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Commercial broadcasters unite on standard briefing portal

ThinkTV, on behalf of its shareholders Foxtel/MCN, Network Ten, Nine, and Seven West Media, has engaged the respected advisory firm IBB Consulting, now part of Accenture, to scope the development of a media briefing portal that will help to make it simpler for advertisers and their agencies to buy TV inventory.

The portal 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. This will standardise the process with each network, doing away with the current repetitive steps required.

IBB’s work has culminated in a detailed request for proposal that selected vendors are responding to in the third quarter of 2018. Initial development 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 chief executive Kim Portrate said that ThinkTV shareholders were fully 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,” said Ms Portrate, speaking ahead of the inaugural AdWeek Asia Pacific conference at which the ThinkTV board will appear together to discuss industry innovation.

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

The centralised briefing portal is being designed to act as a corridor between the buyer and seller. It will seamlessly connect agencies and advertisers to broadcasters’ own trading platforms. ThinkTV’s shareholders have already made significant 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.

ThinkTV board directors said this development showed 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.

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

Michael Stephenson, Chief Sales Officer at Nine, said: “Think TV 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 Rod Prosser, Executive General Manager – Revenue & Client Partnerships, 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. It’s world leading and one of many industry collaborations coming up. We’re looking forward to sharing with you further progress in the future.”

Mark Frain, Chief Executive of MCN, 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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