Google challenges media agencies in programmatic TV ads

The giant octopus that’s Google (Goldman Sachs has already nabbed the giant squid) is setting its sights on TV ad buying – programmatic version – by offering advertisers the chance to buy TV through its DoubleClick platform that already serves online programmatic buys. Google is partnering with TV ad tech platforms Wideorbit and Clypd, using fast internet provider Google Fiber.

Google tried to sell TV ads back in 2012 through Google TV Ads but that bombed. Programmatic is a different matter however and although it only accounts for about six per cent of US TV ad sales now it’s bound to get bigger. As such Google’s new move is a big challenge to conventional media agencies, who have their own programmatic operations, and the plethora of smaller players in the market.

Google says: “By integrating with TV inventory providers, including local providers, we’re able to offer agencies and advertisers the ability to buy their TV ads programmatically, through DoubleClick. This means that their TV ads can be bought, targeted and measured in the same platform as their digital video ads and Connected TV ads.”

WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell once famously described Google as a “frenemy.” WPP, through its Xaxis operation, is the biggest agency buyer of programmed ads placed by computers. Now it looks as though his frenemy is going head to head.

First, of course, Google has to get its tentacles on the required amount of TV inventory but that shouldn’t be a problem as it has more than ample resources. Will TV companies do business with Google though? Er, yes.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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