ThinkTV: Broadcasters want standardised portal to make TV easier to trade

Foxtel/MCN, Network Ten, Nine, and Seven West Media eyeing new ‘media briefing portal’ that lets buyers log in and brief broadcasters on their campaigns once through a single dashboard

ThinkTV, on behalf of its shareholders Foxtel/MCN, Network Ten, Nine, and Seven West Media, want the creation of a media briefing portal that makes it simpler for advertisers and their agencies to buy TV inventory.

ThinkTV has engaged advisory firm, IBB Consulting, now part of Accenture, to scope the development of the media briefing portal that will streamline briefing for fixed placement and automated TV spot trading by allowing buyers to log in and brief broadcasters on their campaigns once through a single dashboard.

According to ThinkTV, this will standardise the process with each network, doing away with the current repetitive steps required. The centralised briefing portal, which is being designed to act as a corridor between the buyer and seller, will seamlessly connect agencies and advertisers to broadcasters’ own trading platforms.

ThinkTV chief executive, Kim Portrate, said ThinkTV shareholders are aligned on the project.

“ThinkTV’s mission is to help advertisers and their agencies get the best out of today’s multi-platform TV – and a core part of that is by making TV easier to trade,” Portrate said in a statement.  

“This solution will deliver scale and workflow efficiencies for advertisers, agencies and broadcasters and work has begun in earnest to deliver it. It’s a complex project and we are consulting media agencies and advertisers to ensure it meets their needs.”

IBB’s work has culminated in a detailed request for a proposal that selected vendors are responding to in the third quarter of 2018. Initial development of the portal will be tightly focused so that the first stage of the solution can be released quickly to the market with subsequent iterations expanding the portal’s capabilities.

ThinkTV’s shareholders have already made investments in automating their trading platforms through Nine’s 9Galaxy, Seven’s Code7 and Landmark, which is used for buying inventory from Foxtel/MCN and Network Ten.

The briefing interface will offer a single online destination for any advertiser or agency wishing to enter a brief into any of those systems, making it quicker and easier to book TV, according to ThinkTV. 

ThinkTV board directors said this development shows commercial broadcasters are united in driving forward industry innovation to meet advertisers and agencies’ rapidly changing needs as viewers access professionally produced TV content on all screens when and wherever they choose.

Broadcasters speak out

Commercial broadcasters are already giving the creation of the new portal a thumbs up.

Seven West Media chief revenue officer, Kurt Burnette, said around the world collaboration in business sectors is becoming a key factor for success, proving that whatever organisation can help make the complex more simple for customers has the highest chance of succeeding in the future.

“The ThinkTV briefing portal very much goes to that idea and highlights the real and meaningful collaboration that is happening and will continue to occur for TV and Total Video in this country.”

Nine chief sales officer, Michael Stephenson, said ThinkTV has proven that today’s TV delivers the greatest return on an advertiser’s investment.

“We are focused as an industry on continuing to make television easier to buy. The briefing portal will make the process of briefing and buying TV simpler as it integrates into our systems driving greater efficiency for our clients. This is a great first step with more to come.”

Network Ten’s executive general manager, revenue and client partnerships, Rod Prosser, said the ThinkTV briefing portal is a great example of what can be achieved when an industry comes together to develop a product that makes it easier for its customers.

MCN chief executive, Mark Frain, said collectively and individually the networks have been listening to the market and a key piece of feedback has been to make the process of buying TV easier.

“The new briefing portal is the first step on this journey. It will provide agencies and clients a single location for all TV briefs which will increase efficiency, save time and ease the transactional barriers for the whole TV buying marketplace.”

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