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An Update on the Evolution of Programmatic TV

Programmatic television is seeing growing interest from advertisers, who recognize its potential for bringing better targeting and real-time buying to traditional TV campaigns. But many advertisers rightly wonder if this evolving buying method will ever reach the mainstream and whether it offers compelling benefits beyond traditional buying methods. One company that’s pioneering new techniques for the programmatic TV ad model is Sling TV, an early provider of live and on-demand over-the-top TV services. The company’s rapid move into the programmatic space gives us some hints about the benefits this fast-moving way of buying media may provide to advertisers in the years ahead:

Targeting based on audience psychographics
One of the challenges of traditional TV ad buying is that marketers and agencies only know so much about their viewing audience. While factors like the ad’s “daypart,” content type, or the age and gender of viewers can help provide clues, these are less precise than many advertisers would like. What companies like Sling are offering with programmatic TV is an opportunity to get even more granular with their audience targeting, introducing new segmentation tools to reach specific psychographic buying groups like back to school shoppers or consumers planning to go on vacation. They’re able to do this thanks to more detailed demographic data provided by subscribers when they sign up for service.

Access to more types of traditional TV ad inventory
The assumption of many agencies considering programmatic TV campaigns is that the inventory is limited to on-demand TV content. After all, in order to facilitate the real-time buying that typically occurs with this automated format, advertisers and programmers need to know well in advance. However, thanks to growing technology advances, Sling TV is increasingly pushing programmatic buying opportunities into live TV broadcasts as well. The large audiences typically attracted to live events like sports and award shows may help make the format even more compelling for advertisers in the future.

Programmatic TV will offer dynamic ad insertion
One of the true benefits of programmatic is that it is highly flexible, allowing advertisers to instantly insert the most appropriate ads to reach the most appropriate consumers, a technique known as “dynamic ad insertion.” Sling TV is helping to bring this technology to programmatic TV, where it will help advertisers deliver even more relevant, contextual and targeted ad creative to consumers. 

Programmatic TV hasn’t yet reached the mainstream of the ad industry. But thanks to new innovations from companies like Sling TV, it’s gaining traction with advertisers.