Programmatically-traded TV ads are no longer just a theory – eMarketer estimated $21.52 billion out of a $25.09 billion US CTV ad spend were programmatic in at the end of 2023.

As ad-founded CTV generally hits new heights, that means programmatic TV is entering a new era.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Will Doherty, VP, Inventory Development, The Trade Desk, thinks 2024 is the year when the opportunity really takes off.

Year of Programmatic

“This is the year where we really are able to marry all the advances in identity and authentication that are so rich in a CTV environment,” he tells Beet.TV editorial director Lisa Granatstein.

“Premium CTV is just a reflection of a big shift in consumer media consumption,” states Doherty. “As more and more folks cut the cord and streaming becomes their primary access point to content…marketers are going to follow that same trend.”

He thinks the resulting return on investment (ROI) or return on ad spend (ROAS) could be unparalleled in media history. Coupled with advancements from a retail media standpoint, Doherty boldly predicts, “This is going to be a very big year, a tipping point year, an inflection point for the entire industry.”

Rethinking the Commercial Break

He believes the traditional concept of the commercial break is ripe for reinvention. “There’s a lot of room for efficiency,” Doherty explains.

The Trade Desk views the commercial break as a complex construct that has historically involved meticulous planning – from pod building to ad selection and ensuring competitive separation.

Doherty envisions “technical upgrades to make that commercial break as efficient as possible,” benefiting consumers with more relevant ads, allowing marketers to deliver ads effectively, and providing publishers with monetization opportunities.

Overcoming Hurdles

The Trade Desk provides a demand-side platform (DSP) allowing advertisers to manage and optimize programmatic ad campaigns across various formats, including display, video, social, mobile, and connected TV. The platform enables real-time bidding on ad inventory from multiple exchanges.

However, navigating the transition to programmatic CTV is not without its hurdles. “We’re building a lot of the ecosystem in real time as the plane’s in the air,” Doherty acknowledges.

The initial phase, categorized by access, is now behind us, with the industry having established broad access to content for marketers.

“Now that we’re through this access phase, we really go into more of like, ‘how do we demonstrate more efficiency within that access?’,” Doherty adds, emphasizing the need to improve performance for marketers and monetization for publishers.

You’re watching Beet.TV’s coverage of Programmatic Activation Summit 2024, presented by FreeWheel. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.