NAPA, Ca — The so-called “programmatic” buying of online advertising is garnering plenty of headlines, but can mean different things to different buyers, says Will Pate, digital VP of Interpublic’s Canadian agency M2.

“The opportunity is to take out that big ad ops piece – the inefficiencies and frictions in the marketplace – and free people’s time up so they can spend more time on strategic planning, but also on the the reporting side,” Pate tells Beet.TV in this video interview.

Many folks compare the effect of programmatic with how automated stock trading wiped human traders off the floors of Wall Street, expecting a similar wave of automation on Madison Avenue.

eMarketer sees programmatic spend comprising 29% of US digital display ad budgets in 2013, rising to 29% in 2017.

But Pate says it’s not just about replacing humans with algorithms.

“You can also get reach that you just couldn’t get before,” he says at TubeMogul‘s TubeMogul University customer event. “It just doesn’t scale to do buying manually, person-by-person.”

Find all our coverage of the TubeMogul event here.