“What else is needed for programmatic to be a consistent part of your DOOH sell/buy?”
In 2018, the OOH industry estimated that approximately 4 percent of DOOH was transacted programmatically. While Outdoor Media Group’s share of programmatic transactions outpaces the industry’s average, there is still much more room for growth. Major factors that will drive programmatic include: scale, transparency, efficiency and demand-side platform functionality.
- Scale: While there is a significant amount of DOOH inventory in the U.S., not all of it is available programmatically. What is available programmatically sits on various SSPs (supply-side platforms), and in some instances, it requires multiple DSPs (demand-side platforms) to gain access to specific network operators, which cause friction in the buying process. Digital formats, particularly those that are place-based and street-level are expected to proliferate well into 2020 and beyond. Companies such as Intersection, OUTFRONT Media and Volta all have hefty digital rollout schedules and will bring premium, high-quality inventory into the programmatic fold. This will directly impact scale and programmatic transaction.
- Transparency: Exchanges that don’t allow for transparency into the screen type’s network operator are problematic. A digital screen’s value hinges on many factors, such as screen size, ad unit to screen size ratio, placement in venue, content quality, audience and more. Classifying strictly by venue and format type and blending inventory together on an exchange is not transparent enough given how disparate DOOH formats are. Further, not having an understanding as to where impressions are served could result in duplication with direct buys and significant frequency for the same ad unit.
- Efficiency: There must be rate parity across direct and programmatic buys. In my opinion, programmatic DOOH is not a channel on its own, but a transaction type. It must be efficient to buy especially since there is a technology fee. While I am bullish on the ease and growth of programmatic DOOH must bring value to the buy to gain acceptance.
- Demand-Side Platform (DSP) Functionality: DSPs need to provide quality audience data for application across all DOOH inventory at the site/venue level as well as transparency and comparable ease of planning whether it be on a Private Marketplace or the Exchange. Moving impressions across network operators and venue types is critical. From a supply perspective, network operators that apply a consistent CPM to the majority of their inventory will help reduce friction of planning programmatically — the data should help drive value of the inventory organically over suppliers trying to “control” pricing.