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Google’s New TV Ad Products: Round Three

October 23rd, 2017   ||    by Callie Wheeler   ||    No Comments

Google’s newest TV ad products are further proof the company isn’t content with digital advertising alone. As its investments in television continue, what do these new products mean for the current programmatic television ecosystem?

A Growing Roster

Google has revealed four new products and updates to two others, according to AdExchanger:

  • TV Content Explorer is a product leveraging machine learning to give broadcasters data to improve planning and selling against content.
  • Audience Insight on TV Content and Programmatic Deals will deliver audience data for specific shows—so publishers can sell personalized programmatic ads.
  • Outstream video and rewarded video are two new mobile-first video ad formats.
  • Updates to Smart TV Ad Breaks include plans to make the product available for purchase programmatically.
  • TV Modeled Forecasting is being updated to include a look-back window twice as long—18 months from nine—plus the ability for publishers to upload offline data.

The consistent thread across the products is Google’s vision of building a full television advertising stack. But a quick look at other Google television products indicates advertisers and publishers likely won’t be ready to commit to the same vision.

Looking Back

Google’s first foray into programmatic flopped due to broadcaster mistrust and a lack of integration with buyers’ workflows. The digital giant’s failure gives the impression that it didn’t take the time to get to know broadcasters and TV buyers or their processes. Instead, the company pitched a solution that ultimately wasn’t embraced by the TV industry.

Another innovation presented this year, YouTube TV, is noticeably similar to linear TV. By acknowledging that the linear TV model is still the best way to get viewers’ eyes on ads, Google does seem to be learning more about the industry and what works.

Bottom Up, Not Top Down

As others have noted, while Google has broadcast customers like CBS, it’s still not the brand that comes to mind for most agencies and buyers. There’s a reason for this: Input from local broadcasters and agencies is integral to the development of TV ad products and their success. While Google may be introducing new products faster than anyone else in the industry, its vision for a full TV stack doesn’t mean much if buyers and sellers aren’t interested.

Without a “bottom-up” approach that values buyers’ and sellers’ time, processes, and preferences, Google isn’t likely to be taking over the programmatic market anytime soon. Even as TV becomes ever more connected and digital, it’s not the same as digital—a lesson any TV ad-tech company should keep in mind.

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