The upfronts, the season in which US TV companies tout their upcoming roster to advertisers, is now in full-swing. But do things look any different this year from previous years?

One key question on everyone’s lips, according to one ad-tech exec: “Will audience-based and cross-screen transactions become a key part of how the upfront negotiations work?”

That is according to VideoAmp chief strategy officer Jay Prasad. His company aims to help advertisers and media owners plan, package, execute and measure the success of de-duplicated and precisely targeted campaigns that reach linear TV, VOD, OTT and digital consumers.

Founded four years ago, the company has witnessed the evolution of early notions of “programmatic TV” – from packaging up remnant inventory at a mark-up, to something with far more potential.

“I think the market has moved past that,” Prasad says. “(You were) putting data on top of inventory that a brand advertiser doesn’t necessarily want and then you’re saying ‘it’s just gonna be more expensive’. The market’s really not going for that.”

Instead, Prasad sees more emerging value in programmatic tools being used to create private marketplaces for linear TV, so that premium broadcasters are dealing with clients through programmatic platforms.

If the very notion of programmatic TV has changed, so has VideoAmp’s own approach during its last four years in the market. Prasad observes:

  1. “The DSP for VideoAmp was a very first important step in establishing cross-screen video expertise and being able to understand programmatic data that is coming from video.”
  2. “From there, we then quickly expanded into the television side.”
  3. “Now we’re shifting our focus to be much more around data, workflow, and measurement.”

Late last year, the company added Google’s Luis Manrique as product VP after raising a $21.4m series B investment.

This video was produced at the Cadent & one2one Media UpFront 2018 industry summit. You can find more videos from the series here. The sponsors for this series are Cadent and one2one Media.