Programmatic Matters, But Not as Much as It Will #AdvancedAd

Programmatic buying, the hot advertising trend of the past year, is increasingly an integral part of the ad buying and selling world, agreed the Programmatic TV panel Wednesday at the Advanced Advertising conference hosted by Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News.

But it’s got significant steps to take before programmatic is playing to its full potential. “For this to become as big and as important as it needs to be, it has to be across national inventory,” said Jonathan Bokor, senior VP, director of advanced media at MediaVest.

Comcast is poised to announce a significant programmatic development, teased Dan Carella, executive director of advanced advertising at the cable giant, potentially a major advance for automated transactions. Local inventory is the focus of the initiative’s first phase, he said. “We certainly look forward to rolling it out shortly,” said Carella, who did not provide details.

Programmatic buying and selling helps reduce the “messy, dirty, annoying” — not to mention frequently inefficient — nature of legacy ad buys, said Jonathan Steuer, chief research officer, TiVo Research & Analytics.

Jeff Baumgartner, technology editor at Multichannel News, moderated the panel.

Brendan Condon, CEO of Media Properties Holdings/AdMore, hinted at programmatic’s potential might when he spoke of “getting rid of the mundane to make way for the magnificent.” Yet there remains a “ton of fear” in the industry, said James Rooke, GM of business solutions at FreeWheel, as programmatic moves out of digital video and onto a larger transactional stage.

Carella noted how, inside of a year ago, 10 different people in a Comcast meeting would’ve had nine different takes on programmatic. These days, he said, it’s more like two.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.