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BBC Technology Programmatic

BBC programmatic boss David Goddard: Digital audio will be the next 'to go programmatic' this year


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

February 7, 2017 | 5 min read

Ahead of The Drum's Digital Trading Awards, judge David Goddard outlines the challenges and opportunities in the digital sector.



As the BBC's ‎global head of programmatic trading at BBC Worldwide he's got his eye on the potential that programmatic TV and audio will deliver in the coming year.

The theme of the awards this year is “Living the Dream - Programmatic everywhere” what do you see as the immediate and long term effect for the adtech industry?

It is an exciting time for advertising, VR, 360, programmatic digital audio even TV! The immediate future will be the rise of audience guaranteed which will truly make IO buying more efficient and could enable a surge in the percentage of automated media in 2017, we have already audience guaranteed this and the results look very promising.

In the 12 months ahead what medium, in your opinion, will be the next to go programmatic?

Digital outdoor has certainly improved an inefficient process but is dependent on outdoor advertising digital real-estate, which we would love to see more of. I am a fan of Times Square but would that be the click farm of the outdoor advertising world?

Programmatic TV is a huge opportunity and connected TV will take off this year. Even linear TV tech looks exciting too and has the blessing of the programmatic community. There is still some development required of the programmatic TV technology before we see significant volumes of TV revenue start to flow through programmatic pipes. Digital audio is also an incredible opportunity and will be the next “to go programmatic” in the next 12 months. It will offer advertisers to precision target a truly captivated audience, the challenge is measuring true engagement as the companion banner, as good as it is, doesn’t reflect the true engagement. We are investigating the opportunity of both programmatic TV and audio to see if they will bring incremental revenue and operational efficiency to our current global opportunity at BBC Advertising.

How can an ad tech company differentiate themselves in this time of disruption and agency consolidation?

I believe ad tech companies still have some challenges to overcome, they have delivered us technology that enables operational efficiency however, we are all looking at the value chain constantly questioning is that percentage justifiable.

There is no magic formula for ad tech, but those companies that chose to work closely with their partners, understand their challenges and constantly deliver solutions for their partners needs which will help affect both the partners and their own bottom line. The tech partners we work are not only best in class but we feel they have our interest at heart and are proud to partner with the BBC advertising.

What do you think is causing companies to re position from ad tech to martech?

If an ad tech company can branch out into martech their pool of potential customers should increase but they will face far more competition too. You just have to take a look at the Marketing Technology Landscape on vs the LUMAscape.

There has been a lot of unfortunate headlines about the programmatic sector in recent months. What would you describe as the top two things for the sector to be positive about?

It is terrible when you hear a company is struggling. I believe this is a fantastic time to work in the media industry as it is the industry that never rests, one that is tirelessly looking for the new black. As an industry, we are successfully conquering issues such as ad fraud and ad blocking, but we need to keep putting the user first with initiatives such as LEAN. To an outsider it could look as unstable but is there growth opportunity in a time of stability?

What do you think the major implications of 'Methbot' will be? Do you think we'll start to see the needle shift when it comes to ad fraud?

Buyers will focus on trusted premium inventory and through verification and partnerships, BBC Advertising is committed to working with trusted partners across the programmatic ecosystem and by working together with we are doing all we can to eradicate the risk for our clients.

To you, as a judge, what will make an award-winning entry?

The BBC has looked to produce compelling content that users across the globe love and want to engage with, I will be looking to for this in an award winning entry, one that will inform, educate and entertain.

The Awards are held in association with The Trade Desk and sponsored by Integral Ad Science, Nielsen Marketing Cloud, Rubicon Project and Sphere Digital Recruitment. Entries are open until 24 February at

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