Translating Television In A Programmatic Age: What is Programmatic TV?


Programmatic TV, Connected TV and Addressable TV will play a significant role in many brand and agency executives’ 2017 marketing plans.

As far as industry publications and panels go however, a common and consistent vocabulary for programmatic television is still lacking (but is desperately needed). Global brands and agencies are already buying ATV and CTV inventory via platforms like DataXu and have been for over a year, so there is no time to waste. To learn more about DataXu’s ATV and CTV offerings, email or download DataXu’s Rapid Rise of Programmatic TV white paper here. Current case studies are also available upon request.

Programmatic TV Glossary Creating a Common Vocabulary for the Industry

10 commonly used programmatic television terms that most likely are confusing the heck out of brands, clients, partners, agencies, and admit it – your very own team.

TV inventory planned, bought and sold on impressions using system automation with the use of advanced audience data. PTV creates operational efficiency for both the buy and sell sides.

One-to-one household targeting of advertising on TV across all TV screens (i.e. Linear TV, TVE, VOD and SVOD).

A smart TV set or set top box, sometimes referred to as connected TV or hybrid TV, is a television set or set-top box with integrated Internet connectivity and features that can receive video programming through an open IP method outside of the traditional cable QAM transport. Connected TV is an example of innovative technological convergence between computers, televisions and set-top boxes. Well-known examples include Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, Samsung SmartTV, etc.

Real-time offers for inventory, from multiple buyers, on an impression-by-impression basis. RTB creates a marketplace where advertisers can bring their own audience/customer data to TV advertising. In linear TV, this does not result in instant ads; a key difference between RTB TV and the RTB digital marketplace we know so well. With linear TV, ad delivery is subject to the standard cycle of TV traffic. This typically results in daily, not-real time, ad delivery.

An auction is the practice of allowing multiple buyers to value and bid on a singular ad opportunity, leveraging first-, second- or third-party data within a pre-fulfillment window. The concept of an auction is different in the TV world than in the digital world. TV auctions exist within a spectrum of totally open and highly controlled bidding rules and publisher controls that enforce end value for both the buy and sell sides.

A television broadcast (noun) is a program that is transmitted one-to-many over airwaves for public reception. The broadcast is accessible by anyone with a receiver tuned to the right signal channel. Because it uses the public airwaves, broadcasts are subject to regulation by the FCC. The signal is sometimes allowed to be retransmitted by the owner through other means beyond the airwaves, such as via a cable or satellite system.

Internet television (or online television) is the digital distribution of television content via the public Internet (which also carries other types of data). Dedicated terrestrial television, cable television, and satellite television systems carry video only.

Unicast TV is a one-to-one model of content distribution to a specific television screen (TV, Mobile Device, PC, Tablet). Content distribution is generally targeted using audience data.

Subscription video on demand (SVOD) services use a subscription business model, where subscribers are charged a monthly fee to access programing. These services include solutions like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Video and HBO.

ASVOD is similar to SVOD, but is configured to allow ad supported streaming video on demand.

To access GABBCON’s full Programmatic TV Glossary, click here

Programmatic TV Glossary: Creating A Common Vocabulary For the Industry

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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