Bringing Programmatic Video Everywhere

DPAA StoryThe digital video out-of-home (OOH) market – screens in elevators, taxis, gas stations, gyms, malls, planes and amusement parks – is setting up the programmatic pipes.

The Digital Place-Based Advertising Association (DPAA), whose members include Captivate Network, CNN Airport Network, NEC/Vukunet and Clear Channel Airport, is working with consultants who have built trading desks to figure out how programmatic would work.

“Our work on programmatic is to have the media companies move together with similar systems, processes, philosophies, and to set standards and guidelines,” said Barry Frey, president and CEO of the DPAA. “We’ve been doing a lot of work in trying to coalesce the industry and lead them down the programmatic path.”

How, exactly, would programmatic work? Numerous stakeholders are testing different solutions.

NEC created Vukunet, a global ad server that aims to replicate the digital buying experience. Buyers can target available inventory by network, geography or audience.

Ayuda, a content management system for digital out-of-home, announced in March that it was a supply-side platform (SSP), as it launched four types of private marketplaces, including RTB and premium guaranteed.

Digital signage company Broadsign developed a programmatic solution for incremental revenue, Broadsign Connect, Frey said.

Having already seen how programmatic played out on digital, the DPAA wants to ensure that programmatic buying won’t focus on buying remnant inventory, but will instead drive fair-market CPMs, Frey said. “The real goal is to use inventory smartly and better merchandise the value of the inventory through data and targeting and understanding the audience.”

One hurdle? “There’s a lot of capital expenditure in this business,” Frey said. Updated technology must be purchased and installed in each location. Scaling up a network requires hardware and software investments, as well as individually partnering with locations or businesses.

Audience measurement currently works using data collected onsite and online by Nielsen’s On Location division. But more precise technology is on the horizon to measure whether advertisers have hit their audience or not. Intel has developed Audience Impression Metric (AIM) technology to determine when eyeballs fix on a screen. Business applications of the technology are still in the works.

The audiences that agencies buy on digital place-based media look more like television, but they have the targeting and interactivity of digital. Captivate’s elevator network ensures access to office workers, which can then be targeted geographically, according to time of day or audience. Nielsen provides impression data that measures actual viewership via its Place-Based Video Report.

Mobile is another option to measure performance and attribution.

“We are moving toward more interaction with mobile, where we can activate mobile and mobile can activate our screens,” Frey said. Beacons and near-field communications (NFC) provide opportunities for interactions and measurement, with companies like Blue Bite leading the charge there.

Another idea is measuring attribution based on proximity. Does a video advertisement in the mall lead to a spike in same-day in-store sales?

Meanwhile, massive M&A activity could also factor into the shape of programmatic place-based media. Captivate bought the Wall Street Journal Office Network in June 2014. Verifone (video screen taxi content) acquired Gilbarco Veeder-Root, which has screens at gas stations, last August. And National CineMedia and Screenvision tried to merge in March 2014, only to call it off after the Department of Justice filed an antitrust suit.

These companies are slowly building or attempting to build scale. If consolidation continues, Frey believes programmatic digital place-based media will manifest as private marketplaces, as inventory owners try to benefit from automation without losing control over inventory and pricing.

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