Politics is the Biggest Challenge to Audience Based Buying. An Interview with GABBCON’s Gabe Greenberg.

Gabe Greenberg, CEO and co-founder of GABBCON (Global Audience Based Buying Conference and Consultancy), has an extensive media background working on both the client side (ADT Dealer and Microsoft) and the sales/marketing sides of the advertising marketplace (The Trade Desk, Delivery Agent, Autobytel, Bigfoot Interactive, Vibrant Media). 

But a standard corporate job was not in the cards for Greenberg. “I have had an entrepreneurial spirit since I was quite young, I get it from my father/family,” he confessed. “I have always wanted to help shape the market and be part of something bigger which led to Tina and I starting GABBCON. We saw a gap in the market that we seized and we have not looked back,” he added.  

Charlene Weisler: What are the challenges to audience based buying and selling? And how to overcome?

Gabe Greenberg: The biggest challenges today are political. Technology is no longer an issue. The politics within different sales organizations and the potential for some of them to try to setup additional walled gardens due to unwarranted fears about the threat to price is our biggest obstacle today. Our warning to these companies is to be careful for what you wish for. Don’t make the same mistakes digital did. We have an opportunity to really change the market with new channels like TV, Audio and DOOH – we need to be sure we do the right thing. I think we will (especially with Open AP and other endeavors that have popped up on the periphery.

Standardization is also quite important and GABBCON along with other groups are trying to lead the charge here.  

Weisler: Where do you see audience based buying and selling headed in the next three years? How much of the market will it command? 

Greenberg: As ATSC and BlockChain take hold, video and TV will be a more dominant force in audience buying. NBC betting $1Bn this year on audience is just a tip of the iceberg. I expect that as much as 25% of the TV/Video market will be planned, bought and optimized on audience using some level of sophisticated buying in the next three years. That is quite a significant number (it is larger than the entire programmatic pie today). New channels like audio and DOOH are also taking off and will accelerate the growth of audience based buying (truly cross device)

Weisler: Is Linear TV dead? 

Greenberg: HA No – nor will it be for some time (if ever). TV is the strongest it has ever been and with ATSC 3.0 I expect that TV will begin to take dollars back away from digital.

Weisler: How will the IoT impact audience based buying and selling if at all? 

Greenberg: I do not expect that it will have a negative impact – it will create new device ID’s and targeting opportunities that can be quite exciting.

Weisler: Tell me about the Abbi awards. When did it first launch? Why was it created? What do you hope to achieve from it? Who participated

Greenberg: The ABBI awards (Audience Based Buying Innovation Awards) launched last year for the first time – the second annual ABBI’s are open for entries now. We created them because we did not see enough celebration of innovation in the market, in spite of all the word count about the topic and therefore we set the ABBI’s in motion to celebrate all the great innovation in media and marketing as well as media and marketing leadership that is happening. 

The awards range from tech platform innovation (DSP, DMP, SSP of the year) to agency and media/marketing leadership innovation to campaign and creative innovation. We have some of the categories other awards might (Cross Device Campaign of the year, Best use of data, etc.) but we are all about celebrating innovation and audience based buying. For GABBCON it’s all about audience in everything we do. The award itself is even quite innovative in it’s design. Last year’s winners marveled in it’s size and innovative design.

Weisler: What is your recap of this year’s upfront? Who are the winners and the losers?

Greenberg: This year’s upfront has been a mixed year – but for the most part I think the winners are the content owners and producers.

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