is shaping the future of advertising. With consumers watching TV and video across set-top boxes, connected TV devices, smartphones, tablets and laptops, advertisers need a cross-channel, cross-device view of their audiences and campaigns.

Programmatic technology has already helped advertisers take a comprehensive, data-driven approach to reaching their digital audiences. Now, advertisers can apply programmatic capabilities to their TV audiences as well to bridge the gap between their TV and digital video buys (a concept we call Programmatic TV.)

We define Programmatic TV broadly, to mean the technology-automated and data-driven method of buying and delivering ads against professionally-produced video content, regardless of the delivery mechanism or the device used to access that content. Programmatic TV allows advertisers to consolidate and automate their campaign execution and use data to more successfully reach their TV audiences.

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Three advantages to Programmatic TV

Programmatic TV offers three key advantages to advertisers: intelligent TV measurement, a consolidated, data-driven approach to buying TV audiences, and automated, more efficient workflows.


1. Intelligent TV measurement

While reach and frequency metrics help illustrate campaign results, if you really want to prove the value of your advertising, you need to show how your campaign drives awareness and interest for your brand. Brand impact metrics that work across TV and digital not only help you assess whether your campaign was successful but also offer a single set of metrics to use across your media buy. This can enable more effective campaign planning and optimization, and can help you prove the value of your marketing efforts overall.


2. Consolidation and scale

Programmatic helps simplify the process of reaching engaged, TV-quality audiences by making linear TV, connected TV and digital video available in a single tool. With all of your audience buying in one place, you can more effectively plan, execute and measure cross-screen campaigns at scale and improve the coordination between channels.  


3. Automated workflows

Programmatic technology automates many of the previously manual processes associated with buying and executing TV campaigns. For example, your ad operations teams can buy and execute TV and digital campaigns through a single media plan and manage video assets all in one interface.

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Buying Linear TV ads in DoubleClick Bid Manager

DoubleClick already has solutions to help brands reach viewers of made-for-TV content across connected TV devices, smartphones, tablets and PCs. But to solve for reaching audiences across all delivery channels, in 2017 we announced plans to extend our capabilities to traditional linear TV. We’re already working with Google Fiber, WideOrbit and clypd to make their inventory available for buyers in DoubleClick Bid Manager, and we plan to add other U.S. and international providers in the future.

Via these integrations, Bid Manager users will be able to buy:

  • locally-controlled inventory on programming from national broadcast and cable networks  
  • household addressable TV using Programmatic Guaranteed* on Google Fiber inventory
  • national broadcast and cable inventory
Further, DoubleClick provides impact-based metrics to help you track whether your TV commercial led viewers to search for your brand on Google or YouTube. These brand interest metrics are correlated with lower purchase funnel metrics, such as consideration and purchase intent, so they can help you prove the value of your marketing.5

To us, aligning linear TV and Google brand interest reporting is the holy grail. It’s no longer digital vs TV, it’s digital plus TV. You can see the impact of the two campaigns working together. To be able to say: ‘Hey, search went up following this TV spot’ will be a game changer for media buyers.

Mike Zinsmeister, EVP and CRO at WideOrbit

DoubleClick can also provide you with TV airing data more quickly after a campaign airs compared to traditional TV buying. This allows you to confirm that your commercials are running as soon as your campaign launches.

Empowering a more effective ecosystem

Programmatic TV helps advertisers more effectively reach their cross-screen viewing audiences. But for an ecosystem to thrive, all parties need to benefit. TV Broadcasters and media owners also benefit from programmatic TV because it grows the available demand for their inventory.

Programmatic opens doors to new types of buyers, such as advanced TV buying groups in agencies, digital-first advertisers, and even global advertisers. And when advertisers can better measure the impact of campaigns, they can rationalize more investment; that means a growing revenue pool for media owners.

One of the most common concerns from advertisers is fear of wastage in traditional television advertising. Programmatic TV helps answer a lot of these questions around wastage by using data to better target ads and hone in on the right audience. This is also an exciting development for media owners as it allows them to optimize yield based on advanced audiences and opens up new, incremental revenue opportunities.

Karen Murphy, Senior Director, Business Development, clypd

In fact, Credit Suisse recently predicted that “targeted linear TV products will open up a $100B+ revenue opportunity for TV networks, driven by share gains from ‘below-the-line’ marketing spend.” 6

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By bringing traditional TV into DoubleClick, we hope to help the advertising industry bridge the gap between TV and digital. We’ll continue to develop our Programmatic TV offering in Bid Manager by expanding the inventory available across regions and providers. And we’re building better tools to help you plan and execute your campaigns holistically across screens, including the ability to more intelligently allocate budget across networks and dayparts, and understand incremental reach across channels.

Over the last few years, programmatic technologies have improved the efficacy of digital advertising and marketing budgets. Now, programmatic can help bring automation and data to your TV campaigns, to more effectively reach your audience wherever they are choosing to watch.

*Programmatic Guaranteed is an automated reservation workflow that exists for digital video in DoubleClick Bid Manager and will now work for Google Fiber inventory. We hope to extend similar efficiencies to other inventory sources in the future.
The integration between DoubleClick Bid Manager and clypd, which brings access to national broadcast and cable network inventory, will launch in early 2018.
Brand interest metrics in DoubleClick are not available for Google Fiber inventory.

1Nielsen Comparable Metrics Report Q4 2016
2 Mobile device video viewers, eMarketer, August 2017
3 Pivotal Research - TV Trends, July 2017
4eMarketer Television Update H2 2017, August 2017
5 “Brand interest - brand lift correlation analysis,” Google brand lift data, Jan 2015 - May 2016
6 “The Future of Advertising,” Credit Suisse Equity Research, April 25, 2017

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Further reading:

The State of Video Ad Viewability in 2017

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