Programmatic Primer: 8 Articles On Automated Ad Buying

by: Nicole Lyons, on Apr 3, 2013 in Hyperlocal Advertising, Resources

robotThe automation of digital ad buying and selling is a wildly hot topic right now, especially as more and more publishers realize they can sell higher quality inventory sets (at a potentially higher premium) through this very efficient and automated channel. We at Local Yokel Media continue to grow and package our own unique, highly-valuable and high-performing hyperlocal inventory for easy sale through automation, offering a win for both our publishers and advertisers in terms of efficiency, performance and revenue.

However, as with all exciting developments in digital, the conversations and innovations are moving quickly, and we want to help keep you  in the loop with the latest and greatest thinking on the matter.  We think the following 8 articles offer both education and perspective that will help bring you up to speed on the fundamental definitions, where the conversation stands today and where it is heading in the future.

Let’s begin with the fundamentals of ad serving:

1.) What everyone should know about ad serving (click to read full article)

The way that the ad server operates under the surface is actually something everyone in the industry should understand. Only by understanding some of the details of how these systems function can good business decisions be made. Eric Picard, CEO Rare Crowds

Next, we move into more detail on Real-time Bidding,

2.) Define It – What Is Real-Time Bidding? (click to read full article)

“The act of buying digital inventory from multiple publishers on an impression by impression basis, typically involving an auction pricing mechanism.” Scott Spencer, Director of Product Management, Ad Exchange, Google

… which enables automation of buying …

3. Define It – What Is Programmatic Buying? (click to read full article)

“But the benefits of Programmatic Buying are not limited to the buyer. The improved effectiveness it delivers for the advertiser also translates into increased relevance for the consumer and greater revenue for the publisher. And in a world where consumers want high quality news, professional content and open forums for social interaction to be subsidized by advertising, that’s a very good thing.”  Philip Smolin, SVP of Market Solutions, Turn

… and selling digital ad impressions. 

4.) Define It – What Is Programmatic Selling? (click to read full article)

“For me ‘programmatic’ simply means ‘making things easier via technology’, irrespective if this is on the buy or sell side.” Jonathon Shaevitz, CEO, Maxifier

Next, we drop the word “premium” to the mix, in an effort to further refine the opportunity for sellers …

5.) If It’s Not Programmatic Premium, Then What Is It? (click to read full article)

“… we have to accept two types of “programmatic premium” right now. The first is the notion of buying real premium inventory inside of today’s RTB systems through private exchanges. The second is the notion of buying reserved inventory in a more systematic way. Both approaches are valid ways in which to create more efficiency, transparency, and pricing control in a market that needs it.”   Chris O’Hara, CRO of NextMark

6.) What the heck does “programmatic” mean? (click to read full article)

“All display media could (mechanically) be bought and sold programmatically today — whether via RTB or not, whether it’s guaranteed or not, and whether it’s ‘premium’ or not. Eventually all advertising across all media will be bought and sold programmatically. Sometimes it will be bought with a guarantee, sometimes it won’t.”

…. and round out the story with some myth-busting.

7.) The 4 biggest myths about programmatic buying (click to read full article)

Since programmatic buying and selling happens more quickly — and we track all aspects of the inventory, supply, demand, and transactions — there are many more opportunities for massive change. Since we’ve seen such massive investments in big data and analytics systems, we can expect to see new technologies emerge over the next few years that will radically transform the economics of media. Eric Picard, CEO Rare Crowds

8.) 5 Myths of Ad Tech (click to read full article)

For all the talk of ad tech providing a far better system than relationship-driven sales and ad networks, there’s plenty going on behind the scenes that is far from clear. Brian Morrissey, Editor-in-Chief Digiday

So … this is where the conversation stands as of early April, 2013 – and, while we expect that the discussion will rage on for many months (maybe even years?) to come, we hope this provides a contextual foundation for better understanding the players and dynamics of this burgeoning segment of ad tech.


Local Yokel Media brings efficiency, scale and performance to hyperlocal digital display advertising. To learn more about how we help advertisers reach only those customers within their immediate service areas via trusted local websites and blogs, contact us today!



  1. by: DigitalAdBlog, On July 7

    Great Articles – Should add this video to the list it explains how programmatic ad’s transact down to the millisecond.


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