For our most recent Media Owner Of The Month, we were fortunate enough to chat with Tim Sharkey, Head of Programmatic Media at Atmosphere. Based in Austin, Texas, Atmosphere provides an OTT streaming portal for businesses featuring original, audio-optional TV channels as well as advertising. To get to know more about the programmatic side of Atmosphere, keep reading for our Q&A with Tim.
Could you describe your business – the types of screens in your inventory, where you can find Atmosphere's screens, regions in which you operate, etc. – and what your network offers brands?
"Today, putting a message in front of a viewer is not enough if the viewer is not engaged with the platform. Atmosphere is a content first, digital out-of-home platform that solves for audio-free TV programming in the third space. Available to any business with a TV and internet connection (which at this point is basically everywhere) Atmosphere streams a 6-hour loop of brand safe, engaging, family friendly content directly for consumers to enjoy. It is ambient television for businesses. Atmosphere is Nielsen rated and running in over 6000+ locations, across 25,000 screens, in all 50 states and 189 DMAs. Atmosphere also aims to reach an audience at scale (400M monthly impressions) at a much more efficient price point than other digital platforms. Gone are the days of businesses playing a revolving door of talking heads or re-runs of sports highlights. Atmosphere is the ideal platform for any business that is looking to entertain its customers locally and brands looking to reach engaged consumers globally."
Where do you see the digital out-of-home industry moving in the next 12 months?
"Out-of-home is growing because it’s highly impactful, uncluttered and doesn’t suffer from the problems of other traditional mediums - TV has cord cutters and skippable ads, digital has fraud and viewability problems, etc. Digital is growing within out-of-home because it allows for a content first approach that engages viewers and primes them for an ad message. Static billboards suffer from ad blindness and heads-down as people stare at their phones. The industry is recognizing that digital out-of-home needs to draw attention away from the phone with engaging and energetic content, and that is what Atmosphere is all about. With advanced technology at its core, digital out-of-home is moving to understand the path to which reaching a consumer is ideal for attribution. With a combination of contextual targeting, geo supported data and brand attribution studies, we are still in the infancy of the capabilities to which digital out-of-home will help brands grow their business. All of this is being done, while maintaining the KPIs that digital buyers are used to receiving for online and mobile users. With people spending more time out of the home, it is crucial to reach these consumers in new and exciting ways, and digital out-of-home is filling that need."
What has been Vistar’s most valuable contribution to your business?
"The most valuable contribution from Vistar has been transparency. In the programmatic landscape, it is more important than ever for brand marketers to know they are running against quality inventory that is measured and verified. With Vistar being the leaders in the programmatic digital out-of-home space, they have allowed buyers to access Atmosphere’s inventory through preferred PMPs that offer down to the location targeting, priority over the open exchange, and full transparency as to where brands ads are running and exactly how many consumers they are reaching. Plus, the brands are all doing this on inventory that they know has been verified by Nielsen."
What Vistar software capabilities do you find most useful?
"Vistar’s reporting has been fantastic for making campaign optimizations in real time. The analytics allow us to quickly adjust a plan at the last minute as client updates become available. Accuracy is everything in this space and the planning tools available allow us to properly forecast available inventory against a brands media objective. This forecasting is invaluable for us but possibly more valuable to our brand partners who need to know that they can rely on Atmosphere to scale their media plan. Again, accuracy is everything.The other piece we are particularly excited about is Vistar’s preset audience targeting and the third party audiences that can be layered onto our deals. This allows brands to know exactly where their ideal consumer is on their daily journey which is ideal for business results."
What is the one thing that you wish more digital buyers knew about out-of-home?
"That digital out-of-home is becoming a necessary piece for any successful media plan. A lot of digital buyers have a very dated outlook into how valuable this space is and how significant of an impact it can have in driving revenue for brands. It’s imperative to reach consumers in this third space and to reach them at different touch points on their journey throughout their day. Even, Nielsen is verifying these digital out-of-home platforms and this is leading some Linear TV channels to charge on an out-of-home audience multiplier. Digital out-of-home is here to stay, and brands who are currently not in this space, will be playing catchup in years to come."
Ready to find out how you can buy premium inventory from networks like Atmosphere?
Or do you want to learn more about how Vistar can support your digital signage network?