Media agencies applaud Nine’s move as an alternative to Facebook and Google

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 17 September 2020

Media agencies have welcomed Nine’s move to position itself as an alternative to Facebook and Google as compelling, powerful and exciting.

They applaud a deal with Adobe, announced at Nine’s 2021 virtual Upfronts, to leverage the media group's strong cross platform audience with client data.

The partnership with Adobe creates Audience Match, a platform that will help brands match their own customer data with Nine’s 13 million registered users through one integration.

The custom destination will match hashed email addresses from an advertiser’s data with Nine’s audience data, creating an audience not dependent on cookies, with every ad impression linked back to a person.

The media group is the first publisher, in Australia, and perhaps the world, to be integrated into Adobe Audience Manager.

Coles has signed on a long-term launch partner.

Nicola Lewis, GroupM chief investment officer, says Nine’s Adobe partnership, as a world first, is really powerful.

“The integration combining their existing data lake with the Adobe platform is something that sets them apart,” she told AdNews.

“Data and tech is a priority for us at GroupM and our clients so it’s a clear opportunity to work more closely with Nine in this space.”  

Ben Willee, general manager and media director, Spinach, described the data message and partnership with Adobe as compelling.

“The ability to upload hashed email addresses and target specific audiences is not only exciting but it puts them in the same league as Facebook and Google,” he says.

Jane Combes, head of trading for OMD Sydney, says the new global data partnership with Adobe will deliver a premium alternative to Facebook and Google. 

“I’m not surprised by this announcement after the call to arms we saw from Nine regarding the two global giants last year,” says Combes.

“Great to see Nine are looking to combat their dominance in the market, and really compete with a viable offering that will hopefully, at a minimum, put a local player in the mix as a key competitor.

“I think the offering needs further exploring to fully understand the capability and benefits back to clients."

Paul Murphy, head of Media, Cummins&Partners, says the Adobe partnership is an exciting step forward.

“Having an Australian partner for businesses that can integrate their first party data and then talk to them over multiple formats with minimal data loss is exciting,” he says.

“Having a competitor for Facebook and Google that is competing on merits in the local market is very healthy, and a great thing for local agencies in particular.”

Mark Echo, head of client services at Bohemia, says clients need to have a partnership with Adobe and have Adobe Audience Manager implemented on their site to really take advantage of Nine’s Adobe deal.

“It can be a game changer for those specific clients as you can start looking and activating paid advertising through the Nine Network based on Customer Lifetime Value which can take into consideration frequency of purchasing, value of purchasing, products being purchased online and you can build predictive modelling off the back of that,” he says.

Kim Raicevich, group business director, PHD Australia, describes the Adobe deal as exciting, especially in the face of the impending cookieless world.

“Adobe’s partnership with Nine will mean they are the first local true rival to Facebook and Google, having the potential to fight for budgets that they haven’t previously been able to win,” says Raicevich.

“Their 13 million logged-in audience creates a huge base for advertisers to communicate and engage with, and the ability to control frequency cross-device will mean greater cost efficiencies for our campaigns.

“Nine’s greater focus on delivering clients’ business growth will be very beneficial for our clients, especially after the horrendous year we’ve had with COVID.

“Nine has a broad range of quality assets and logged in audience, which are begging to be leveraged and it looks like 2021 will be the year where this can finally happen.”

Trent McMillan, co-founder and chief digital officer at Kaimera, says the Adobe partnership has the potential to be a huge game changer for Nine.

"What we'll be watching closely is how the product is rolled out and if all agencies/clients will have the same level of access and ability," says McMillan.

"Being a small indie a key benefit with the Google and Facebook offerings is that ultimately size doesn't matter and all advertisers have the same level of access and functionality to segment, profile and target their respective audience.”

Craig Cooper, chief investment officer, Carat Australia, says a battle has been brewing for several years between the Australian TV networks and Google and Facebook.

“However, with the announcement of the partnership with Adobe yesterday, Nine Entertainment may have just found the (credible) backdoor into the world of unique ID addressable digital targeting capabilities.

“This is a significant step in Nine’s ability to converse and steal share back in this area.”

Independent media agencies say the partnership with Adobe a good thing.

“It is not great for programmatic but better for direct buys because of the greater depth of data,” says IMAA (Independent Media Agencies of Australia).

“It will enable Nine to better compete with Facebook and Google.

“This is something the industry will welcome, if we see this come to life beyond today’s presentation (and in our props).

“For indie agencies that don’t typically manage large volume deals with Google and Facebook, finding alternative ways to deliver results for our clients in levering data is always a good thing.”

The independent’s also like Nine’s willingness to be a partner.

“They have delivered on what they promised at the last upfronts and delivered a consistent audience,” says INMA.

“They seem focussed on being more than just a TV network and offering relevant opportunities outside of good programming to us and our clients.”

Natasha Pelly, senior investment analyst, Publicis Media Exchange, says the industry has been waiting for a powerful solution that leverages Nine’s scale and cross-platform diversity.

“The Adobe deal is a really powerful step forward, and an industry first. With one large advertiser already on board (Coles), there should also be tangible results to prove its value to advertisers," says Pelly. 

"Particularly at a time when solutions based on first-party data are in high demand, the ability to merge audience insights from 13 million sign-ins with advertiser data is really relevant and exciting.”


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