Seven and TubeMogul ink programmatic deal

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 23 November 2015

The race is well and truly on between TV networks and platform providers looking to secure a strong position in linear TV programmatic advertising.

Hot on the heels of SBS' programmatic announcement last week, AdNews can reveal that free-to-air network Seven is the latest business to ink a deal with programmatic platform provider TubeMogul.

At its NewFronts presentation last month, Seven's director of sales Adam Elliott unveiled plans for '7 Screens', a programmatic solution for advertising agencies and marketing partners allowing advertisers to trade on customers and not just demographic.

Elliott said Seven’s move into “programmatic buying” will allow advertisers and agencies to connect their brands and campaigns across the network's media platforms in real-time through data and analytics, but it was not known who its tech launch partner would be.

Speaking to AdNews today (Monday 23 November), Seven's chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette said: “We are at the bleeding edge of the innovation in this space, with the objective to deliver a multitude of powerful and innovative ways to connect our advertising  partners with our audience.”

TubeMogul MD Sam Smith said the business had been working with Seven for a year, and the move was about giving advertisers and agencies greater access to audiences and data.

The deal is not exclusive, with Seven likely to plug into similar firms such as AOL.

Smith stressed it was in no way “replacing the traditional TV buy” but was more about providing a new way of buying TV.

“The broadcasters here are way more sophisticated than some may think and have been doing a lot in this space in terms of planning and looking at how they are moving into this area,” Smith said. “Next year will see a big step change for the market in this space.”

As more savvy brands are keen to bring their first-party data to the programmatic TV world and layer their insight into a cost-effective automated TV buying environment, more companies are putting automation and programmatic efficiencies into place.

Director of sales at SBS Media, Andrew Cook, told AdNews that as the market moves into a new technical era with more data driven decision-making, SBS has a strategy to be “easy to buy” across its platforms.

“As announced at our upfronts last week, we are one of the very first free television networks to evolve with an automated programmatic linear campaign partnership with TubeMogul,” he said.

“While we are in the early stages of testing, we are excited to be working towards a fully systemised programmatic TV solution next year. We know that this innovation will mean plenty of learnings but our approach is to take this change of era on the front foot, working with our agency partners as we all transition.”

General manager of investment at IPG Mediabrands, Michael Bass, said any development in this space is a good thing while people try to understand and navigate the new landscape, so the networks should be commended for evolving this area.

“Irrespective of the platform (TubeMogul, AOL, etc), the market has acknowledged that there is a need to move on from traditional television measurement metrics and embrace the principles of digital across the scale of linear TV,” Bass said.

“The reality is though that in its early stage, true behavioural targeting has its challenges in the linear television space. Whilst we can currently look at different sets of data and buy against predetermined audience segments on a broader level, bringing those data sets together in a fully automated fashion is something that is still a while away.”

To achieve this he said the industry needs much greater scale in the world of connected smart TVs and Foxtel’s IQ3 in order to deliver dynamic creative and to move on from broad based targeting to what is in essence, hyper- or geo-targeting on a national level.

“We can certainly do it across online video assets right now, and at some point there will be the ability to do this across live streaming as well, but a true unique and unduplicated programmatic buy across all screens is still some time away,” Bass added.

“The biggest challenge will be how we bring agency and client data together with the publisher data. Once that can be achieved on a greater scale, and when linear television becomes a much more dynamic environment, that’s where the world of behavioural targeting becomes a very interesting and powerful space.”

At Seven's NewFronts Elliott said there will be two phases of programmatic focusing on real-time efforts as well as data matching. It boasted targeted pre-roll ads that are personalised and cross-device.

"We can make and take this to a whole other level,” Elliott said.

Seven is also set to work closer with advertisers, in the studio at Seven, to help them become more “multi-screen". It will also offer advertisers the chance to target mobile and tablet audiences with specific pre-roll ads on mobile, offering a personalised element to the live-stream, and highlighted how the innovations and changes Seven is making internally will make it easier for advertisers and agencies to buy ad space across all its platforms through one central team.

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