Sling TV is getting into programmatic advertising, partnering with Adobe’s newly unveiled Advertising Cloud to let brands bid in real time on livestreaming and video on demand.
The offering, which is expected to be announced later today at the Adobe Summit in Las Vegas, will let marketers bid on Sling’s inventory via a private marketplace. Advertisers will also be able to target audiences on a cross-channel basis using first- and third-party data such as demographics, network and genre.
According to Adam Lowy, general manager for advanced TV, digital and analytics with Sling parent Dish Media, the service will allow digital and television buyers to buy media through the same platform. He gave the example of advertisers who might want to buy ads surrounding coverage of the NCAA.
“An event comes up, and someone says, ‘Oh, I’ve got to get some spots in there; can we get into this?’ You can get in right now,” Lowy said, adding that the updates allow advertisers a way to move away from manual ad buys done one at a time. “And as we go on with events, it really helps with the supply and demand concept. If something is available, boom, we’ll fill it right there.”
The introduction of programmatic advertising could put Sling in competition not just with major networks, but also with tech companies like Twitter, which has been betting on live video for the platform with a string of partnerships with sports leagues and news organizations.
Sling doesn’t have any third-party measurement partners yet. But Lowy said the company is in talks with Nielsen and comScore, and he would like to have deals in place “sooner rather than later.” However, unlike programmatic in social feeds or publisher websites, he said the benefit is having full-screen ads.
While Sling is just now making its programmatic offering available more broadly, it’s been beta testing with advertisers since the beginning of the year. Sling and Adobe wouldn’t say which advertisers or how many have been testing programmatic ads but said consumer-packaged-goods brands have been especially interested in programmatic advertising for live TV and digital video.
Prior to Sling entering the programmatic space, Dish had already started partnering on programmatic inventory with TubeMogul, which was acquired by Adobe in late 2016. According to Keith Eadie, vp of revenue and partnerships at Adobe Advertising Cloud, the convergence of TV and digital video has people thinking of their video buying as a more holistic investment.
“Agencies and brands, some of them are actually even changing their organizations to go to market and investment in the market that way,” Eadie said.