The Next Frontier of Advertising: Programmatic TV Insights from NBCUniversal’s Brian Norris

A massive paradigm shift is taking place in television advertising with traditional TV advertising slowing down and programmatic rapidly entering the scene.

Research shows five percent of all TV ad spend in the US will be programmatic by 2019 and a third of global TV ad revenue will be acquired by programmatic by 2021. This trend clearly points to exciting times ahead for broadcasters, media planners, marketers and tech firms. The latter have been moving aggressively in this space to grab their share in emerging business.

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, Brian Norris, Senior Vice President of Audience Studio Sales, Ad Sales at NBCUniversal shares some of his insights on the topic of programmatic advertising below. Don’t miss his session at SCALE18 next Thursday, October 25.

Programmatic advertising is now well ingrained in the digital marketing sector and is slowly being adopted for offline channels like TV and OOH. Interestingly, programmatic TV spending is on a rise in US (expected to double in 2018). What are the key reasons you think marketers are heading in this direction?

What we are seeing in the programmatic TV space supports the theories and prediction of growth in the US. Some of the key reasons for this growth is the increased level of data that is available for marketers to leverage in their desire to be more targeted coupled with the business need to be faster to market and more automated. Additionally, there is an appetite for marketers to have more control over their TV media and so the option of having “hands on keyboard” has become an appealing one, giving advertisers ultimate flexibility in planning and accountability with measurable results.

What concerns might marketers and brand managers have about shifting to programmatic, instead of using traditional linear TV?

Some advertisers have concerns around the availability of quality inventory and dayparts made available via programmatic platforms. At NBCUniversal, we have a fundamental belief in making all of our inventory available for advertisers to transact with. We currently do not have any of our national inventory that is not available for purchase programmatically.

What were the challenges faced by the US media and broadcast industry when they shifted to programmatic advertising?

Some of the challenges that we faced include: 1) difficulty reserving inventory as part of the upfront; 2) additional tech fees in the supply chain and; 3) how do you change the guarantee model.

After YouTube’s brand safety scandal, how do you ensure your advertisers’ interests are safeguarded when it comes to programmatic TV advertising?

The answer is not necessarily specific to PTV, but TV in general provides a safer ecosystem in terms of brand safety. Every impression is delivered in premium content across VOD and digital when an advertiser enables a data-driven campaign across NBCUniversal properties.

How has NBCUniversal adapted its business model for a programmatic future? What changes have you implemented across the business?

NBCUniversal is a first-mover in the television advanced advertising space, introducing the first national programmatic TV offering at scale and the first media industry’s first self-serve programmatic television offering.

Programmatic TV ad buying is an offering within NBCUniversal’s Audience Studio, the company’s industry-leading advanced advertising platform. The Audience Studio combines the unmatched power of NBCUniversal’s content with its unique proprietary data asset and best-in-class data products to offer audience targeting capabilities across advertising channels.

Which category of advertisers is most prominently using programmatic for TV advertising across the industry and at NBCUniversal?

Advertisers who have their own 1st party data (retail, finance, etc.) are typically the most likely to lean into data products. We also see a real interest in mid-market and advertisers who have leveraged a direct to consumer approached. Typically, these e-commerce companies have robust data on their customers/subscribers and are able to market against these data sets.

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

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