AMC Networks, Advertisers, Experiment With Programmatic Linear TV Buys

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill - Better Call Saul _ Season 4, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures Television
Nicole Wilder/AMC/Sony Pictures

AMC Networks wants to make it possible for advertisers to buy time in linear broadcasts of “The Walking Dead” or “Better Call Saul” in the same way they do digital commercial inventory.

The owner of the AMC and BBC America cable networks said it worked with advertisers including Best Western, Smithfield Foods, Securian Financial and others during the third quarter on technology that let the marketers enable programmatic and addressable buying on TV. The new initiative gives advertisers the chance to buy live TV inventory with the same kind of automated buying technology they might use for digital sites.

“This is a huge development, for us and for the entire industry, unlocking the value of linear inventory by providing advanced programmatic buying, with full addressability, on linear television,” said Evan Adlman, senior vice president of advanced advertising and digital partnerships for AMC Networks, in a statement. “We have made a commitment to make 100 percent of our linear reach addressable, and we believe in the enhanced efficiency and automation of programmatic buying. To enable this full range of advantages on linear television is a major step and capability that will be at the center of our advertising partnerships today and in the future.”

AMC Networks worked with The Trade Desk and Magnite, two advertising-technology specialists, on several of the ad campaigns. AMC Networks said the advertisers “have continued to stay live and leverage this powerful capability through the current fourth quarter, and AMC Networks is working to expand these partner relationships and add new ones.”

AMC Networks has been working on similar efforts for several months. In February, the company said it ran addressable campaigns last November and December for Volkswagen and a second advertiser on its flagship cable network during national commercial time. Viewers who fell into a particular consumer definition saw the spots. Those who did not saw a promo for AMC programming.