Advanced Television

AMC Networks enables programmatic ad buying on linear

October 27, 2023

AMC Networks has enabled programmatic ad buying on three of its linear networks after a successful pilot last month.

AMC Networks says this technological advancement is noteworthy as “it marked the first time live linear inventory was able to be purchased programmatically – in a real-time, biddable ad environment”. The company created and executed this innovation in partnership with FreeWheel, a technology platform for the TV advertising industry, The Trade Desk, an advertising technology company, and Canoe Ventures.

Advertisers can now purchase linear and digital ad inventory in one unified campaign using their existing programmatic buying platforms. This new capability allows marketers to manage advertising reach and frequency in a way that they could not before, while also opening up new incremental linear audiences for advertisers who were previously digital only.

L’Oréal, working in cooperation with their agency Omnicom Group, was the first national advertiser to purchase ads programmatically as part of a pilot that ran in September and included other national brands. The Trade Desk and AMC Networks also ran promo campaigns during September to further test and prove the efficacy of this new capability and ensure the buying process was as efficient and streamlined as possible. AMC’s promos were focused The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon and the company’s annual FearFest programming event. Beginning this October, programmatic buying is live and fully operational across all programming on AMC, WE tv and BBC America.

“Programmatic buying offers enhanced targeting, greater efficiency and has been the preferred way to transact on digital platforms for years, but until now has never been possible for national linear television commercials,” said Evan Adlman, executive vice president of commercial sales and revenue operations for AMC Networks. “During this pilot, we were able to deliver seven distinct creative executions to viewers simultaneously as part of the same national linear commercial slot, through a real-time biddable process. This is a huge advance for us and for the industry and, like our pioneering efforts in addressable advertising, makes our inventory even more valuable.”

“We were excited to be the first brand to pilot this important advancement in how TV advertising is purchased, which aligns well with our interest in automation and efficiency and being able to buy all forms of inventory together as part of the same process. AMC Networks, The Trade Desk and FreeWheel were great partners and we look forward to being part of the continuing future of programmatic ad buying on linear television,” said Shenan Reed, senior vice president and head of media at L’Oréal USA.

“This innovation brings together two extremely timely advertising technologies to help advertisers reach and engage with current and prospective audiences: programmatic ad buying and addressable TV advertising,” said Mark McKee, general manager, FreeWheel. “The first gives advertisers greater control, automation and efficiency in the overall TV ad buying process, and when layering this with addressable TV advertising, the result is advertising that reaches the right target consumer, within an enhanced and enriching viewer experience.”

“The business of buying TV ads is being rewritten, and right now is the moment the industry needs to fully embrace programmatic advertising,” added Tim Sims, chief revenue officer, The Trade Desk. “This integration brings the power of data-driven decisioning to linear ad buys, while giving brands and agencies the insight to build even more sophisticated, omnichannel campaigns. It’s a major win for both publishers and buyers.”

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