AdMonsters Publisher Forum Recap: It’s Time to Solve the Rubik’s Cube of Data-Driven TV

“400+ audience attributes turns ad targeting into a complex Rubik’s Cube-like challenge. If only we could automate…”
- Dan Ackerman, SVP of Programmatic TV at

TV is the next, and final, frontier for programmatic. That was the big takeaway message from an AdMonsters Publisher Forum presentation by Dan Ackerman, SVP of Programmatic TV, punctuated by an analogy of the Rubik’s Cube.

The Rubik’s Cube is a relatively unassuming challenge, for most people. At first glance, it seems like a simple thing to solve its 9×9, six-sided structure. But, one can quickly get lost in the labyrinth of trying to get all of the colored sides to line up correctly.

Advertising across today’s fragmented media environments is similar. Advertisers have many options to target audiences using attributes such as household income, purchase history, and brand affinities. But, the reality is that effective ad campaigns are incredible challenging to pull off. Getting all of the sides to align and expose a brand message to the right person at the right time in the right environment is hard when there are mountains of data to sift through and disjointed systems that don’t talk to one another.

If only there were a way to automate and leverage algorithms to achieve successful targeting for advertisers and brands…

That’s where programmatic advertising comes in.

The shift to automation began with display ad exchanges trying to create value for remnant ad inventory. DSPs/SSPs then began to trade ad inventory programmatically using real-time bidding, maximizing value for advertisers and publishers. The industry then began to start trading premium video programmatically and, most recently, attribution technologies have allowed advertisers to more precisely measure ROI of ad investment.

Television is, naturally, the next media environment to adopt programmatic, and that is why is building the next generation of sales planning technology for TV that leverages big data to help media sellers better understand the value of their ad inventory to increase yield and increase impact for their advertisers.

Missed us at the event, or want to learn more? Contact us!

TEG Talks, Episode 2: The Death of Brand Advertising and Why You Should Cheer

Our TEG Talks series continues with a second episode hosted by Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder Teg Grenager. In it, he discusses the evolution of brand advertising, or advertising that seeks to build strong, long-term consumer attitudes towards a product or brand. (Think P&G’s “Thank You, Mom” campaign during this year’s Winter Olympics.)

With advertisers increasingly looking to apply a level of measurability and ROI data to brand advertising, that legacy definition may not completely apply to that category of advertising today.

Previous Webisodes:
TEG Talks, Episode 1: Understanding the “Cambrian Explosion” of Ad Fraud

TEG Talks: Understanding the “Cambrian Explosion” of Ad Fraud

Digital advertising is set to eclipse $50 billion this year, according to eMarketer. As the industry continues to grow and evolve from the primitive days of the banner ad, the underlying technology powering advertising has never been more complex…and it gets harder to understand with each new buzzword.

We’re here to help.

We have launched TEG Talks, a brand new video series that takes a deeper look at the most pressing issues in advertising technology and breaks them down into digestible, 30-minute sessions. Hosted by Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder Teg Grenager, these videos are made for advanced media mavens and media novices alike.

Our first video looks at fraud in advertising, which has been a dominant theme in advertising news over the past several years. In it, viewers are walked through how and what kind of fraud happens, get an explanation of the “Cambrian explosion” of fraud currently happening, and get actionable advice on what we can do to not only root out the bad actors today, but also continue to protect the medium for tomorrow.

Automation in TV: Finding Diamonds in the Rough

By Dan Ackerman, SVP of Programmatic TV at

Havas Media’s head of research, Joe Abruzzo, recently posted a really great analysis of broadcastand cable audiences. In it, he puts a new spin on the value of first-run programming in primetime television in relation to reruns that air across cable networks:

“An alternative perspective takes into account the hundreds of opportunities to view a show on cable that originally aired in broadcast prime. Over a typical week or quarter, audiences accumulate to deliver many times the viewership achieved by the same program airing each week in broadcast prime. And, combined with a prime time broadcast buy, cable telecasts offer significant opportunities for incremental reach.”

