Smart TV Maker Samsung Now Has Its Own DSP

The company is looking to take advantage of the shift to streaming

Woman looking at a Samsung smart TV
The new tools is a self-service offering. Samsung
Headshot of Andrew Blustein

Samsung, the country’s largest smart TV operator, has built a demand-side platform that brings all of its TV inventory under one self-serve roof.

The platform aims to help advertisers use granular data to manage the reach and frequency of their campaigns across linear TV, connected TV and Samsung’s mobile and desktop video inventory offerings.

Samsung has a U.S. footprint of over 50 million smart TVs. Its DSP is built on a proprietary automatic content recognition (ACR) dataset, which recognizes what someone is watching, that the company says accounts for 60% of all ACR data in the country.

“With the massive shift in consumer viewing behavior, combined with the fragmented ecosystem, advertisers and agencies want to simplify their campaigns and actively manage them in flight,” Tom Fochetta, vp of ad sales and operations at Samsung Ads, said in a statement.

TV viewing habits have been steadily shifting away from traditional linear TV toward connected devices, especially during the coronavirus pandemic as more people stream content while they stay at home.

Samsung reported earlier this summer that streaming is now more popular than linear TV across its footprint, and as a response TV buying is becoming more data-driven.

However, it doesn’t yet mimic programmatic trading of mobile or desktop advertising, as advertisers typically work directly with media owners given the scarcity of premium inventory and high levels of fraud in CTV.

Samsung partnered with SpotX in May to sell its CTV inventory programmatically. Now, the company’s move to create a DSP is a natural progression that will increase its revenue and availability to the marketplace, according to Bill Durrant, president and founder of Exverus Media, a full-service agency.

“While some brands prefer to purchase CTV inventory through direct deals, often with the support of a sell-side team and personal relationships, others prefer the control, performance and real-time nature of a programmatic DSP approach. You want to serve both audiences,” Durrant told Adweek.

Other big streaming platforms, like Amazon Fire TV and Roku and media owners such as AT&T, also have DSPs. Fochetta said the ability to manage video campaigns in one place is a “powerful tool for advertisers”

But working across different platforms can be a challenge for marketers, especially in CTV where inventory can be confusing to buy. Durrant said inventory can become more fragmented and less differentiated.

“One of Samsung’s strengths is its ACR and first-party data, and while these will carry over into the DSP, with less direct contact and so many CTV inventory sources available, the risk is that agencies and brands lose sight of that differentiation,” Durrant said.

@andrewblustein Andrew Blustein is a programmatic reporter at Adweek.