Programmatic Video #WoTW: What Is Dayparting?

Programmatic video is the fastest-growing category of programmatic buying, but a lot of marketers are still struggling to get to grips with the basics.

A recent study by the Association of National Advertisers and Forrester found that only 23% of marketers said they understood programmatic and were using it to execute their campaigns.

This is despite the fact that more than half of US publishers reported selling their premium video ad inventory programmatically in August 2014 (Adap.tv), while mega-brands like American Express and P&G vowed to shift the majority of their ad spend to programmatic by the end of 2014.

There’s clearly a knowledge gap between the programmatic front lines and everyday marketers, making 2015 a key year for programmatic education. As with any burgeoning new trend, one of the main causes of confusion is vocabulary.

Any discussion of the topic produces a web of jargon and acronyms that’s enough to send anyone running to Google. But fear not, this is easily solved.

Each week we’ll be serving up handy guides to the most important programmatic video terms, courtesy of Unruly co-founder and CTO, Matthew Cooke. Last week we looked at what VAST is. This week, Matthew explains what dayparting means. Stick around and see how quickly you can master the art of programmatic.

What is dayparting?

Dayparting is a feature of programmatic platforms such as DSPs and SSPs that allows you to set particular ads to run only at certain times of the day.

The word comes from the radio and TV industries, where the day is split into time intervals when different types of content would run. For example, breakfast shows in the morning slot, soaps in the daytime slot etc. There are often also rules as to what kind of TV content and advertising is allowed to run in at different times to avoid targeting inappropriate content at children.

A key reason for dayparting in TV advertising is to help advertisers target particular audiences that typically watch TV at that time. For online there are a number of other reasons for using dayparting. These are:

  • There is evidence that people have different browsing modes at different times of the day; this in turn can mean that the use of dayparting can improve the KPIs of a campaign.
  • People use different devices and look at different types of sites depending on the time of day.

Below is an example of dayparting from TV. From 2am to 6am in white is often known as the “Graveyard Slot” due to the low level of TV viewing.