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The Transparency of Programmatic OOH



Michael Provenzano

Back in April, Vistar transitioned to a fully transparent marketplace. This was a big shift from how we've operated in the past, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the trends in the industry driving this change & what's ahead for programmatic OOH.

Since I started Vistar back in 2012, our aim has been to fuel the overall growth of out-of-home through technology. Coming out of another successful year in 2019, and now dealing with the challenges to the OOH industry from the COVID-19 pandemic, at Vistar we continue to ask, “how can we make this bigger and better?”

There are two massive trends happening in the industry today: omnichannel DSP demand for programmatic OOH, and the growing requirement from marketers for transparency across all media transactions.

With omnichannel DSPs, Vistar aggressively pursued a path to create the highest-quality connection possible between these DSPs and our Vistar supply partners. Launching in late Q3 last year, the results so far have been very promising. We are already seeing significant spending from these DSPs and expect to see that continue to grow throughout 2020. The #1 ask from all DSPs is access to actual bidding on the open exchange (today, 3rd-party DSPs only can transact via PMP). Auction-based buying through omnichannel DSPs requires transparency.

At the same time, the Vistar DSP is seeing a massive increase in self-service usage. With this trend, buyers compare the Vistar DSP and programmatic OOH to the other platforms and channels where they are buying. As investment in OOH increases, more and more scrutiny is being placed on where dollars are going. Transparency was a huge fight in the online digital space for years but has reached a healthy point where transparency is now the default for open exchanges. Transparency is a requirement from marketers in order to grow their OOH investment.

At Vistar, our job has been to bring programmatic to the OOH space. We have done so with a variety of constraints in place to ease the industry’s transition into this world, but now the market is wanting more from us (OOH) and as a technology partner, we want to make sure we are leading the initiatives required to unlock the next growth step for the industry.

We are excited to operate a transparent open exchange for all buyers on all transactions. I am confident that this move will ultimately benefit media owners. Providing transparency on the open exchange will increase competition, buyer trust in the medium and ultimately grow our industry.

We'll have some more announcements coming later this summer as we continue to try and progress the vision of OOH fully participating in the omnichannel programmatic opportunity.

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