We asked some stalwarts a simple question. Here’s what Liz Fraser, group head of revenue at MediaWorks, had to say.
Programmatic TV buying may not happen in New Zealand next year, but it’s a topic that I’m deeply interested in. Just to explain, programmatic TV advertising is data-driven automation of audience-based advertising transactions (i.e. marketers don’t rely on ratings for specific shows or channels; instead they use programmatic technology to reach a more specific subset of consumers, like women with an income of $50,000 who own a house .It doesn’t matter if the ad ends up in CSI or Big Brother, as long as the target audience is watching).
Linear TV (where a viewer watches a scheduled TV programme at a particular time it’s offered, and on a particular channel it’s presented on), is still the vehicle of choice for brands wanting mass market reach, awareness, association with premium and popular content and to establish emotional connections with consumers. However, it’s inevitable that broadcast TV will move into the ever-evolving digital world, specifically trading TV programmatically, but not for quite a few more years in New Zealand.
Although it’s in its infancy, the consensus is that it’s going to become a surefire model for the future of buying TV. There are many who fear what this may do to revenues, including me, and in what format this will be traded is still very much being debated around the world. The development of new technology as well as the increasing pressure to prove return on investment is pushing data-driven insights to the forefront of marketing strategy.
Trading TV programmatically will reverse the traditional TV trading model. Instead of using data about programming to find desirable audiences, advertisers will be able to use data about their audiences to find suitable placements and engage with their audience more effectively. Transactions will become more efficient, but not necessarily cheaper.
Broadcasters do not have billions of impressions to trade, but they do have the highest quality content, especially locally-produced premium content, which is a key strength of MediaWorks. Limited supply will mean it will be challenging to trade in a real-time bidding (RTB) environment, and RTB systems can drive pricing down. Premium content in a brand safe environment is highly sought after and therefore should command top dollars.
There are still many technical, cultural and structural challenges that need addressing before the TV broadcasting industry can embrace programmatic to the same extent as online.
We see an opportunity in data-led buying, but the question is, in what way do we engage with this technology that’s right for our business. This may not be happening in 2015, but it’s coming our way.