• Five Predictions for Programmatic TV in 2016

    If 2015 was the year the industry started to talk about programmatic TV, we think 2016 will be the year the industry starts to really adopt programmatic TV.

    In 2015 we saw leading demand side providers announce multi-screen programmatic solutions that included linear TV. While some of those announcements came as early as first quarter, the first volume of programmatic TV orders started to surface in early fourth quarter. As a result, orders from digital demand side providers accounted for a very small percentage of programmatic orders in 2015 but set the stage for 2016.

    Similarly, on the supply side, a handful of MVPDs and national cable networks explored private programmatic marketplaces and several more initiated integrations with programmatic supply side platforms. Again, as a result, even with these early adopters, the vast majority of impressions did not hit in the programmatic marketplace in 2015 but should in 2016.
    The total programmatic spend in 2015 was approximately $200 million, according to IDC, which is less than 0.2% of the total television advertising economy.

    We think the industry can expect to see accelerated adoption as early as first quarter 2016.

    Here are five predictions for programmatic TV in 2016:

    1. Increased Spending – Look for total spending on programmatic TV to increase from $200 million to almost $1 billion in 2016. Increased activity from major agency holding companies and meaningful demand from digital DSPs will drive programmatic spending up 400% year over year.

    2. More Available Programmatic Impressions – Currently, most programmatic impressions are being delivered in local cable inventory, which accounts for roughly 20% of the total inventory available on cable. As national cable networks and broadcasters begin to release inventory, the total available impressions will increase significantly.

    3. Technological Integrations – The availability of “data” for programmatic TV is the easy part in comparison to the technical integrations that allow the platforms to execute a truly automated solution. 2016 should be the year we start to see broad integration between programmatic platforms and legacy systems, such as traffic and billing systems and agency planning platforms.

    4. Meaningful Activity from digital DSPs – In the last 12 months, almost every major DSP had programmatic TV on their development roadmap. Several have already completed development, and we expect several more to be finished and active by first quarter 2016. As advertisers start to push impressions across all screens through these platforms, we expect demand from digital DSPs to increase significantly.

    5. Rules and Standards – The television economy is established and structured. For large brand advertisers and major agencies, who control the majority of TV ad dollars, to accelerate adoption of programmatic TV, rules and standards will have to be created and adopted to bring more order and structure. How programmatic impacts the TV ad spend, both inside and outside of the Upfront, will be determined by how the marketplace defines the changing ecosystem. We expect 2016 to be the year that the industry starts to create these rules and standards.

    Derek Mattsson is President of placemedia, which now handles more than 30 billion monthly impressions across 210 DMAs.