Nova announces its programmatic bid

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 5 May 2015

Nova Entertainment has moved into programmatic trading, as it looks to further its capabilities as a digital publisher instead of a traditional radio station.

Speaking to AdNews, Nova Entertainment group digital commercial operations director David McGrath said the company had partnered with the Rubicon Project to trade its digital display inventory as of March.

It already trades video assets programmatically through partnering with Cadreon through TubeMogul.

While McGrath wouldn’t comment further on digital audio, AdNews understands that discussions are under way for making their digital audio assets available programmatically – as SCA is also believed to be doing.

McGrath said the company’s push into the programmatic space has so far been well received. “The key for us is to move with the times, with all of our clients, and give them the ability to trade with us in that space,” he said. Despite reports to the contrary, he said the group isn’t looking at trading radio or streaming assets at this point, but having “identifiable audiences” was a starting point. He does believe, however, that programmatic is poised to evolve in all media businesses.

“Everyone is looking at the capability of programmatic and how that can provide efficiencies across all
media businesses,” McGrath said.

“I think programmatically we’re going to move to a place where we create a whole bunch of private exchange deals, where our key clients can work with us to lock in rates and key impressions and be able to put that in for a set period of time. Then we can leave them and allow self service.”

Nova’s investment into programmatic comes as it looks to bolster its digital capabilities, and reframe its business as a publisher rather than a radio network. The company changed its name from DMG Radio to Nova Entertainment a year ago, but McGrath said it is now pushing harder to reframe the conversations it is having with agencies and brands.

“In terms of our perception, we haven’t done a great job of being out there and saying: ‘Hey, we have digital credibility’,” McGrath said. “The key for us is not only are we a standalone digital destination with high-volume click-through rates and engagement, we have a radio station as well."

McGrath said Nova wanted to build a portfolio of its successes as a digital publisher before going to market with the capability. It has also pegged down where it sees itself in the publisher landscape – among entertainment news – in order to showcase that, by way of audience and engagement, Nova is a competitor in the space.

Now, with 12 months of digital work, data and investment under its belt, Nova is taking its message public.

“The sentiment we want to take out is that Nova, digitally, is a legitimate player in the entertainment space,” McGrath said.

AdNews recently revealed that Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) was also pushing into programmatic and set to launch a fully fledged tech solution for radio advertising.

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