LONDON — “Programmatic” ad trading technology emerged in to this world in the form of real-time bidding for ad spaces, on open, auction-based exchanges.

So it’s a good job, for anyone vying for a piece of the TV ad industry pie, that times have changed. After all, that kind of ad buying system is anathema to television.

“TV is like a goldmine in terms of quality – that’s where you can find the best inventory,” says Gilles Chetelat, COO of StickyADS, the French ad-tech vendor that is helping unite premium video publishers and ad buyers. “That’s normal in an environment where upfront (sales) and reservation are key.”

As the possibility of “programmatic TV” rears its head, two camps of opinion seem to be emerging, in our experience:

  • Those who believe every ad sale that can be automated will be automated.
  • Those who are more realistic when it comes to TV, where ads are mostly sold by humans via upfront agreements.

Chetelat believes that upfront model remains key to the industry. But that doesn’t mean software doesn’t have a part to play.

“Any technology that can make that possible across platforms is going to make a difference,” he adds.

The company was acquired last month by Comcast’s FreeWheel unit.

This interview is part of our series “The Road to Cannes”, presented by FreeWheel. Please visit this page for additional segments.