In general, what he’s talking about is a great example of the fragmentation of audiences across networks. While there are still relatively large audiences for TV shows that air for the first time on broadcast networks (not to mention live, tent pole award and sporting events), people are becoming less and less beholden to broadcast schedules, day parts or specific networks. They are viewing that programming across dozens of different cable channels, and not necessarily racing home every Thursday to watch The Big Bang Theory on CBS at 8pm ET.

The numbers Mr. Abruzzo looked at supports this postulation:

“Despite each cable telecast delivering about one-sixth the audience of the average broadcast prime telecast, the more than 300 cable telecasts combine to deliver four times as many rating points as [The Big Bang Theory] in broadcast prime.”

People, and a lot more of them, are watching episodic TV outside of the first-run environment. He analyzed cable networks specifically, but you can see that playing out in VOD, Web and mobile as well. Further, these additional audiences were found to be incremental – nearly half of the cable telecast audience was new to the show.

For marketers, this presents a unique opportunity to extend the value of their primetime broadcast buy with very cost effective strategic buys in the cable market. Additional viewing and consumer data, from set-top boxes and other sources, can also aid in not just segmenting out incremental audiences by age and gender, but also by specific business targets (think males, aged 18 to 49 with a household income of more than $50k, owns a Ford F-150 and has an A credit rating).

Through the automation of this process, advertisers not only can uncover these new reach opportunities, but more easily acquire them across the hundreds of cable networks existing today. Technology can pull in first- and third-party data to identify more precisely where ad spend should be allocated in order to accomplish the marketing goal of specific campaigns – a huge leap forward from how TV was bought and sold even a decade ago. These data layers can also extend to the Web, allowing for marketers to find these incremental, like viewing audiences across online and offline media.

As the technologies get better and the partnerships fall into place, fragmented viewing audiences will be viewed less as the overwhelming issue it is today, and more as a real opportunity to make advertising dollars work even harder.

Advertising Assurance: A Global, Multi-Lateral Approach to Protecting Brand Safety in Video Advertising

By Sean Crawford, Vice President, Global Head of Inventory

Video advertising continues to grow more than 40 percent every year, according to eMarketer. It’s no surprise that the influx of money and interest in the space has attracted very sophisticated criminal organizations and enticed others to employ gimmicks and games to take advantage of advertisers. has always understood that the future of TV and video depends on maintaining the efficacy of the Web, and, to that end, has always had safety as its top priority to bring greater transparency and accountability to video buyers and sellers globally.

Today, we are unveiling the evolution of our efforts: Advertising Assurance, a set of adaptive measures that aim to protect brand investments in the industry’s largest, safest and most diverse video marketplace.

Advertising Assurance draws upon existing first- and third-party technologies integrated to work in tandem with each other within’s buyer and seller platforms, Audience Path and Demand Path respectively. Protecting those transacting in video requires a multi-lateral approach, addressing the industry-wide issues of fraud, viewability and placement accuracy together, rather than piecemeal. Advertising Assurance provides marketers with a crystal clear understanding of and actionable insights about the audiences they are reaching within video.

We understand that those who seek to defraud the system will use any number of known and yet unknown tactics to do so – what worked yesterday may not necessarily work tomorrow. We have brought together the best available technologies, from our own development (such as the industry’s first certified viewability solution for video) and through third-party partnerships, which adapt to the tactics of those who seek to maliciously take advantage of video advertising.

An open technology platform allows us to extend our brand safety developments with powerful third-party solutions, and we are happy to announce a key integration with Integral Ad Science, a leading global provider of actionable advertising intelligence in real-time. They have been an important complement in our efforts to stay ahead of the latest issues threatening the value of video advertising.

Avi Goldwerger, VP of Marketing, Integral Ad Science, added: “Through this partnership, can utilize data to protect their clients by ensuring that all ads are served to humans and that the media placement is brand safe, appropriate and reflects favorably on the brand.”

Because methodologies and technical capabilities vary widely, we continue to experiment with and evaluate additional partner solutions to augment and optimize our efforts, and they are made available through’s App Center, a centralized place to discover, integrate and manage best-in-breed ad and safety technologies.

