Home TV Beachfront And Canoe Are Paddling Programmatic Tools To TV Inventory

Beachfront And Canoe Are Paddling Programmatic Tools To TV Inventory

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The waters are choppy, if not tempestuous, when it comes to programmatic TV advertising. But programmatic companies must brave the unknown to continue to grow.

On Thursday, the video SSP Beachfront and Canoe Ventures, an addressable TV solutions provider, expanded their ad-serving partnership across several more programmers.

The two companies integrated their tech stacks in 2019 so broadcasters or streamers that work with Canoe can channel inventory more effectively to Beachfront’s programmatic pipes. Six more programmers, including Kabillion, Afro TV and TV One, are now using the integrated solution.

Beachfront was predominantly online and streaming video until a private equity acquisition in 2017, when the company pivoted to feature more linear inventory.

“The problem we saw was that linear TV wasn’t going away,” said Beachfront CEO Chris Maccaro.

Canoe Ventures is jointly owned by Comcast, Charter and Cox, and it started off as a DAI provider for set-top box inventory. But it eventually had to support campaign extensions with SSPs to meet larger-scale demands, according to Mark Shepard, Canoe’s SVP and GM of its dynamic ad insertion (DAI) business.

“There is a tremendous amount of ad dollars in linear TV that we can’t ignore just because it doesn’t work in a purely digital way,” Shepard said.

Digitized 

Step one to automate the TV campaign process is to get inventory and sales teams operating on one platform – or at least bound by a tight partnership.

Beachfront and Canoe integrated their campaign management tech stacks so programmers can manage planning and monetization in-flight in one place. The combined TV integration includes set-top box and video-on-demand (VOD) inventory from both companies and CTV inventory from Beachfront.

Regardless of whether it’s linear or streaming content, what matters is that the inventory is addressable, Maccaro said. If so, it can be sold through a programmatic tech platform.

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“Our campaign management tech stack was limited – it couldn’t do programmatic,” Shepard said of Canoe’s effort to fuse linear and digital advertising. “We realized it was critical to run all of our [campaigns] from a centralized place.”

Programmers can now manage direct-sold deals within Beachfront’s programmatic marketplace, including in-flight optimizations for reach and yield.

Canoe still oversees the flow of its programmers’ campaigns, Shepard said. But Beachfront has taken on a “technical lift.”

By the buy

What TV buyers want is high-quality addressable inventory that scales. But that happens through a complex web of physical cords and metaphorical pipes.

For example, while a viewer at home is watching a TV channel, Amazon Fire, the actual channel programmer, AT&T and, say, Magnite may sell the inventory. And that’s not MVPD providers like Verizon, Comcast or DISH, which have a slice of ad inventory, plus CTV ad networks aggregating addressable media in the supply chain.

“A buyer shouldn’t have to delineate what’s behind the TV in order to plan their buys,” Maccaro said. Whatever acronym defines the technical delivery, marketers should be able to buy against TV programming in a unified way, he said.

Agencies sometimes have 20-page manuals on the technical nuances of distribution across platforms, Shepard said. When it could be a “drag and drop” programmatic interface.

Programmatic channels are also more affordable options for buyers who can’t afford direct TV ad deals, he added.

Managing sales through Beachfront makes Canoe inventory “work, feel, look and smell like digital,” Shepard said. “But it’s not.”

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