Guest post from Rich Astley, Managing Director, UK, Videology
One of advertising’s greatest transformations across the past few years is the erosion of the categories ‘buyer’ and ‘seller’. The role of today’s buyer and seller is evolving and with it, we’re seeing the historical definitions fall apart.
Why the change? Because both sides of the ecosystem are unlocking new opportunities and revenue streams through straddling the buy- and sell-side. In other words, demand clients are also becoming supply-side clients – and vice versa.
While agencies, for example, have historically represented the buy side of the ad ecosystem, more and more are running trading desks and selling inventory as product. On the other hand, a growing number of publishers and broadcasters are seeing video as a compelling way to connect with customers and are acquiring additional inventory to resell to their audiences.
In this evolving environment, it’s never been more important for end-to-end technologies that meet the new needs of a changing media landscape. Here’s why:
Connecting buy & sell in an automated way
Just as today’s buyers and sellers do not exist in silos, their technology tools need to be adaptable and scalable, providing the plumbing between both sides of the spectrum, and automating planning, allocation and yield optimisation. That’s why we’re seeing a transformation from point solutions to enterprise solutions that maximise media value and remove systems integration barriers.
Media players can now look to end-to-end platforms that plug into everything: sell-side platforms, data management platforms and demand-side platforms. Thanks to smarter, automated tools, we’re moving to an advertising environment in which it’s simpler for the technology to fade into the background and enable media planners to do what they do best as they manage, measure and optimise video advertising for the best possible results.
In the supply-constrained marketplace that is TV and video, this end-to-end yield optimisation of supply and demand is critical as the stakes are too high to accept waste or under-delivery. This is true for publishers and buyers alike – publishers need accurate demand forecasting to manage yield and buyers have to manage reservations and commitments against traded deals.
So what’s enabled this maturation? Undoubtedly, it’s the rise of programmatic trading which has removed barriers to automation, enabled optimising for scale, and paved the way for always-on quality filtering.
Programmatic has happened
‘Programmatic’ media planning is one of the industry’s favourite buzzwords but we won’t be using it in the future because ‘programmatic’ will just be the way we work. One third of European online video advertising revenue will be generated programmatically by 2017 and as we move into a ‘post-programmatic’ era, programmatic trading will be so universal , we simply won’t talk about it – in the same way we no longer talk of an ‘Internet era’.
It will become the default process. Why? Because the efficiencies for reaching the right audiences at scale make programmatic trading a no-brainer. Being able to offer cross-platform, targeted solutions is key for buyers and sellers alike and that’s where programmatic can help since it’s about transparency, control, and automation – and can bring long-lasting benefits from an infrastructure perspective with no erosion of value in the ecosystem.
As the consumption of VOD rises, and as more consumers watch content across a growing array of devices, finding audiences will be more important than ever. That’s why programmatic trading, as a facilitator for reaching audiences efficiently, at scale, will continue to play a vital role in strategic media planning.
And according to the late Steve Jobs, creativity is just about connecting things: ‘When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while’.
End-to-end technologies, in connecting the ecosystem and automating the more manual elements of what a buyer or sellers does, are providing much-needed creativity to our industry. Enabling media players to trade intelligently as part of a holistic media planning strategy, they’re encouraging the growth of an ecosystem where buyers and sellers work together to unlock mutual benefits and the full revenue potential of VOD. The ultimately result: stronger yields and stronger performance.