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Programmatic, Addressable TV. Coming Soon?

In case you missed it (we nearly did!), Roku just dropped a major bombshell about addressable TV. They're rebranding it as dynamic linear ad insertion (DLA), but the concept and execution is the same as addressable TV, which has been around for a while from companies like Ampersand.

The Roku offering is in beta and we doubt it will be available at the DMA level for a while (addressable via Ampersand is still only available nationally). But, buried at the bottom of the Adweek article is the kernel of info that got us excited: "....we think this will be sold by the programmer ad sales team, both directly to the ad sales team, and also will be available programmatically."

Left Hand Agency represents a lot of TV and entertainment clients, and a major portion of our business is focused on driving tune-in across the linear and OTT universes. Programmatic addressable spots would be such an exciting convergence of tech. The next "big" announcement we're awaiting is when this particular tech will be available on broadcast. And make no mistake, some very smart engineers are hard at work looking for ways to make that happen!

What we don't know about this product is who "owns" the inventory being delivered. Is it content providers like Paramount and Discovery (aka Publishers in the ad tech world)? Or, like Ampersand's product, is it the cable company's inventory? This information does matter because ownership determines break times and spot positions. Typically, the content provider gets first position and/or last position (the most valuable spots on linear). The Adweek article makes it sound like it's publisher-owned inventory. How this gets served without cooperation of cable providers is a big question, because big cable will most certainly want its cut.

The other big difference we'll likely see from DLA ads vs OTT is completion rate. While CTV and OTT ads have a very high completion rate, linear TV viewers often channel flip during commercial breaks. We may finally get an official look at how much that happens if completion rates are trackable with this tech.

The last reason we're excited is that this will mean new revenue streams for major network providers (aka our clients!). Imagine if you are a men's haircare company but only want to reach men over 65? Would you pay a higher CPM to reach your targeted audience via DLA ads vs. a lower CPM with higher reach but significant waste? This new tech could give advertisers the benefits of targeted digital with the larger footprint of linear. It's a win-win for advertisers and ad sellers.

We'll be watching closely for updates on this beta!

P.S. If you are wondering,,, what's the difference between addressable, linear and OTT? Here's a handy guide!

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