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  • Frank Gussoni

Programmatic: It’s not just banner ads anymore!

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

For a long time, it was thought that programmatic buying was only utilized with digital display. The supply was thought to be remnant inventory and delivery was questionable at best. With the developments over the last several years, programmatic has become the data and technology that facilitates media buys and now, it is not just contained to one specific channel. With programmatic techniques being used increasingly for premium media, and its developing effectiveness in other channels, such as Audio, Digital OOH and Connected TV, the programmatic landscape is changing quickly.

Today, many mainstream DSP’s (Demand Side Platform) have evolved to offer centralized buying of formats such as audio, digital out of home and connected TV. The big steps towards DSP omnichannel management allow agencies and advertisers to gain a more enhanced view of their campaigns so they can manage and optimize them more efficiently from one platform.

While premium inventory may not always be available to the open marketplace, it is becoming increasingly available through private deals as many large publishers are keeping up with this buying shift.


With the shift in consumer behavior given the introduction of smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, audio has become more popular than ever. Previously, programmatic audio supply was only available through specialist DSPs, but with the popularity of this medium continuing to grow, supply is more readily available and traditional DSPs are enabling buys.

Programmatic audio ad buying provides access to podcasts, music streaming and digital audio inventory and is typically available in 15, 30 or 60 second slots. Targeting capabilities include geo, behavioral and demographics which are often more pinpointed by the data available from the audio subscription services. The supply is high quality, meaning that many high-end publishers will only transact through private marketplaces, which results in a lower risk of ad fraud.

Digital Out of Home (DOOH)

The digitalization of out of home formats has brought well established traditional media owners into the digital age. This year will, more than likely, see a decline in physical OOH investments, but Digital OOH is poised for further growth as many displays and billboards have been digitized. The increasing availability of programmatic Digital OOH inventory from many key players is only enhancing the strategic importance of this medium. OOH buys that used to take weeks to execute now can be completed in a matter of hours.

Programmatically managing DOOH, is like audio, in that it allows for a more responsive and more personalized buy. While the execution still relies heavily on the content and availability of displays through private marketplaces, the added ability to overlay data enables another level of relevance and connection with the audience.

Connected TV.

As TV consumption habits shift online, connected TV is becoming the dominant force in many households, especially amongst millennials. Connected TV brings the reach of traditional TV advertising with the precision of digital video, resulting in greater efficiency for advertisers when compared to traditional TV buying. Astronomical growth has been reported in connected TV inventory as well as the advertisers running connected TV campaigns, demonstrating that both the supply and demand sides are trying to keep up with the changes in viewer consumption habits.

Programmatic connected TV allows access to 15 and 30 second ads, usually pre or mid roll.

Purchasing these spots programmatically allows a more diverse and specialized technique. Something that would have taken an excessive amount of research and negotiation time using traditional methods. Data for this medium is also more available and can be overlaid for more accurate targeting, and campaigns can be optimized with the added transparency and information such as geo and device types.

The opportunities for programmatic are only going to continue to grow as the world continues to go digital. The rise of audio, DOOH and connected TV are all in response to this shift and it won’t stop there. Now, with the introduction of 5G, we will see even more online users than ever before, increasing the availability of existing formats and most likely introducing some new ones.

Programmatic has come a long way from its original display advertising roots and has shown its adaptability in a rapidly changing market. Once we’ve been exposed to some of the benefits of this multi-channel management, it may be difficult to revert back to more traditional methods.



President & Founder of A3 media.

We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

Frank’s Take provides uncommon sense media buying advice for regional and mid-market businesses.

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President & Founder of A3 media. We’re Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.

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