While has taken one of the most aggressive approaches to protecting brand safety in video, we know it requires an even greater, concerted effort by the whole industry to create the standards and processes within which video advertising can safely thrive. The IAB’s Traffic of Good Intent Task Force (TOGI) is leading the way on that front and has already produced valuable guidelines, with input from, Integral Ad Science and other digital leaders, to help identify, understand and raise awareness of fraud and other issues. Similarly, the Media Rating Council (MRC) and IAB are moving to improve the quality of measurement and standardize viewability metrics, and we highly encourage adoption of their guidelines once finalized for video advertising.

We also encourage additional collaboration within the advertising community to continue offering a united front against those scheming to take advantage of the global trend of internet-delivered video, and we will continue our multi-lateral effort to bringing greater value to marketers around the world.

For more information about’s Advertising Assurance, contact us at or reach out to your client representative.

WWPC 2014: Mi9, Vevo, BBC Worldwide and MAGNA GLOBAL on bringing programmatic premium to video

Video advertising has redefined the early impression of programmatic trading as a “race to the bottom,” and more and more premium publisher brands are embracing the ease and monetary benefits of automation. Hear from leading buyers and sellers who are wading into programmatic waters and riding the wave.

Toby Gabriner,

Marc Barnett, Mi9
Tom Bowman, BBC Worldwide

Jonathan Carson, Vevo

Neeraj Kochhar, Magna Global

5 Takeaways for Publishers from Admonsters’ Publisher Forum in NOLA

Last week, the team descended upon New Orleans, Louisiana for Admonsters’ latest Publisher Forum. The event brought together over 100 of the leading executives in media and technology today to discuss, debate and shape the future of digital media.

It’s hard to distill four days of content and insights, but we put together the biggest takeaways we noticed from all of the keynotes, breakout session and meetings:

  1. Data is very versatile, but still underutilized. On the content side, data visualization helps to add another layer to story telling, pulling the viewer closer to your publishing brand. In terms of advertising, marketers are way ahead in using big data analysis to be able to target their ad dollars, but publishers need to better use their own data, particularly 1st party data, to differentiate their offerings and to increase the value of their inventory.
  2. Video continues to be a huge, but yet untapped opportunity for publishers. Only 25% of those who attended breakout sessions reported placing video on their site.
  3. To that end, one of the roadblocks to video proliferating to more sites was the creation of it. Video syndication was cited as a solid strategy for publishers to get their foot in the door of the fastest growing segment of online media.
  4. Responsive design is important for a multi-screen media world. Buffering, video quality or off-player size – issues that come up when trying to develop separately for different platform — can completely waste valuable advertising dollars and frustrate users.
  5. Channel conflict is a key challenge, which needs to be overcome to embark on programmatic video selling. Open and constant communication with direct sales teams is important, as well as compensating your direct salesforce for deals where their buyers choose to transact through the programmatic channel vs. standard RFP & I/O.

Thank you to the Admonsters team for another tremendous publisher conference, and we look forward to participating in their upcoming events.

Q&A with USA TODAY Sports’ Chris Pirrone: Publishers, Don’t Be Afraid of Programmatic

Read any of the latest industry headlines and one thing is clear: programmatic is here to stay.

Conversations about programmatic have shifted from whether or not it will fit into sales channels, to how buyers and sellers are effectively adopting it to maximize the value of their media investments. We are seeing more and more publishers laying the groundwork for success in programmatic, and early adopters seeing impressive gains from their efforts.

USA TODAY Sports started down the programmatic path in 2013, with video being a key part of the growth they have seen since then. We caught up with Chris Pirrone, GM of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties, to get his perspective on programmatic and advice for publishers who may still be experimenting or on the sidelines of the programmatic revolution. USA TODAY Sports made investments into programmatic last year. Can you explain the reasoning behind that?
Chris Pirrone: Given our fast-paced growth (40% year-over-year growth in cross-platform unique users and 120% growth in mobile users) and our audience size (41 million unique users a month, according to comScore), we wanted to invest in processes that helped automate some of the administrative work when partnering with brands and agencies. If we could leverage programmatic to increase efficiencies and reduce the workflow burden, plus allow brands to better capitalize on their knowledge and data, that alone was a win.

But, we also hope that programmatic creates time savings that we can invest in the strategic parts of our relationships; understanding our advertising partner’s objectives and key performance indicators, and figuring out how our sports assets could help these brands better accomplish their marketing goals. [Read more...]