Programmatic buying continues to dominate video advertising conversations, and the ad tech industry can expect it to move further into the mainstream of media buying strategies in 2014. But the industry must reform some of its ways before this happens, according to Videology’s de Kerckhove.
What are the significant developments in the programmatic market you see taking place in 2014?
While real-time bidding (RTB) will continue to be a valuable buying mechanism, incorporating it into a broader data-driven programmatic strategy will be key to this trend in 2014.
Programmatic will encompass all forms of buying and all types of inventory, from real-time exchanges, to long-term buys on premium content. It’s about the ability to secure the right content, at the right price, for both publishers and demand-side partners.
What’s feeding this trend and what challenges will it bring to the automated trading sector?
We’re starting to negotiate bigger and bigger budgets moving from TV to online, and this is a reflection of consumer habits. But as more and more advertisers buy media in this way, they expect a ‘TV-like’ experience, with all the assurances they are used to from TV, when it comes to the quality of the inventory.
Most advertisers want to know who’s looking at their content, even if it’s just panel data. Traffic [i.e. the simple numbers game] works for no one if you have ads in the wrong place – this ultimately annoys consumers and nobody wins.
We think the ad tech industry can only provide this [greater transparency and consumer experience] by working closer with publishers.
How do you see this changing in 2014, will it be brought upon by greater scrutiny from clients or regulators?
What really gets us excited about 2014 is the prospect of demand and supply [providers] working together as one ecosystem, to deliver the right ad, in the right context, to the right audience, at the right time.
It’s not a tug of war. It’s about developing a collaborative approach to achieve a shared end-goal.
In 2014, I expect to see a lot more moves towards self-regulation, as I’d expect to see a lot more companies working together more closely.
What problems have occurred in the past and how do you expect this to change in the coming year?
Previously, a lot of publishers and ad networks were not necessarily focussed on quality. When they saw a lot of demand their tendency was to put ads just anywhere, but now I’d say that we’ll start to see a lot of people in these sectors pick up the phone and say: ‘I’m starting to run out of inventory’.
From there we’ll start to see the separate parts of the industry start to work [their respective and collective] problems out.
In 2014, this will extend to mobile. We’ll start to see people think more strategically about mobile devices, as opposed to: ‘Let’s do a bit of mobile’. This is necessary as consumers’ purchase paths are increasingly taking place across multiple devices.