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Programmatic purchasing and television advertising in France

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Just as we had laid the foundations of programmatic TV in our first article on the advantages of programmatic TV, it should be noted here that when we talk about programmatic TV, we are referring to the automation of the purchasing chain, which does not necessarily imply talking about "addressed advertising". On the other hand, with the appearance of addressed advertising, the programmatic purchasing mode is becoming more and more obvious.


Programmatic buying in linear TV in France and abroad

Programmatic buying and advertising abroad: focus on the United States

Programmatic TV buying is already up and running in several countries: The United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and Australia have already automated some purchasing chains, and have for the most part even opted for addressed advertising. Why does it already work there but seems so distant and difficult in France? Because the market configurations are different. In the United States, for example, programmatic purchases already accounted for about 2.5% of TV purchases in 2018 but are expected to increase rapidly to 6.8% in 2020, according to e-marketer.

Still in the US, the ease of installation of programmatic television and the advent of addressed advertising seem at first sight to be mainly related to the fact that households are mainly equipped with connected televisions (210 million in 2018 according to the NPD Group). Similarly, most households are equipped by cable operators, allowing data collection for targeting and distribution of TV ads, which will then be easier to set up and facilitate the emergence of programmatic purchasing and addressable advertising.


Programming TV and advertising addressed in France, an opening in 2020?

Each market being different - by the balance of power between operators and regulators, the legislation... - the programmatic in France will therefore not have the same face as in these other countries. In France, the programmatic and advertising addressed will certainly involve balanced agreements between operators/regulators/advertisers and intermediaries. As specified by the SNPTV, which spoke on segmented advertising (following the information report on a new regulation of audiovisual communication in the digital age submitted by French Mrs Bergé on October 4th, 2018), the AFMM and the SNPTV have undertaken to collaborate in defining technical operating standards with the aim of building a solid foundation for the launch of addressed advertising.

The exchanges have therefore already begun some time ago, and the public consultation on the simplification of the rules on television advertising, to which we had replied and which we had sent to the Ministry of Culture in October 2017, already seemed to want to initiate the change. As announced by the SNPTV and the AFMM following the recommendations of MP Aurore Bergé, the process has started well and could enable channels to test the advertising sent by the first half of 2020!


The need to adapt to the French television market

Brand safety and customer experience at the heart of our concerns

One of the first things to keep in mind will be brand safety and the user experience. Whether on the side of advertisers, fearing a poor association of their content with the program broadcast in disagreement with their brand values, or on the side of advertising agencies, wanting to avoid damaging their image with viewers by imposing inappropriate advertising on them, we will have to adapt.

The construction of the advertising message may also have to undergo an evolution, if not a revolution. On the digital side, it is based on the fear of not having the time to deliver the entire message because of the "skippable" nature of the ads. The messages are then constructed in such a way as to have the greatest impact possible. Don't waste time and try and catch the user without/before he/she plays the video! In television, this fear disappears. Time allows a slower construction of the message, based on repetition during several waves or even several campaigns. To be effective in drive to web, it will also depend on specific criteria. We can imagine a convergence of the 2 methods when the addressed advertising arrives.


Television / digital: what are the differences?

On the digital side, the diffusion is almost instantaneous after the programmatic purchase. Acquisition is fast, easy to set up, in an almost infinite space.

In television, the opposite is true: the framework is regulated, the processes complex, the space limited and often not guaranteed until broadcast. Temporalities will not be able to match the instantaneity of digital against the incompressible time of the processes of buying TV space. However, if the digitization of television is to be fully successful, the period between the planning and broadcasting of the spots will have to be reduced.

Imagining a strict application of digital methods to TV, even programming, appears to be the worst of the strategies to be implemented. The programmatic purchase in television will therefore be much more complex than that of the related universe.

As in countries where the programmatic already works, in the United States for example where the invested budget would approach 4.73 billion in 2020, it will be necessary to plan to evangelize an entire market and to shake up established processes. Television remains the most powerful and effective medium, and once adapted and applied to it, programming will only maximize its value.

To find out more, read our next article: "Artificial Intelligence for TV investments and addressed advertising".

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