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The automation of everything, programmatic everywhere

Strategy By: Maria MooreAug 6, 2019

The growth of programmatic has headlined much of the industry news over the past few years and continues on a significant growth trajectory. With forecasts that 80% of the advertising process will be automated by 2020, it’s never been more important to capitalise on the benefits programmatic brings. These benefits now span across audio, digital out of home and TV, bringing new opportunities to these channels.


With reports forecasting that 80% of the advertising process will be automated by 2020, and programmatic accounting for 80-90% of Display spend in 2019, it’s no surprise that significant progress has been made in the automation of audio, digital out of home and TV buying.

Automation of digital streaming audio and terrestrial radio scaled in 2018 following Pandora’s acquisition of AdsWizz to become the largest programmatic audio exchange. Spotify led the way having launched programmatic audio in 2016 followed by their self-serve platform in 2018 which has resulted in programmatic audio now making up a quarter of the platform’s revenue. Programmatic audio is readily available to buy on the open exchange with the added benefit of dynamic audio creative.

Similarly, large strides have been made within Digital Out of Home where Clear Channel, VIOOH (JCDecaux), Exterion and Primesight (to name a few) are all offering programmatic capabilities. Almost 50% of OOH spend is now Digital and this media will increasingly be available programmatically. John Lewis partnered with Infectious Media in October 2018 to launch the first out of home campaign bought in real-time and has since invested in a second campaign to maximise the efficiencies brought about through programmatic buying.

It is estimated that 75% of UK households will have connected TVs by 2020. This, coupled with the fast pace shift from live to time-shifted viewing and the rise in streaming via connected devices, indicates that TV is on track to become the next channel to leverage the benefits that programmatic brings. Sky AdSmart, Channel 4 and ITV all currently offer programmatic buying opportunities, and Google has also recently launched the ability to independently target and measure YouTube across connected TVs following the shift in viewing behaviour.

So, what are the advantages for advertisers of buying these channels programmatically, and what should advertisers be doing to capitalise on this opportunity. The advantages are multiple:

  1. Programmatic enables data driven planning and buying based on the consumer rather than channel silos.
  2. Smarter planning leveraging online data to inform placement selection, real time creative optimisation, flexible budget management, lower cost to entry and transparent reporting and measurement are all reasons to access these channels in this way.
  3. Audio and digital out of home are currently available to buy programmatically through Infectious Media. Programmatic TV alpha opportunity is also available.

To access these advantages, advertisers need to treat programmatic as a primary buying method when planning cross-channel digital campaigns. In doing this, planning becomes centred around data and efficiencies, and also sets advertisers up for the future where platform-based buying is the new norm. Advertisers making the most of the early stage automation advances will put themselves in a strong position for the future.

Maria Moore, Managing Partner, Infectious Media

This article is part of the IM programmatic trends 2019 series, read more here

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