TV networks and MVPDs want to sell ads in a new way for a new era- but they are going to need some new tools to help get them there.

For example, many now want to sell more than just 30-second spots in sequence, preferring to to sell the whole of a commercial break in one go.

Many also want to break out of the traditional “waterfall” approach to programmatic ad sales.

At the nexus of those two trends, Craig Berlingo sees “header bidding”, which lets publishers entertain multiple buyer bids simultaneously to achieve best prices, as a solution.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, the head of OTT and connected TV product strategy at PubMatic, an ad-tech company, says more TV publishers are trying to find higher rates by selling more flexibly.

From spot to pod

“When television started moving over to digital, the first opportunities were looking at each individual ad slot and trying to get the high CPM for it and make sure that you match supply and demand,” Berlingo says.

“Now publishers are looking at the (entire) ad pod. A publisher now wants to fill those 90 seconds in whatever way is best. It could be one big, long 90-second ad.

“It could be 15 six-second ads. But you have to take into account the viewer experience, the value to the advertiser, and then ultimately the entire revenue per the pod.”

Unifying sources

Berlingo was speaking after PubMatic launched OpenWrap OTT, a new product designed to increase efficiency in the new world of connected and over-the-top (OTT) TV ads.

Based off the Prebid open-source header bidding technology that has been so popular in recent years, OpenWrap OTT is a new attempt to inject programmatic, real-time, digital ad auctions into a TV world that, historically, has preferred manual, upfront deals.

In recent weeks, we have seen a new wave of buyer skepticism toward upfront ad sales, after the COVID-19 pandemic reduced businesses’ marketing visibility.

OpenWrap OTT features include trading of ad pods, frequency caps, reduced latency and header bidding.

Header bidding

Berlingo says it has been challenging for publishers to put together a pod of, say, three 30-second ads because each of the likely demand sources may be different, which can sometimes mean the final slot in a pod goes under-filled.

“Their demand is all over the place in a lot of different ad platforms – they might have some campaigns that are in their ad server, other ones that are in an exchange or a relationship with a DSP,” he says.

So OpenWrap OTT aims to unite those demand sources with header bidding, overcoming the traditional “waterfall” approach to entertaining ad bids in order to achieve better prices.

Kidoodle.TV, Limpid, Glewed TV, IPG and MediaMath have signed up to use OpenWrap OTT.

The company says some of the companies have achieved a 7x better performance as a result.

This is from a Beet.TV series titled “The Accelerated Evolution of Programmatic OTT” presented by PubMatic.  for more videos please visit this page