For years, folks in the ad industry have talked wistfully of the day when TV advertising would be bought through automated online interfaces on auction-based bid marketplaces, as search, social and digital display advertising have been bought since the middle 2000s.And some folks have done more than just talk. In 2003, a start-up called SpotRunner launched an online marketplace for local TV ads. It was shut down before the decade was out.
In 2007, eBay tried to create a TV ad marketplace, but it never even made it to the launch pad.
Also in 2007, Google created an online marketplace for TV ads, only to shut it down five years later. Microsoft bought a TV ad-tech company, Navic — or its Admira TV ad marketplace — but it didn’t make it much past 2010.
What gives? Why have some of the world’s largest tech companies failed at bringing marketplace technology to TV?