AMC Networks Goes Programmatic With Linear Addressable Campaigns

Killing Eve on BBC America
Advertisers can buy addressable ads in AMC programming like 'Killing Eve' programmatically. (Image credit: BBC America)

AMC Networks said it is selling addressable advertising inventory on linear television using programmatic technology via The Trade Desk and Magnite.

Advertisers including Best Western, Smithfield Foods and Securian Financial bought linear addressable campaigns via programmatic technology in the third quarter. AMC said those clients continue to run addressable ads programmatically in the fourth quarter.

The move is a step forward for addressable advertising, which promises to make ad campaigns more effective and commercial inventory more valuable but has been slowed by technology and business issues.

Some TV networks have been reluctant to sell advertising via automated programmatic technology because of concerns about losing control of pricing, the quality of the commercials that might run adjacent to their shows and fraud. But technology has made programmatic more transparent and accountable. 

AMC Networks has been aggressive about putting its programming on digital platforms and selling advertising through multiple platforms to maximize revenue. It touted its programmatic capabilities going into the upfront, citing the success of campaigns it ran through Canoe Ventures, which inserted spots in Comcast and Charter subscribers’ homes.

Addressable advertising lets brands target consumers more precisely on a home-by-home basis with little waste. Programmatic technology makes those campaigns easier to buy and makes the use of first-party data more secure.

“This is a huge development, for us and for the entire industry, unlocking the value of linear inventory by providing advanced programmatic buying, with full addressability, on linear television,” AMC Networks senior VP of advanced advertising and digital partnerships Evan Adlman said. “We have made a commitment to make 100% of our linear reach addressable, and we believe in the enhanced efficiency and automation of programmatic buying. To enable this full range of advantages on linear television is a major step and capability that will be at the center of our advertising partnerships today and in the future.”

For AMC, going programmatic and addressable combines enhanced targeting with high quality content on AMC’s networks, shows like The Walking Dead, Killing Eve and Better Call Saul.

“Our partnership with AMC is bringing advertisers all the benefits that come with programmatic, plus the opportunity to buy high-quality content in a way that hasn’t been done before,” said Tim Sims, chief revenue officer, The Trade Desk. “Giving advertisers the access to a new pool of premium inventory and the ability to use their first-party data through this linear addressable capability is a perfect match. We’re excited to see how this first-to-market inventory opens up more opportunities for advertisers as the TV marketplace continues to evolve.” 

AMC said The Trade Desk was able to ensure category separation for advertisers, frequency management and time out management.

Working with Magnite AMC built custom functionality in collaboration with its own broadcast delivery teams and linear order management systems.

“The work we’ve done with AMC brings the full power of programmatic execution to linear TV for the first time and gives advertisers the technology they need to holistically manage campaigns across CTV and linear TV,” said Matt McLeggon, senior VP of advanced solutions at Magnite. “Advertisers can now reach any AMC viewer, regardless of screen or how they access their content, through the Magnite platform. The success of our Q3 pilot proves that the act of buying CTV and linear TV no longer need to be siloed endeavors. We look forward to playing an expanded role in the proliferation of new addressable television opportunities alongside AMC.“

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.