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Dynamic Ad Insertion (Part 2): What It Means for Local TV Advertising

January 10th, 2019   ||    by John R. Osborn

MediaWave recently published part one of a two-part series on Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI). DAI enables TV and video content providers to address video ads to viewers by “stitching” video content and ads into a single stream before serving to a device.

Part one defined and described in depth how DAI works. Part two will now explore what it means for local TV.

The good news with Dynamic Ad Insertion is that for all T/V (Television/Video) content providers and advertisers, the technology works with both live linear and Video on Demand (VOD) delivery formats. Furthermore, local and national TV will compete with the targeting, tracking, and reporting benefits of online/mobile video.

Becoming Competitive

Past MediaWave reports have discussed several technologies that must collaborate to make the traditional one-way content and advertising delivery model of television more competitive with two-way online and mobile digital video. This requires more refined targeting and measurement, along with interactivity, involving the following steps:

  • Automating the buying and selling process through a reliable ad tech platform connecting buyers and sellers
  • Connecting those platforms to first-, second-, or third-party Data Management Platforms (DMPs) to sync content or device viewing with advertiser prospects
  • Matching advertiser targets with viewing through ATSC 3.0-enabled Automated Content Recognition (ACR), providing interactivity and viewing identification on Smart TV screens

When those “pipes” are in place (full ATSC 3.0 adoption is still a few years away), DAI will deliver stitched ads and content to the right viewer at the right time on the right device. Though never fully achievable for broadcast media, hasn’t this been the end goal of all advertising?

Several of the major broadcast networks are partnering with technologies that can provide DAI to their viewers and advertisers. CBS is bringing Nielsen’s recently acquired Gracenote DAI system to linear ads, adding live TV DAI and ACR to CBS’s already DAI-enabled digital, streaming, and OTT properties. Comcast Technology Solutions, sister division to NBC, offers a platform that can work with Cable TV systems and other digital video content providers, connecting “any video infrastructure to any ad-serving platform.”

What Does This Mean for Local TV Sellers?

National TV networks are moving into the streaming space, where viewers are often younger cord-nevers who tend to consume media on mobile or other (non-TV) platforms. Local TV affiliates still hold local broadcast/cable distribution rights, producing local news and sports programming still highly desired by viewers.

So, local TV has big revenue opportunities. However, knowledge-building and organizational-change management relies on individual commitment—not only to survival, but also to the growth and evolution required.

What Does This Mean for Local TV Ad Buyers?

Local buyers will have new and better access to local station inventory arriving through traditional cable/broadcast formats on smart TVs, which are rapidly becoming the norm in U.S. households. They will also have better access to digital streaming services without losing the base of inventory already available.

What Should Local TV Businesses and Buyers Be Doing Now?

Although the platforms and technology are just now being installed and may not be fully functioning for a few more years, a wait-and-see approach will not do. Local stations must be driving the development of addressable advertising capabilities today, and training/hiring staff that will be able to guide, engineer, manage, analyze, and sell a clean and easy buying system to advertisers.

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