The Missing Link to Linear TV Data Automation—The AgencyIn 2015, industry experts predicted that total Programmatic TV (PTV) sales would grow in 2016 to capture 23% to 35% of total USA TV ad sales. By late 2016, these projections proved to be wildly optimistic. In early 2017, total PTV sales for 2016 reportedly came in at less than 1% of the total market sales. Very reliable sources have stated that the total was actually less than 300 million dollars, or less than a half of one percent of the domestic TV market.
Over the last few years, almost every conversation about linear TV data automation focuses on automated buying, audience targeting, and new multiscreen technologies that allow TV advertisers to reach the consumer in a very similar way that they connect to the digital marketplace. Most have touted programmatic buying as “the answer” to moving the process toward station-agency automation.
By 2017, the TV network software providers dived deep into the programmatic marketplace by offering their own automated solutions. If anyone can convince the major TV networks to move forward with automated sales of their inventory and automation of transactional data, it should be the software providers that operate a station’s programming, inventory and trafficking software…but even they have found resistance to this “one-sided change”.
Offering the same solution as digital will not work for linear TV. Many so-called programmatic companies spent large sums of money in the years past and have now learned this. (See the many industry thoughts and projections on this in the links below.) The key to driving successful change are the ad agencies, and getting them on board is the key for this automation to take place. To get their participation, you have to integrate agency workflow into the entire process. Ad agencies need to manage and work with all types of data from the entire marketplace within a single, standardized platform, and not from within numerous individual silos. The silo solutions designed to date all support the top end of this network-to-agency pyramid, but seemingly all have neglected to connect the bottom half of the equation, “The Agency”.
In my humble opinion, I predict automated buying/transactional communication for television will be an industry reality by 2025, but the data connectivity won’t look exactly like digital, as face-to-face negotiations will still rule the day for premium inventory. There are many signs today of this movement toward automation, but there are still a number of large steps that must occur before we get there.
Agencies must connect and communicate with the Networks, SSPs, and DSPs
There are two parts to the equation and both of them must connect before real automation can take place in the TV marketplace. Agencies will drive this change, but to make it happen, Networks, Sell Side Providers (SSPs) and Demand Side Providers (DSPs) need a way to get their data to each agency that allows the agency to utilize all of the new-found multiscreen targeting and transactional tools. Agencies are reluctant, and most refuse to enter network silos to manage their business. Ad campaigns cannot be managed in 100 silos, or even as little as 10 silos. There is no efficient way for the agency to fundamentally manage multiple campaigns going from portal to portal. Agencies that do this today experience many headaches and do not see this as a long-term solution. Agencies en masse are not adapting this silo approach to an extent that would give anyone the confidence to think that this will be the model of success in the years to come.
Agencies—The Missing Link!
As much as you have heard in recent years about programmatic and audience targeting, over the next few years you will need to hear the same regarding sales-to-agency data connectivity automation. This will be the sign that automation is in fact taking place. Connecting 300 to a 1000+ media-partners in itself is a huge task for agencies and networks, add in You Tube, Facebook, Hulu and the many other fragmented multiscreen data providers and the picture really becomes confusing for the agency. Any viable solution to connect the agency has to simplify this task and has to be an “industry solution”.
Over the last 40 years, many agencies have adapted to EDI. However, EDI was developed in the 1970s, before the Internet, and is too limited in its technological capabilities. Therefore, you now find many agencies and networks using different software programs that require personalized data customization and extensive manual data entry. EDI is simply not prepared for the fragmented data types of the future. Asking the industry to adapt to any new standard would be fruitless for it would require most networks and agencies to trash their IT systems and start anew. This won’t happen, so the key is for the industry to achieve total industry automated data connectivity with their current infrastructures.
The influx of all of these new data tools is forcing the agency software suppliers to rethink and update their software. Software suppliers such as Media Ocean, Strata, Core Media Systems, and the agency proprietary systems, must accommodate these new fragmented multiscreen, transactional data, geo-specific, and addressable ad targeting and buying features… but to what standard? The software providers cannot map and reformat the data to work with the entire field of highly customized network, station group and content delivery mechanism databases in the marketplace.
The key to industry data automation will be a system that allows the agency to channel all types of data from any source in a standardized format
The industry is too fragmented for each network, agency, 3rd party or software provider system to individually map each media partner’s data format. Standardization and convergence of network and 3rd party transactional and target data must happen while the data is en-route to the agency and utilize a secure processing system that knows each party’s individual requirements. Transactional data must be reformatted, and reconcile the station data against agency 1st party data for errors and missing data, while also processing any required 3rd party Data Management Platform (DMP) data to ensure seamless pure data entry into agency systems and translate the data in reverse for 2-way data communications.
As CEO of PremiumMedia360, I am in a unique position to speak and hear from key players in every vertical participating in this effort that will eventually make this automated industry vision a reality. PremiumMedia360, working with our media partners, has spent the last 5+ years building the platform to allow seamless data communications between networks, 3rd parties and agencies. We named our system “GIA™” (Guidance Intelligence Assistant). GIA allows all parties to continue to use their current software systems. All data changes required are completed en route to each other to allow seamless data connectivity between the network IT systems or 3rd party and the agency IT systems, and vice versa.
