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Programmatic TV should unify broadcast and digital sale

The TV industry must focus on the unification of two distinct content business models – broadcast and unicast – to capture the shifting advertising budgets, according to a new whitepaper – Programmatic TV Guide For Sellers: A Focus on Holistic Audience Monetizationfrom – produced by video inventory management platform, SpotX.

Instead of debating the merits of TV versus video, or linear versus on-demand, the industry must unify the business models that monetise inventory at the point of content distribution and inventory at the point of content consumption, the whitepaper found.

“The distinction between these business models isn’t exclusive to the device a consumer is using,” VP of programmatic TV for SpotX, Randy Cooke, explained. “Rather, the distinction lies in whether the value of audience at the moment of content consumption is transparent.”

“Broadcast lacks real-time audience discovery, instead monetising ad units whose value is inferred from sample-based estimations of audience,” Cooke said.

“As more content distribution points that were traditionally delivered through broadcasting technologies move to IP-based infrastructure, media owners need smarter, better-integrated tools to holistically manage inventory.”

“To realise the value of all content distribution points, the industry must optimise yield through a horizontal inventory management approach that can only exist in a confederation of broadcast and unicast business models.”

With measurement services that combine TV and digital audience measurement, such as comScore’s recently-released Xmedia product, already entering the market, currency-based media transactions are set to be replaced by a horizontal yield management approach.

“Gone are the days of valuing digital video as an audience extension of TV inventory,” Cooke noted.

“As media owners and distributors extend greater amounts of content to desktop, smartphones, SVoD platforms and connected devices, the value of audiences contained within these streams must be realised.”

Industry leaders have also weighed in on the unification of audience debate:

“I don’t care where you watch our shows — just watch them,” President and CEO of CBS Les Moonves said earlier this year. “We just want it to get counted and we want to get paid appropriately.”

Monday Night Football will be sold alongside an upfront sponsorship model and an impressions-based audience,” CEO of Operative, Lorne Brown, wrote recently.

“Television 2.0 will be just like television 1.0, except it will be powered by granular data,” GroupM Chairman Irwin Gotlieb said at this year’s Cannes festival. “Not only will it be driven through dynamic ad insertion and addressability, but it will also have synchronised second-screen addressability.”

SpotX’s latest whitepaper is the third in a series that examines programmatic TV and how industry stakeholders can position themselves to reap the benefits of this emerging technology.

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