SpotXchange’s Andrew Moore Reflects on TV and Programmatic’s Awkward First Date

Andrew Moore, SpotXchange

VAN had its inaugural event – New Video Frontiers – in London last week. The feedback from many people – whether they worked in online or TV advertising – was that it felt different to other events in terms of how it succeeded in bringing people from TV and online together. SpotXchange, a programmatic video ad platform, were one of the sponsors and Andrew Moore, Managing Director for EMEA, delivered one of the keynote presentations. Here Andrew reflects on the how the significance of the event and on the prospects for future co-operation between TV and online.

Last week almost 200 leading TV and online advertising gathered in London for New Video Frontiers, VAN’s inaugural event. The theme for the day was “The Rise of Programmatic Video” and both the discussion and the audience profile reflected the rapid growth of programmatic trading across all of the key European markets.

The fact that the first event was held in London was fitting, as a recent SpotXchange-commissioned IHS whitepaper found that 18% of online video will be traded programmatically in the UK this year and that figure will grow to 39% by 2017.

However, one thing that quickly become clear was that this was a European event, and it was interesting to hear about how programmatic video strategies are already being implemented by buyers and sellers in various European markets.

But the event’s international audience wasn’t the only interesting thing about the event. For me, it was even more interesting that the people in the room and on the panels were clearly coming from two very different worlds – TV and online – and both sets of people were there to discuss and explore the implications of a programmatic future*.

This was fascinating for a couple of reasons. While the TV industry has been providing online services for years now, the reality is that – for the most part – people who work in TV and online move in different circles and attend very different events, even therre’s a slight overlap occasionally. The second thing that became clear was that both industries can learn a lot from each other if they can move beyond their differences and find common ground for collaboration

New Video Frontiers felt like an important first step in that direction, even if it did feel like an awkward first date at times. TV and online genuinely do hold different values and at times it really does feel like we speak two different languages, but there are clearly huge opportunities for companies who blend the best of both industries.

The event explored several themes: from data and targeting through to the adoption of programmatic trading online and how this will soon be relevant to linear television. The debate around data concluded that whilst both TV and online are both targeted mediums, they approach this in completely different ways. Online is typically viewed on an individual basis whilst TV is typically a shared viewing experience, even if more granular targeting options are on the way via the second screen.

But the bigger question – perhaps the biggest for our industry – is whether IP-delivered television will foster further collaboration and drive innovation forward. The answer was an unequivocal yes and we heard about how addressable advertising on television was already being deployed by Sky, and there was a broader recognition of the potential benefits of programmatic trading for zero-rated programmes. We also heard how there are a number of fascinating European projects underway to utilize programmatic systems to deliver addressable advertising in linear TV.

For me, the overriding conclusion of the day is that despite our differences, there is a great deal of common ground between television and online and the more we can collaborate and learn from each other the better. Events like New Video Frontiers act as forums for these type of discussions and we were delighted be part of the first event.

*Apologies for the use of nouns as adjectives throughout this piece!

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