Real-Time Buying of Digital Video Will Bring Efficiencies to the TV Marketplace, Group M’s Rob Norman

By on 10/02/2012 3:53 PM @daisywhitney

Regardless of the video medium or device, most big advertisers are still firmly in the business of reaggregating audiences, says Rob Norman, Global Chief Digital Officer at Group M, the giant media buying unit  of London's WPP. 

Norman spoke in depth with Michael Learmonth, Digital Editor at Ad Age during a session at the recent Beet.TV Leadership Summit on Digital Video Advertising in an RTB World discussing what brands want in the video market and whether real-time buying will ever migrate to television.

His conclusion on the latter? No. "There will be chunks of TV inventory that move to real time, but I don't think we will move to real-time for the top-tier inventory because it wouldn't be in the interests of rights holders," he tells Learmonth in this exclusive video interview. However, the growing use of real-time buying strategies will have a carry-over effect and bring more efficiency to certain areas of TV, he says. 

He points out that TV buying has always been done in a manner somewhat akin to audience buying. "Audience buying is not new at all," he says. "If you did a proportional exercise and said what proportion of the total dollars are you spending versus what proportion of GRPs are you buying, you would find advertisers that spend 50% of their dollars on 25% of the inventory they're acquiring. It's just that the 25% is Monday Night Football, NFL, the World Series, American Idol and those big programs that carry a massive audience…then you are buying look-alike demos, and using analysis tools to find the same audiences anywhere else on the schedule. I don't see a difference apart from the level of granularity."

But, as audiences disperse across screens, that aggregation needs to occur across devices, screens and times of day. "The number of very high-rated shows is reduced. What we do and what we have always done is aggregate audiences across all of the TV landscape to build to the numbers we wish to build to," he says, explaining that for a show like top-raated CSI that can mean amassing the program's audience across its linear broadcast, its C3 ratings and the full-episode player.

He adds that full-episodes of TV shows are generating the most interest among online video programing for marketers, while short-form videos have not taken a huge bite out of TV ad money.

The event was presented by TubeMogul at the GroupM offices in Manhattan.

Daisy Whitney


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