Australia to roll out 'world leading' addressable TV solutions this year

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 7 May 2018

The TV industry will soon roll out addressable advertising solutions in which marketers will be able to target ads to individuals by consumer preferences, such as chocolate buyers and dog owners, a panel of TV sales bosses has said.

In what was described as a world first, the sales bosses of Seven, Nine, Multi Channel Network said this type of advertising will be available on internet connected devices, such as connected TVs, mobile phones and tablets from Q3 or Q4 this year.

The panel, which also featured Publicis Media CEO Matt James and Think TV CEO Kim Portrate, was discussing the promise of addressability at the AdNews Media and Marketing Summit on Friday.


“Australia is well and truly in step with what is happening internationally,” Portrate said.

“What I would say is the broadcasters here have spent a good amount of time and money making sure the fundamentals – data and automation – are readily available.

“So now what happens is we create products that definitely compares with the rest of the world and I would argue with some of the developments and products you see over the next 12 months, we will be at the forefront.”

AdNews MMS Addressability panel

Think TV's Kim Portrate: 'We will be at the forefront of TV worldwide'.

Behind the scenes, all of the TV networks are working with OzTAM on implementing streaming metres that will allow for advanced measurement across multiple connected devices. Individually, they are also leveraging  their own data partnerships that help them design segments to help create consumer segments.

“In Australia I think in many cases we not only aligned with the world but are leading the world,” Nine chief sales officer Michael Stephenson said.

“Right now we have streaming metres integrated in the OzTAM panel. They are now measuring consumption of all of our content on the live linear screen on a connected television, mobile, desktop or tablet inside and outside of the home.

“In September this year, you will get that information via demographic, so you can measure for the very first time cross-media reach. No one in the world is doing that so it’s great we are doing that here."

He continued: "At the same time we have created a virtual panel so that every single Australian has a unique identifier using census data. As an industry we will agree on a number of data sets and data providers so that you can buy television no just on a demographic (for example women 25-54), but also dog owners or chocolate biscuit buyers or home owners or whatever segment we choose to bring to the market.

“You’ll be able to enrich that with our own first party data or client data. That for me is utopia.”

This will roll out in Q3 or Q4 of this year, which Stephenson says is quicker than any other market in the world.

“That will make us world leaders,” he added.

AdNews MMS Addressability panelNine's Michael Stephenson: 'In September, you will be able to measure cross-device reach for the first time'.

Seven's addressable TV learnings 

Seven was the first network that offered a form of addressable TV on live streamed TV in this market during last year’s Rugby League World Cup.

Seven did this by replacing the ad breaks of the live broadcast with digital ad insertions for its live streamed coverage, which meant that viewers watching games streamed on their mobile devices or connected televisions could receive a selection of different ads depending on age demographics.

“Since that time we’ve delivered 135 million ad impressions through addressability,” Seven West Media chief revenue officer Kurt Burnette said.

“We do that through our sports and owned content because you aren’t able to do it with all of your content pieces.

“The way we are working with clients on that is its very much on a sponsored basis. We’ve had some good successes in talking with clients around doing broadcast and their digital creative and integrations, and working addressability inside that.”

At the moment, Seven is delivering addressability using very traditional age demographics.

“For us, we’re still on the journey, which we are about to launch at scale in the next couple of weeks of really enriching that first party data piece,” Burnette added.

AdNews MMS Addressability panelSeven's Kurt Burnette: 'Clients need multiple creative to make addressable TV effective'

Burnette said some of Seven’s early learnings is that clients are still looking to run brand advertising at scale on its live linear broadcast, but to deliver more product based ads addressability takes multiple creative, which costs money and time.

“It was an interesting learning for us to work well up stream in plenty of time with clients  to be able to deliver on that promise,” Burnette said.

“Our proposition is about delivering reach with addressability; it’s not about just being addressable because that is available now. It’s about not getting too granular.

“The other thing we are seeing is that 47% of device based viewing is actually on connected TV. That’s bigger than mobile, bigger than desktop – connected TV is here, it’s big and it’s real. The addressability component of that is incredibly powerful.

“The challenge we have with that is the viewability metrics aren’t available into connected TV for technical reasons. At the moment we are relying on the notion that if you are watching a television through your connected TV, if you are watching that piece of content and that ad is gone you’ve seen that in full screen.

“Some agencies aren’t buying into that on the basis that they can’t get viewability. That’s a really important thing to crack.

9Now up to 5.8 million users 

At Nine, the decision to get viewers to sign into 9Now is helping the network build a user based of unique IDs to addressability serve advertising.

Today, 9Now has 5.8 million unique users, and Stephenson believes when Love Island launches, “I’ll have every 16- to 24-year-old in the country sitting in their bedrooms and watching our content”.

“To Kurt’s point, you can buy addressable from all of us in some sort of way. For us at Nine it is via 9Now wither on a connected television in a co-viewing environment or via a personal mobile device on mobile or desktop or tablet,” he adds.

“We can serve you advertising based on the deep data infrastructure we’ve created at Nine without data partners…and we’ve taken this really seriously.

“I honestly believe this is the greatest opportunity we will have to capture a deeper understanding of the people consuming our content…and to be able to deliver that advertising as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

AdNews MMS Addressability panel

MCN's Mark Frain urged caution against over-promising, but said the TV industry
is more closely aligned than ever before.

Frain urges caution against over-promising

MCN chief sales and marketing officer Mark Frain urged caution in terms of promising a ‘utopia’. He told the panel that the TV industry hasn’t gotten there yet and that there is “so much more we can be doing that is better than what we currently do today”.

“This journey to better TV advertising can start immediately even before some of those announcements,” Frain said.

“The key part of us all getting together at varying degrees of development and evolution is that something can be done collectively with all of us, which gives the opportunity of scale.

“When get to the point of household addressability and we’re all there, that will be an opportunity at scale to drive genuine business results. We have to be careful of the over-promising to clients.

Frain believes the role of Think TV to guide all of the network’s agendas will lead to more unity in how the TV industry goes to market with solutions.

“In the area of linear broadcast and improving data targeting and Programmatic TV, we have been doing that for a long time,” Frain said.

“We’ve got some work to do to catch up with the others on an IP perspective (Ten’s BVOD). We’re also in the set top box stage of addressability. We are working on the three pillars of addressability; we’re behind in one and ahead in a couple.

“Our goal is how do we transfer some of the advantage we have to a category based solution, which Seven and Nine can share.”

Frain believes that set top box addressability is perhaps the hardest piece to solve because it balances the need for a good customer experience with the advertiser experience.

‘That takes time but the benefit of those two coming together, the work has been done here and certainly with Sky in the UK.

AdNews MMS Addressability panelPublicis Media CEO Matt James: 'We desperately need industry to collaborate measurement metrics and scale'.

Media buyers want collegiate measurement

Publicis Media CEO Matt James told the panel clients and media agencies need a collegiate universal measurement position around addressability in broadcast TV.

“What we would desperately want for the future is an industry standard around connected audiences,” James said.

“The fact is that all three players are at a really solid level in terms of development but its still quite challenging for brands and buyers. It’s good at a household level.

“I think the realities in this market where TV and TV viewing is at is that brands need all three networks to get the reach and scale they need in market.

“We need all three networks getting to the same place around addressability… For us to balance reach and scale and TV at the top end with addressability that has a common standard beyond OzTAM is still where we have got to get to but there are significant inroads.”

AdNews MMS Addressability panelThe AdNews Media + Marketing Summit TV panel on the promise of addressability was a sell out.

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