VIDWeek: Addressable, Programmatic Ads Drive Sling Sales

Sales leader Adam Lowy says ad demand for OTT platforms is high
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Less than three years since launch, Sling TV is seeing a boost in sales thanks to a multi-platform strategy centered around addressable and programmatic advertising, according to Adam Lowy, Dish Media Sales director of advanced TV & digital sales.

“Even in June demand is high, and in TV you don’t usually see that,” Lowy said Tuesday at the Programmatic Summit in New York. “The calls we are getting now are from spenders.”

In a keynote presentation, Lowy said Dish-owned Sling’s sales strategy, leveraging targeted and programmatic advances, has drawn advertisers keen on reaching particular segments of the “young, tech-savvy and socially active audience” that gravitates to a streaming service like Sling.

He said Sling offers audiences based not just on demographics but factors such as whether they watch Sling on a linear TV or smartphone, or prefer Roku over Apple TV. That, he said, has been a boon to advertisers—and something keen to Sling’s success with advertisers—as the streaming service has cross-country reach versus Dish's satellite service, which serves a big rural population.

Related: VIDWeek: Industry Needs to Work Together to Own Programmatic

“The benefits are pretty obvious: getting the right ad to the right audience at the right time,” he said. “There is no waste.”

Lowy said advertisers have also been bullish participating in programmatic sales auctions, which Sling used to sell inventory on several high-profile linear TV events. A real-time bidding auction offering ad time during the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, for instance, drew more than 90 new advertisers, Lowy said.

Having that kind of success, however, requires sellers to make the process of participating easy on buyers, Lowy said.

Long-term, it’s also essential that sellers embrace programmatic advertising as a sales method, rather than discount it as a means for driving remnant sales or reducing sales forces, Lowy said.

“It’s a different type of sales. It makes us smarter. It makes us think differently. But it’s very important to have people out there who understand programmatic.

“Demand is really high—demand for connected TV space, OTT it is growing,” Lowy said. “It’s bringing attention to what we’re doing.”

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