Despite promising to automate TV ad sales – a practice that, for decades, has been carried out manually – programmatic ad sales, even in connected TV (CTV) environments, have remained considerable hands-on.

But now we are reaching a tipping point where the majority of CTV ad sales will be programmatically traded.

At least, that will be the case for the world’s largest media-buying agency next year.

CTV’s programmatic tipping point

Asked about programmatic CTV in this video interview with Beet.TV, Mike Moore, GroupM director of programmatic development, says: “It’s certainly our fastest growing.

“It’s probably not yet the majority, but I’m fairly confident by next year that it will be.”

EMarketer estimates connected TV ad spending will hit $11.36 billion in the US in 2021, up 40.1% from 2020 and representing 4.2% of total media spending.

US Connected TV Ad Spending, 2019-2024 (billions, % change, and % of total media ad spending)

Complex route to screen

CTV is gathering steam for ad sales despite a host of challenges around the complexity of getting brands on-screen.

Moore says the supply side has been a “mystery” for ad clients.

“It’s definitely a tough landscape to navigate,” he says, explaining the complexity.

“There’s quite a few different players and points of access to ultimately deliver what, for a consumer, is just an ad on the screen.

“We can go through our MVPD partners. You can go directly with publishers who may deliver across a variety of devices and platforms.”

Path to market

So Moore is looking to supply-side ad platforms (SSPs) to smoothe the route to publisher inventory.

In October, the agency announced it picked SpotX as its primary such programmatic partner for buying digital video and OTT TV ad inventory.

Moore thinks SSPs are a vital cog in the system because “they’re that point of contact for our publishers, which is ultimately where we want to be doing our transactions and who we want to be engaged with”.

“What we’ve brought to bear with SpotX, we think is really unique, interesting for the marketplace, and just allows us to have a more transparent and direct relationship with those publishers that we care so much about,” he adds.

“A lot of that has to do with the rate transparency that SpotX can provide us, as well as some rate efficiencies for GroupM clients, to give us an increasingly leading edge when we transact and talk about CTV with these type of premium environments.”

You are watching “Addressable Advertising: A New Reality for Linear TV,” a Beet.TV leadership video series presented by SpotX. For more videos, please visit this page