automated broadcast tv markeplace

February 21, 2023

The automated broadcast TV marketplace: What’s new for buyers and sellers

The growing demand for omnichannel marketing campaigns highlights the need for automated marketplaces that provide brands and agencies with simplified access to broadcast TV inventory. Marketplaces facilitate performance-based buying across platforms to make it easy to expand audience reach for increased brand awareness.

Advertisers and agencies are showing a preference toward automated buying channels. They’re seeing more marketplaces and newer, automated ways to buy media (digital, OTT/CTV), and they’re looking for a similar buying experience for linear broadcast TV.

For broadcasters, marketplace selling opens new demand from buyers who don’t typically buy TV, primarily because of the complexity of traditional deals, but also because of the complexity of ratings/spot buys vs impressions or performance-based buying.

Automated marketplaces make the entire transaction process faster and easier, to the benefit of both buyers looking to expand their omnichannel marketing campaigns and broadcasters looking to open new revenue streams.

Buying TV is complicated

Buying linear advertising through traditional methods is inefficient and complicated. Since the inception of the 30 second spot back in 1971, the direct buying and selling of inventory hasn’t changed a great deal, with traditional purchase transactions – from pitch to payment – involving upwards of 30 steps. And that’s just for the initial buy – the make good process adds further complexity. The issue isn’t only the number of steps involved, it’s the time and effort required to complete them all.

Here at WideOrbit we hear a consensus choir for increased efficiency in direct sales processes. We appreciate and welcome all efforts to streamline direct deals and are proud of the progress we’ve made in this area.

But the fact remains that direct-sold processes are still complicated and time consuming, pushing current and past buyers increasingly toward what they perceive to be more efficient advertising buying channels.

The complexity of buying direct also presents a significant barrier to new entrants to linear TV advertising, hindering revenue growth for broadcasters.

Marketplace selling benefits broadcasters

The evolution of digital has changed the way buyers plan and buy media. That change combined with the growing demand for omnichannel marketing campaigns means buyers are eager for impression-based, automated marketplaces for broadcast TV. And TV broadcasters need impression-based, automated marketplaces to reach those buyers.

The result is an increase in the number of advertisers and brands that can access linear broadcast television, giving broadcasters access to new demand and new revenue. And this is new demand – new brands, new dollars – that is not competing with existing business.

There’s a common misconception that marketplace selling is a ‘race to the bottom’, often associated with remnant inventory and less-desirable advertisers. But that’s not the case at all. The increased demand brought in through marketplace selling has and will continue to increase the rates and value of linear advertising inventory.

Why marketplace buying is important for advertisers

Marketplace buying allows brands and agencies to buy broadcast TV in impressions – the currency they’re already used to – providing automated, direct (not auction) access to available TV inventory.

With impression-based buying, advertisers are buying audience impressions, not spots. They can choose their audience, markets, CPM parameters, and more. A buy can be on a national level or targeted to specific designated market areas (DMAs) applicable to a particular brand.

The marketplace then uses automation to match the buyer’s parameters with available TV inventory, eliminating the friction of manual avail request > response > negotiation, and all the back-and-forth that process involves.

Buyers are increasingly attracted to automated buying channels, both because of the ability to buy broadcast TV in impressions but also because of the flexibility to optimize a campaign in-flight.

Automation provides simplified execution while also allowing buyers to use linear TV advertising to complement digital over-the-top (OTT) buys, allowing for reallocation of spend, for example if there are specific markets gaining greater traction than others.

Marketplace buying provides easy access to a massive number of impressions at scale, and on a national level.

WideOrbit is helping drive demand with automated solutions

While linear broadcast TV has an answer to some of the challenges faced by digital – most notably with the audience experience – there are absolute lessons to be learned from digital and applied to broadcast TV.

ZingX (buy side) and WO Marketplace (sell side) and are automating the buying and selling process for broadcast TV, allowing both the buy side and sell side to achieve their objectives. The technology automates the direct buy – this is not a programmatic auction. ZingX and WO Marketplace work together to provide an end to end, direct connection between buyers and sellers. There is no bidding, buyers set campaign parameters instead, which the technology uses to match the buyer’s offer with the seller’s available inventory and rate criteria.

WideOrbit has buy-side and sell-side marketplace solutions to make the buying and selling of linear broadcast TV advertising easier. We’re helping to “grow the pie” by bringing in new demand, new revenue, with an automated direct-buy process.

WideOrbit’s proprietary optimizer technology benefits both buyers and sellers:

  • Broadcaster-defined rate guidance (invisible to buyers) is used to automatically match buyer offers with seller rates
  • Buyers are not bidding on inventory, they’re setting campaign parameters instead, which the technology uses to match the buyer’s offer with the seller’s available inventory and rate criteria
  • Sellers receive high-quality offers that meet their criteria, while buyers’ offers are more likely to be accepted

Full visibility into the rate offered, the advertiser, and the creative allows broadcasters to accept offers that meet their criteria and reject those that don’t. And selling is based on impressions, offering inventory by daypart and inventory code, so preempts are minimized, and spots are non-guaranteed so there are no makegoods and no posting. Instead, the optimizer technology automatically reallocates impressions and budgets as offers are accepted/rejected and as spots air or are pre-empted.

As buyers and sellers apply best practices, the benefits of automated marketplaces for linear broadcast TV advertising can only continue to grow, meeting advertiser needs while opening new revenue streams for broadcasters.

But don’t just take our word for it.

A broadcaster’s perspective – Garret Pope, VP Traffic and Sales Systems, Gray Television

Gray Television has stations in 113 markets across the country, with the largest portfolio of number one and two ranked stations. Across that massive footprint, all are active on WO Marketplace.

“We want to be open for business 24/7, whether it be local, national, or regional,” said Garret Pope, Gray Television’s VP of Traffic and Sales Systems. “And this [marketplace selling] is another opportunity for our stations to gather up advertisers who might be new to the market, might be new to broadcast television, and who want those quality impressions that broadcast television provides.”

Over the last several years, marketplace business has been a growth category for Gray, seeing double digit percent increases in revenue, which translates to additional revenue streams for their TV stations. Gray has also found that the demand is high quality, to the point where some stations have been able to increase their rates.

For years the conversation has been about broadcast budgets moving to digital, but Gray’s experience has been that WO Marketplace allows the opposite to be true, demonstrating that digital budgets can move to broadcast.

To hear more of what Garrett Pope of Gray Television has to say about the benefits of marketplace selling, view the recording of our recent TVB-hosted webinar, The Automated Local TV Marketplace: What’s new for buyers and sellers.

To learn more about WO Marketplace or ZingX, please contact us.

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