ABCs of Television Ad Tech

Ad Tech is notoriously rife with acronyms on both the business and technology sides of the fence. clypd’s experience in the television ad tech world has proven that acronym issues are not only widespread, but the concepts represented by these multi-letter concepts in the nascent world of programmatic television advertising take on modified meanings, rendering our space one that is impossible for Grandma to understand.

clypd, along with other technology companies, ad agencies, DSPs, ATDs and SSPs are strategizing on how to leverage the programmatic buying methods that have been successful in the digital world to deliver on marketing goals in the world of the larger screen. While benefits of media buying in this medium are similar, many of the strategies must be augmented for use in television.

Ad Delivery

Programmatic buying in the digital video world is made efficient and scaleable through the use of RTB and industry standards such as VAST and has benefitted from Nielsen’s OCR product bringing to digital a common currency for audience measurement.

New technology advances are bringing similar media buying methods to television and while existing digital methods can be leveraged in IP connected television inventory like TVE, most television content is flowing through some ancient pipes. The inherent plumbing and technology constraints in place with linear television do not allow for real-time ad delivery from CDN, but has TV ad platforms transcoding to MPEG-2 TS format for direct distribution to the television inventory owner. Industry standards exist, but the language spoken in these parts is SCTE.

Measurement and Pricing Models

Over the last 70 years, television inventory has generally been bought and sold using GRP as a base-level performance metric and marketers are often measuring success of a campaign based on TRPs. What is the measurement metric and currency for the hybrid addressable television advertising where target audience can be identified and measured, not through HTTP Cookies, but rather through the use of event data from STBs and getting audience descriptors from DMPs and CRM?

From a business point of view, OLV media most often uses a CPM pricing-model but given the interactivity made possible in the digital environment, user engagement models such as CPE and CPVC have become popular in recent years adding to the previously popular CPC and CPA models.

Players across the television ecosystem are discussing the appropriate model for data-driven television buying where blocks of impressions are sold with spots and individual impressions are transacted with addressable inventory.


The technology stack is where some commonalities between television and digital ad technologies exist. No matter the medium into which the advertisements will be delivered, API-driven bid requests and campaign management are ubiquitous. QPS is a KPI for the underlying workhorse engines of any advertising marketplace and analysis of the big data associated with the activity might be stored in HDFS and has data scientists using R and Hive with UDFs to draw insights from the data. Through this all, platform companies must ensure that they adhere to SLAs that have been negotiated with partners.

ABC 123

Many of us in ad tech get heat for the presumed abuse of these shortcut phrases causing our colleagues and partners to scratch their heads and ask “WTF?” For this, we apologize and don’t mean to be PITAs, but in any ad technology conversation, especially one concerning a particular world experiencing a revolution, escaping these acronyms is impossible.

Jason is Head of Product at clypd and tries to use the biggest words possible when he communicates

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