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Research: Ad Buyers Plan to Increase Programmatic TV Spending

SAN FRANCISCO, July 20, 2016 — 73% of media buyers expect to spend up to half of their TV advertising budgets on programmatic TV in 2017. The increase will be fueled by shifting spending to programmatic TV from other media, including digital video.

The results come from a survey of 215 media buyers fielded in March 2016 by WideOrbit Inc., the leading provider of advertising management software for media companies. The final report, Programmatic TV Insights Survey, compiles responses from ad buyers on their attitudes toward programmatic TV, how they plan to use it, and its potential impact on their overall media strategy. The report is available today as a free download.


  • While programmatic is mainstream for purchasing digital advertising, ad buyers are just starting to use it for TV. 89% of respondents use programmatic today to purchase digital display advertising, while less than half currently use it for TV.
  • Buyers expect to increase programmatic TV spending in 2017. The percentage of ad buyers who plan to spend more than 5% of their TV budgets with programmatic will jump from 22% this year to 64% in 2017 — nearly tripling in one year.
  • The primary driver of programmatic TV adoption by ad buyers will be greater precision in ad targeting. 58% of media buyers say improved targeting is the most important benefit of programmatic TV.
  • Programmatic TV is viewed by buyers as a way to run across screens and increase the impact of campaigns. More than two-thirds of ad buyers (68%) said they will use programmatic TV to extend audience reach. Respondents also expressed interest in learning how TV and digital video campaigns work together (58%) and amplifying digital campaigns with TV (38%).
  • While there is near-unanimity that TV and digital video are converging, campaign success will be defined by digital metrics. 93% of respondents said it’s important to buy TV and digital video advertising together. They plan to use a variety of digital performance metrics common to evaluate programmatic TV ad performance.


“This survey shows that programmatic TV is top of mind for media buyers and that as they learn more about the advantages of the format, their spending will grow,” said Mickey Wilson, chief marketing officer at WideOrbit.

Ms. Wilson continued, “Digital media has created a generation of media buyers who use data and targeting to inform, test and optimize brand campaigns. Programmatic TV delivers these benefits of digital media to television, the most powerful and most viewed medium. As a result, we should see ad buyers increasingly making programmatic a cornerstone of TV campaigns.”


About WideOrbit
WideOrbit is the leading provider of advertising management technology for cable networks, local television stations and radio stations. More than 3,200 broadcasters and networks leverage WideOrbit solutions to streamline operations, maximize revenue from traditional, digital and programmatic channels and extend their business across distribution platforms. Our clients include Entercom Communications, Entravision Communications Corporation, Gray Television, Inc., Meredith Corporation, NBCUniversal, The E.W. Scripps Co. and Tribune Media. WideOrbit is headquartered in San Francisco with offices across the United States as well as London, Paris and Gothenburg, Sweden.

WideOrbit® and the WideOrbit logo® are among the trademarks of WideOrbit. Other trademarks belong to their respective owners. WideOrbit reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for errors that may appear in this document. © 2016 WideOrbit Inc. All rights reserved.

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