Programmatic Print, Part 1 – An Overview

Today we bring you Part 1 in a series on Programmatic Print advertising.

For some time now, everyone in the industry has been talking about programmatic.  Programmatic media is defined as the automated buying, selling, and optimized delivery of media.  Its most commonly used to refer to buying online advertising through an ad exchange to target specific audiences.

Many of the newspapers we work with are now partnering with digital agencies to monetize their online platforms by offering programmatic online, or bringing digital people in house.  We’ve seen these programs achieve varying degrees of success.  Though it seems like an obvious complement to their print offerings, for many newspaper salespeople there is a vast divide and language barrier between their expertise and the world of digital advertising.  But, they’re trying.

With this change, newspapers essentially become an agency themselves, particularly to local advertisers without the resources to hire an actual agency.  If an advertiser’s local newspaper salesperson can offer digital programs (programmatic, in addition to display) to go along with their print advertising, they become their liaison into the world of online advertising.  They are essentially designing and executing a key component of the advertiser’s marketing plan.  As their first point of contact, the newspaper sales rep becomes their entry point into the online market.  Whether or not this positioning is best for newspapers is still up for debate.  But again, they’re trying.

But what about programmatic print?  What if there was an opportunity to automate buying audience groups in print?

Some publications are already doing this – over a year ago, news broke that Time Inc. would begin selling ads across a programmatic platform.  A private exchange grouping their publications and subscribers into audience groups.

But where is this now?  We’ll continue to explore the evolution of programmatic print in posts to come in this series…

Post by Darcy Mauke.

2 thoughts on “Programmatic Print, Part 1 – An Overview

  1. The most difficult part of automating legacy media is creating a digital trading method that is accepted and adopted by the industry and is able to connect to online trading principles like programmatic. Not an easy task.
    I think Adoptiq, a dutch advertising technology start-up, manage to do this for print.


    1. Very good point Seb. We here at Mediabids have created that on our site but we’ve seen that newspaper publishers are reluctant to change their processes and sell their space in a new way on a separate platform.

      Agreed it is not an easy task.


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