Emerging Trends: European Programmatic TV Insights From RTL AdConnect’s Stephane Coruble

Every age in advertising brings a unique innovation and we believe one of this decade’s most important innovations has to be programmatic. While initially, it started with digital channels, the programmatic needle is moving quickly to offline channels, with a focus on television.

Many brands across different markets are embracing programmatic TV to optimise costs and run more efficient media plans. This increasing shift towards programmatic TV is beginning to claim a large piece of traditional television advertising spend.

There are several reasons why marketers are now opting for programmatic TV, which include automated buying, data-driven targeting, cross screen measurement, unified campaign management and real-time optimisation. Research shows that programmatic TV is the way forward and a huge chunk of global TV advertising inventory will be sold via programmatic buying over the next few years.

At SCALE18, the conference for growth marketing innovators, powered by DCMN, attendees will have a chance to hear from leaders in this fast-growing space during a session titled Programmatic TV: Challenges and learnings from across the Atlantic.

Featured speaker, Stéphane Coruble, CEO at RTL AdConnect shares some of his insights on the topic of programmatic advertising below. Don’t miss his session at SCALE18 this Thursday, October 25.

RTL is a big group with huge interests in television. How has programmatic TV changed the face of the broadcast media industry, and how has it affected your business?

If we consider programmatic TV first and foremost as the transposition of digital programmatic buying applied to linear television, then we have not arrived at this stage in Europe just yet.

However, initiatives close to programmatic, such as automated buying systems, have been making an impact in linear TV in many European countries. We are also seeing a huge increase in investment in TV addressability technology, already widely used in Germany for example, as well as in Italy, Spain, Austria & France. At RTL AdConnect we give access to a whole inventory of digital video, connected TV and catch-up TV with our Video Market Place (VMP) – whose principle is close to programmatic – and so improvements/ investment in this space will naturally have a positive effect on our business.

You work with a lot of brands across Europe, how comfortable are brands with the idea of programmatic TV?

Video is a massive part of advertising today, and our job is to simplify video advertising to create a safe and targeted environment for advertisers to operate in. Programmatic is where the industry is heading – brands that aren’t ready for this, need to get comfortable with it pretty quickly!

The deployment of this new mode of buying needs to be done step by step – there is no ‘quick fix’, and it’s important for brands operating across Europe, to take into account the cultural differences of European markets.

The US is sometimes cited as the leader in the programmatic TV space, but what are the challenges for the programmatic TV space in Europe?

One of the main challenges of programmatic TV is how to consolidate linear TV, ATV and Connected TV. And in Europe, understanding cultural nuances that will impact an effective programmatic strategy. Each market will need a cross-devices and cross-technologies solution, and at a certain point the broadcasters will have to find a consensus to create a global marketplace with all their inventories.

That said, at RTL Group we anticipated the market’s transformation in this space, and built our expertise through acquiring companies such as Spot X for monetization and making a strategic investment in Clypd who are building the first linear marketplace in the US.

RTL recently launched a video marketplace (VMP) to address brand safety concerns for the brands it works with. How has the platform been doing in last few months?

It’s going well, in the short time since we launched we are already working with agencies and advertisers who are looking for alternatives to Facebook and Google.

Our offer is built around 3 pillars. The first is Ad Premium, offering a strong inventory (catch-up platforms) that represents 800m video views in 12 markets, with the best completion and viewability rate of the market.

The second pillar, Ad Affinity, is our YouTube inventory, and we are one of the biggest content providers on YouTube thanks to our MPN. We register around 42bn video views per month and can guaranty brand safety through our premium YouTube inventory (provided by Fremantle, StyleHaul or United Screens).

Finally, with Ad Extension, we have included the SpotX inventory available in 190 countries gathering more or less 9bn video views (outside of the US). So with more than 53bn video views per month, a high level of content quality and a brand safe environment for advertisers – I think it’s safe to say that the market has been very welcoming.

With the VMP, are you directly attacking the advertising dollars of Facebook and Google news?

We are both a competitor of Facebook and Google, but also partners and an alternative for our advertisers. This is what we call coopetition.

We often say to our clients that alternatives exist – there is enough space for all, especially when you want to address a specific market in a safe environment.  We offer a wide range of solutions, and work with a wide range of partners, including Google and Facebook, to offer the strongest support for our clients.

SCALE18 kicks off in Berlin on October 25. Book your tickets here.

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