Connecting to GIA is quick and easy and cost is zero for networks, 3rd party suppliers, and agencies. The benefit once connected is that data flows securely, encrypted and re-formatted exactly for the intended media partner as required by their IT system. Data from a station that comes from NYC may be different than the same station data that comes from their offices in Detroit or even different from that station’s data coming from a DSP, or from You Tube, etc. To account for these conditions, GIA has created a framework of connectivity, run by Artificial Intelligence, which is programmed to recognize and reformat various file types within a single station’s data or other 3rd party sellers of that same station content.
The result is a solution for the “bottom half” of the TV marketplace data equation; end-to-end seamless data connectivity that allows all parties to advance the automation of the TV marketplace. This opens the door for each agency, network and 3rd party supplier to proceed at the technological pace they are comfortable with, allowing seamless data partnerships between sellers and their agency partners. Every network or 3rd party supplier on board has instant 2-way data connectivity with every agency on board.
Today, GIA pipes data to some of the nation’s largest ad agencies, who step-by-step are making this seamless automation come true. As technology partners realize the importance to integrate the agency workflow into the buy-sell process, the vision of the automated linear TV marketplace will begin to take hold. This will give all participants the foundation and confidence needed to further investments and strategies towards a connected sell-buy-post buy manage, open source marketplace....one agency and one network at a time.
"It’s no secret that the TV Media industry’s lack of data standardization leads to the agencies receiving incomplete and error prone data," says John Bowser, CEO of PremiumMedia360. He estimates that media buyers and advertising agencies collectively spend millions of dollars each month trying to fix these problems.
PremiumMedia360’s proprietary Artificial Intelligence system mimics the human decision process, first by detecting the problems and errors found in incomplete and non-standardized media data, and then by automatically correcting the specific issues of each data set. This process enables fast, seamless data uploads into an Agency’s legacy software platform.
The PM360 Media Assignment Tool reasons out the possible solutions with logic rules and applies the solution. It then memorizes that solution so that the same problem is no longer an issue in all future data communications. The Media Assignment Tool completes these tasks in seconds to give agencies fast and accurate data and eliminate the current labor-intensive process. The end result is that Network and Agency systems get to know each other, understanding each individual company’s unique data language, and begin communicating in a seamless manner.
PremiumMedia360 will be demonstrating this latest A.I. tool at the upcoming Response Expo show in San Diego, California on April 26th and 27th.
February 23, 2017
SintecMedia Partners with PremiumMedia360 to Automate TV Media Data Connectivity Between Networks and AgenciesNEW YORK, Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- SintecMedia, the preferred business software provider to over 100 of the world's top TV Media brands, announced today that they have teamed up with PremiumMedia360 to revolutionize the way TV Networks deliver data to advertising agencies. SintecMedia's OnBoard will connect to PremiumMedia360's platform to deliver real time, actionable data from TV networks to advertising agencies, standardized to work directly with agencies' ad management software. Combined, OnBoard and PM360 solve the problem of manually reformatting data to complete orders, track, invoice, pay and report on ad sales.
"One of the big problems in the industry, is that TV advertising sales data comes from every network in different profiles and formats," says Sam Bhaumik, VP of Product Management, US Sales & Traffic Solutions, SintecMedia. "OnBoard helps networks use inventory better and increase ROI by advancing automation in the buying process, which reduces time to complete orders, minimizes errors and improves reporting. This partnership with PremiumMedia360 brings a new level of data standardization and increased automation by connecting to the PM360 Data Hub and through that, directly to agency media management systems."
Agencies currently spend a large amount of time in manual labor to re-format reports of all types for upload into their agency database, the PM360 Data Hub automates the entire process and reduces labor costs significantly.
The PM360 platform is a data transportation and reformatting system. OnBoard lets a network manage demand and regulate inventory based on supply requests from agencies. All data entered into the PM360 system is digitized and inventoried, making the data live, smart, and searchable within agency management systems, while providing a granular data history. OnBoard provides access to price and sales data for the network product catalog - both digital and linear. With OnBoard, networks now have a direct interface that transports all ad sales orders, data and reporting directly to the agencies.
"Airing Logs, Avails, Pricing, Invoicing, Orders, Post Buy data, etc. are now available through the combined systems giving SintecMedia networks and their agency clients seamless, 2-way data communication," says John Bowser, CEO of PremiumMedia360. "Our platform provides immediate benefits to both media companies and agencies, solving many big problems in the marketplace today such as manual data entry errors and delays in communicating TV sales and airing information."
SintecMedia is the preferred broadcast management for linear and digital, and a software partner for over 100 of the world's top media brands. Founded in 2000, SintecMedia processes more than $40 billion in linear and digital advertising revenue for the best-known companies in the industry.
Since our founding in 2012, PremiumMedia360 has been focused on providing seamless 2-way data connectivity between advertising agencies and their media company partners. Reformatting and automating the data flow of over one billion dollars in TV Media sales today, the company is dedicated to data security and data management best practices.
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