Tradigital Takeaways from Marketing Magazine’s Programmatic Trading Conference

Last week I joined a large and engaged audience at the beautiful Bram and Bluma Appel Salon for Marketing Magazines’ Programmatic Trading Conference to hear from a broad panel of experts on the road ahead for programmatic buying, challenges and opportunities and how growing adoption will affect media buys.

Imagine being able to specify a target demographic segment and layer in first party and purchase data to make TV buys more efficient. is all about making this a reality, according to Dan Ackerman, SVP of Programmatic TV at

Dan sees opportunity in the long tail of fragmenting TV and video consumption habits. The promise to reach audiences across platforms as data pools become available is not a new one, neither is the desire to reach light TV audiences and segments not accessible through a traditional TV buy. Ultimately, the Holy Grail services of such as those offered by is to reach individual users with individual ads – Canada, welcome to addressable TV.

As far as buzzwords go, I suppose the oxymoronic “hyper-targeted broadcast” was not really an option. And to be fair, addressable TV will have its own set of challenges ahead. There are few providers so the technology is limited by scale, clients are reluctant to try it and there is a no common data currency with which to measure audiences (currently only Rentrak and Kantar Media in the US_. Not to mention operators charge a premium for reaching niche audiences.

That being said, addressable TV is the next logical step as audiences become platform agnostic and the tide is shifting. Inventory is growing, albeit slowly and the capability is expected to reach 50 million US households by the end of 2014 (Ad Age_. In Canada, scarce inventory and reluctance will be the major barriers to overcome as Raymond Reid of Neo @ Oglivy pointed out.

Dan went on to say: “TV is the last frontier of the digital revolution” – I think this may be slightly inflated as we are witnessing wearable technology change the game for out-of-home and the trend will continue. Programmatic digital radio is already making leaps and bounds in measurement and will soon be giving terrestrial radio a run for its money. Again, Canada has some catching up to do here.

Stay tuned for more on the current state of the Canadian market as well as ethical challenges put forward by issues such as viewability and agency trading desks.