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How Streaming Is Ushering in the Next Era of Programmatic Advertising

Mike Laband, SVP of Platform Revenue, Magnite

July 31, 2023 | 3 min read

Streaming TV “came of age” at a time when programmatic advertising was more fully developed, making transacting more streamlined and efficient. Streaming has also matured to meet the demands of today’s buyers, who seek to access biddable inventory in premium environments at scale.

How programmatic media is bought across digital platforms like display doesn’t directly translate to streaming. Unlike display media, streaming inventory is inherently addressable, making programmatic in the streaming space its own animal. 

For these reasons and more, innovations in programmatic for streaming directly translate to other digital channels, reinventing programmatic advertising across the board. Here’s what differentiates programmatic ad buying in streaming and how it’s helping all digital media level up. 

Streaming is addressable – and cookieless

Streaming is inherently both addressable and cookieless. With the decline of third-party cookies, advertisers are looking for new ways to target audiences and measure campaign viewability. Meanwhile, publishers are seeking new ways to show the value of their inventory and leverage their first-party data to drive monetization.

Interestingly, much of the technology and standards developed in streaming to gather and translate first-party data in privacy-safe ways are now immediately relevant to achieving addressability across other digital channels. 

As audience attribution in desktop and mobile moves to the sell-side, display can learn from streaming’s ability to layer audience data, report, and execute individual 1:1 impressions while protecting consumer identity.

Streaming is transacted differently – with a focus on efficiency and premium partnerships

Particularly in digital video, brands across desktop and mobile are looking to work with more premium partners. Most streaming inventory is already purchased in private marketplaces (PMPs). This gives buyers exclusive access to premium inventory with the assurance of quality controls and brand safety.

Buyers achieve better outcomes by eliminating duplicative purchase paths that erode buying power. The streaming ecosystem has invested in the standards and best practices to consolidate its complex ecosystem and make ad buying more efficient. For example, certain deals are optimized for streaming, where publishers can forecast against audiences and prioritize buyers’ KPIs. Meanwhile, programmatic buying in streaming has helped brands consolidate their video ad spend and improve inventory curation. 

The tools and technology developed in streaming to unify ad delivery across its complex ecosystem directly translate to display. As more brands look to invest in omnichannel campaigns, the technology used to track and measure streaming performance holistically can also be used to streamline all digital supply. 

Streaming drives greater control and flexibility

In streaming, audience expectations have never been higher for a seamless ad experience: viewers want big-screen, high-quality ad delivery that matches the experience of primetime TV. Much investment has been made to ensure users don’t encounter poor sound, pixelated video, or other offputting ad experiences to meet expectations. 

With programmatic technology, streaming media suppliers have achieved competitive ad separation, ad pacing, frequency capping, and ad deduplication. Streaming buyers can also have a campaign up and running within minutes or adjust budgets in-flight to take advantage of spontaneous spikes in viewership. This control and flexibility over campaigns raises the bar for all digital media, forcing other digital channels to level up. 

Ultimately, all digital inventory is becoming more data-driven and addressable, and streaming is at the forefront of leading that transition with its audience attribution, efficiency, and flexibility. Programmatic streaming’s rising tide is lifting all digital supply – improving both the user experience and ad monetization.

Tags: CTV, Seller, Streaming

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