AMC Networks has enabled programmatic ad buying on three of its linear networks in a significant milestone in advanced advertising. The company says it is the first time live linear inventory can be purchased programmatically in a real-time, biddable environment.
The media owner worked in partnership with FreeWheel, The Trade Desk and Canoe Ventures to create the capabilities for linear programmatic buying and then execute upon them. Programmatic buying is live and fully operational across all programming on AMC, WE tv and BBC America (as of October 2023).
The roll-out follows a successful pilot in September when three major advertisers bought and placed programmatic ads on linear networks for the first time. One of them was L’Oréal, working in cooperation with their agency Omnicom Group, which stakes a claim as the first national U.S. advertiser to harness the new capability.
“Programmatic buying offers enhanced targeting, greater efficiency and has been the preferred way to transact on digital platforms for years, but until now has never been possible for national linear television commercials,” explains Evan Adlman, Executive Vice President of Commercial Sales and Revenue Operations for AMC Networks.
“During this pilot, we were able to deliver seven distinct creative executions to viewers simultaneously, as part of the same national linear commercial slot, through a real-time biddable process. This is a huge advance for us and for the industry. Like our pioneering efforts in addressable advertising, it makes our inventory even more valuable.”
The Trade Desk and AMC Networks also ran promo campaigns during September to test the new capability and prove its success. This exercise was also designed to ensure the buying process was as simple as possible. AMC used its programmatic linear spots to promote ‘The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon’ and its annual FearFest programming event.
The introduction of real-time programmatic buying to broadcast linear TV means media buyers can buy this format through their existing programmatic buying platforms, which are already used to find audiences in streaming TV (and other digital media). “With this innovation, advertisers can now purchase linear and digital ad inventory in one unified campaign,” AMC points out.
“This new capability allows marketers to manage advertising reach and frequency in a way that they could not before, while also opening up new incremental linear audiences for advertisers who were previously digital only.”
Shenan Reed, Senior Vice President and Head of Media at L’Oréal USA, says: “We were excited to be the first brand to pilot this important advancement in how TV advertising is purchased, which aligns well with our interest in automation and efficiency and being able to buy all forms of inventory together as part of the same process. AMC Networks, The Trade Desk and FreeWheel were great partners, and we look forward to being part of the continuing future of programmatic ad buying on linear television.”
Two years ago, AMC Networks pioneered addressable advertising on linear [broadcast] television. Today it is selling addressable spots in every hour of its live linear and VOD inventory across AMC, WE tv and BBC America.
Mark McKee, General Manager, FreeWheel, adds: “This innovation brings together two extremely timely advertising technologies to help advertisers reach and engage with current and prospective audiences: programmatic ad buying and addressable TV advertising. The first gives advertisers greater control, automation and efficiency in the overall TV ad buying process. When layered with addressable TV advertising, the result is advertising that reaches the right target consumer, within an enhanced and enriching viewer experience.”