“Without denigrating the efforts others have made, I don’t think anyone has done it [OOH programmatic trading and deployment] in any kind of scale,” Eccleshare says. “What’s being done is automated trading. This is more than that.”
Clear Channel claims its platform is “truly programmatic” because it is a fully transparent, automated system that will allow buyers to monitor price,inventory and performance. This, and the desire to control full intellectual property rights, was behind the company’s decision to invest in its own platform.
Eccleshare admits Clear Channel, like others, has come under pressure to introduce programmatic to DOOH as it becomes the norm in other sectors. About 70% of online media was traded programmatically in the UK in 2016, according to Zenith.
“It makes our medium easier to buy,” Eccleshare says, “and we, as a media owner, must embrace anything that removes barriers to purchase.”
However, one of the great attractions of OOH is its broad reach at a time when audiences for other media are fragmenting. There may be limits to how much brands want to use programmatic to micro-target their messaging.
Photo above: Stefan Lameire, Cadi Jones, William Eccleshare, and Justin Cochrane, Clear Channel UK CEO