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SSPs and local TV

Local Broadcast TV Sales Aided by SSPs

June 29th, 2016   ||    by Todd Wasserman

Despite the abundance of willing buyers in the market, local broadcast TV advertising is sometimes overlooked. To optimize the use of local TV ads, advertisers can utilize supply-side platforms—a technology that connects buyers to TV time.

AdAge recently posted a report from Magna Global, which found that programmatic TV will account for an estimated 4 percent of the total US market in 2015. By 2019, the figure will hit 17 percent. Convenience and enhanced targeting abilities are driving the trend.

How Local TV Time Is Traditionally Sold

While targeting has been available to local businesses online for some time, buying local broadcast TV time really hasn’t changed much since the Internet went mainstream some two decades ago. Because TV time is sold based on demographic data, the onus was on the advertiser to figure out which demo it was trying to reach. The demos are broken down by age, gender, and income level as well as ethnic makeup and income. The pricing is also based on the audience size.

To buy time, advertisers or media buyers contact sales reps for the TV station. TV sales reps can be helpful since the array of choices, including demo and dayparts, is often overwhelming. After the flights of ads have run, advertisers and buyers will receive a post-buy analysis—an affidavit of performance that compares the campaign’s level of success to its original goal.

The SSP Alternative

An emerging alternative to this is a supply- or sell-side platform (SSP), which streamlines the process and provides more granular targeting data. The latter data includes not only demographics, but also third-party profile data interests such as hobbies, associations, and behavioral data based on web searchers, which are likely to yield audiences more inclined to buy a particular product.

In addition, SSPs offer workflow automation in which some steps in the TV ad-buying process are streamlined—planning, negotiating, reporting, scheduling, and billing. For broadcasters, SSPs also offer the possibility of yield optimization, which takes into account the fine points of pricing structure, including geography and competitors to provide more accurate values for inventory.

The idea is to make spot TV easier to buy and more effective since it’s based on better data. The new approach also gives buyers a closer connection to inventory, similar to the way Expedia allows consumers to see airfare information on their own and make more informed choices.

Expanding the TV Buying Pool

SSPs also expand the potential TV-buying pool by introducing premium inventory to new customers who might not have considered local broadcast TV spots because they were too expensive or imprecisely targeted. Over time, the process of buying such inventory may become as simple and accountable as buying banner ads.

While this vision may take some time to come to fruition, clearly the market is changing and savvy buyers and sellers are benefiting.

To learn more about optimizing local TV, contact Videa.

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