OTT Players Poised to Win TV’s Future

As TV ad buying shifts to audience-based models, a new class of over-the-top TV distributors such as Sling TV, fubo TV, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV and Hulu are in a better position than their traditional pay TV counterparts, according to a top industry ad executive.

“With that audience-based buying model, we have to recognize that the consumer is in control, that they’re going to be choosing what sort of content they want and on what terms they want to consume those options,” Gabe Greenberg, CEO and cofounder of GABBCON (Global Audience Based Buying Conference and Consultancy) told Next TV just ahead of the company’s May 16 Audience-Based Buying Summit in Chicago.

Related: Breaking Point [subscription required]

“We are very much in an infancy stage, but they are absolutely moving in a way that they can put themselves in a pole position to control the future of television,” Greenberg said of the virtual MVPDs, several of which are attached to long-established cable and satellite-TV providers.

Sling TV just made a big move toward audience-based buying by making premium ad inventory available programmatically, using real-time bidding, through SpotX, a video ad-serving platform that also allows sponsors to target consumer segments such as “auto intenders,” who are in the market for a new car, or would-be vacationers.

Related: The Future of Television Is Now

Sling TV’s new system through SpotX also has hooks into several demand- side platforms, including Adobe, AOL, AppNexus, BrightRoll, DataXu, Google DBM, MediaMath, The Trade Desk, Turn, VideoAmp and Videology.

Greenberg said the changes occurring in the TV world are like those affecting the automotive market, where car makers are more eager to sell directly to consumers and are questioning the value of their dealer relationships.

Legacy MVPDs are in a position to participate in this shift, but Greenberg questions whether or not they are moving quickly enough to seize the opportunity. Exceptions to that, he said, include Dish Network (the company behind Sling TV) and Comcast, which could capitalize on this trend with its cloud-based X1 video platform.

But others could be fearful of disrupting their legacy businesses. “Their own legacy politics and internal hurdles are impeding their ability to grow and change,” Greenberg warned.