Amobee Intros Self-Serve Platform To Link Linear Buying With CTV

Corey Tolbert, VP of programmatic strategy at Horizon Media, and Philip Smolin, chief strategy officer at Amobee.

Amobee is making its suite of tools for TV and connected TV planning, targeting and measurement available on a self-serve basis starting Wednesday.

The solution, called TV Amplifier, was first released as a managed service last year.

Automation is needed in an increasingly fragmented media landscape, particularly with streaming consumption rising during the pandemic, said Philip Smolin, Amobee’s chief strategy officer.

“We’re going to see an inflection point soon where a TV amplification strategy goes from a cool, optional add-on to a requirement,” Smolin said. “That’s because media fragmentation is accelerating around TV audiences in general – and even faster because of COVID-19.”

Although traditional TV is still the go-to for mass reach, there are some audiences that buyers simply can’t touch through linear television, said Corey Tolbert, VP of programmatic strategy at Horizon Media. (See: cord cutters, cord shavers and cord nevers.)

Horizon has worked with Amobee since 2016 to help with TV audience amplification across CTV and digital. It used TV Amplifier as a managed service and plans to start tapping into the self-serve option soon.

TV Amplifier links linear and CTV by analyzing smart TV data and automatic content recognition data through a direct integration with Nielsen’s TV and cross-channel panels.

Clients can use this data for strategic planning; reach and frequency management across screens, including digital, mobile and social; reach extension; and for measuring ad exposure. Buyers can also syndicate their TV audiences across Facebook, Twitter and other social channels.

Traditional TV buys perform best when complemented by cross-screen solutions, Tolbert said.

“Programmatic is a healthy supplement to what’s done on TV – but nothing outperforms TV in its ability to drive brand awareness at scale,” he said. “And so we need to be able to build on that and extend it, to have an amplified audience that allows us to hit people we know will be underserved – or not hit at all – through a linear buy.”

Working with Amobee and data from IRI, for example, one of Horizon’s CPG clients drove 65% more unique reach to the digital components of its media plan. Next up, Horizon will use TV Amplifier to tie TV audiences to offline sales.

“We’re looking for the best of both worlds, because it’s not always about awareness and it’s not always about sales,” Tolbert said. “But using a convergent style of audience-based tactics and optimization, we can try to get the best ROI and the most efficiencies as we possibly can.”

Still, it’s exceedingly early days for converged TV.

Much of the technology that purports to bridge the gap between TV and digital measurement isn’t really moving the needle for the industry at large, and digital and linear buying and selling teams still don’t collaborate as closely as they should, Tolbert said.

“But linear planners are beginning to understand that they can no longer just be linear planners,” he said. “They see that it’s not – or shouldn’t be – about who wants the budget, but about where the smartest execution is, where can you get the most data, the best inventory, the best rates – really, about what you’re trying to achieve.”

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