Programmatic, Video and TV: Julian Zilberbrand of Zenith -- The Jay Sears Interview

By Archived Rubicon Project Archives
Cover image for  article: Programmatic, Video and TV: Julian Zilberbrand of Zenith -- The Jay Sears Interview

This is the fourth in a series of interviews with leading buyers titled “ Programmatic, Video and TV.” The conversation will continue at DPAA Video Everywhere Summit in New York City on Tuesday, November 4, 2014. For more information, please go here.

Your Name: Julian Zilberbrand

Your Company: Zenith

Your Title: EVP, Activation Standards, Insights and Technology

SEARS: Where do you read your daily news?

ZILBERBRAND: I use a combination of social media (Twitter specifically), the general Internet and a mix of radio, TV and occasionally I might pick up a paper, but it is rare at this point.

SEARS: Where do you interact with digital place based media?

ZILBERBRAND: Typically it would be in bars, shopping malls and places of that nature. I am a big fan of this medium but the ability to make it more dynamic is something that still needs to develop further.

SEARS: When moving towards automation of planning and buying, what makes video -- in all its various formats -- distinct and different from display, audio and other formats?

ZILBERBRAND: Video is different simply because the supply is finite. The majority of the video that advertisers truly want to play in consists of FEP [full episodic player] inventory that is less likely to be traded programmatically. As new channels like FB [Facebook] open I think this will help shift spend towards video in automated/programmatic opportunities.

SEARS: Pick a single word to describe each of the following types of video:

Type of Video -- Zilberbrand’s Word

Television -- Necessary
Pre-roll, Desktop -- Growing
Digital Placed Based Media -- Infancy
Digital Out of Home -- Toddlerstage
Pre-roll, Mobile -- Opportunity
Full episodic player (ex. Hulu) desktop or mobile -- Advertiser friendly
Addressable TV -- Not scaled
Connected TV -- Fetus
Linear TV -- Old school

SEARS: Pick one of the following baseball analogies to describe how far along we are bringing automation to each specific type of video:
1) Pre-game
2) State a specific inning 1st – 9th
3) Game over, fully automated

Type of Video – Zilberbrand’s Baseball Analogy

Television -- Pre-game
Pre-roll, Desktop -- 6th inning
Digital Placed Based Media -- 1st inning
Digital Out of Home -- 2nd inning
Pre-roll, Mobile -- 4th inning
Full episodic player -- 7th inning
Addressable TV -- 4th inning
Connected TV -- Pre-game
Linear TV -- Pre -game

SEARS: Related to the automation of video, what will be Zenith’s biggest U.S. initiatives in 2015?


1. Programmatic TV
2. Private Marketplace

SEARS: Can linear TV be automated, yes or no?

ZILBERBRAND: Not anytime soon. The backend systems of the networks are not nearly evolved enough for this to be a reality. Beyond that, there is little or no incentive for major broadcasters to move in this direction.

SEARS: Once linear TV is automated, will it be bought by TV buyers or digital buyers?

ZILBERBRAND: There will be no difference between TV and digital buyers. There will only be video buyers. We keep looking to put people in silos but we can’t think that way if we wish to grow this channel in the way that consumers will be consuming content.

SEARS: Tell us a bit more about you.

SEARS: Money is not a concern. You no longer work in advertising or technology. What would you choose to do for work?

ZILBERBRAND: I would still work in media. I have always had a passion for media since I was a child. I can’t imagine doing anything else with my time. Having said that, I certainly could see myself in a more consultative role for agencies and brands.

SEARS: What is your favorite restaurant?

ZILBERBRAND: Hard question to answer. I love Old Homestead for a good steak, but I would add that I really love a good slice of pizza from my old stomping grounds in Brooklyn. Specifically L&G Spumoni gardens.

Thanks, Julian!

Jay Sears is Senior Vice President, Marketplace Development for the Rubicon Project. Sears workswith leadership and business unit heads across the company to expand Rubicon Project’s potential market. Sears has also served as General Manager, REVV Buyer, where he was responsible for global relations with the buy side including ad holding companies, ad agencies, agency trading desks and demand side platforms headquartered in North America. Jay can be reached at

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