OMA launches tender for world first OOH automated platform

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 9 June 2015

The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) has launched a tender for the world’s first industry-wide automated transaction platform to create a one-stop shop for buying and selling outdoor across Australia.

While the initial roll out of the portal will be a 'single source transaction system', the OMA has confirmed that the tender is being developed with an eye to include programmatic trading of out of home (OOH) media down the line.

Expressions of interest are being taken from individual organisations or consortiums with specialisation in software development, including the ability to combine both static and digital OOH formats under one platform.

Speaking to AdNews, OMA chairman and CEO of JCDecaux, Steve O’Connor, said the platform, which has been in the works since last year, will be comprised of four components, with the OMA looking for vendors to be able to do one or all of the various components.

He said the platform would be unveiled in various stages - at least two - until full programmatic buying is available, with phase one expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2016.

O’Connor said while the system has various benefits, the ability to overlay different data sources, including the industry measurement MOVE and consumer data, will allow for more informed buying of OOH.

“The two key benefits of (the platform) it is that it removes barriers to entry in that it’s easy to buy and second of all it allows the buying to be more informed,” O’Connor said.

“The way the system will work is that it will have MOVE data in there but advertisers will also able to put in their own third party data as well. “It will make it more informed, they’ll be better able to assign their buys and get more targeted.”

O’Connor said core to the decision to launch the tender was to continue the momentum of the OOH industry, which has seen continual boosts in ad spend over the last few years.

“We recognise that if we want to continue our momentum we need to be innovative,” O’Connor said.

“The portal will make it easier for agencies to present the recommendations back to the client and make that presentation more tangible and digestible for advertisers and hopefully that leads to more revenue.”

The OMA has worked with major industry bodies including the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) and the Media Federation of Australia (MFA) to see the introduction of the tender.

Their input will also be included through the process, which O’Connor said is important as advertisers need to believe its credible and the portal needs to be useful to them.

OMD CEO Peter Horgan called the measure a “significant leap” for the OOH industry.

“We are pleased to see the OMA embrace automation as a priority and we believe there is a need to make buying and selling media for efficient for our clients,” Horgan said.

OMA CEO Charmaine Moldrich said the tender is not only a first for the OOH industry, but the first time any representative media organisation has united to develop a transaction system.

Moldrich said it builds off the decision five years ago for the OOH industry to unique to launch audience management system MOVE.

“Five years ago from MOVE we wanted to build on our success, and in listening to our clients, media agencies and advertisers, we believe automation is the next obvious step,” Moldrich said.

“This transaction platform will not just amalgamate the industry, it will make it easier for agencies and client to buy outdoor media in Australia.”

O’Connor added that the ability of the industry to work together is one of the “secrets of its success”.

“Automation is definitely the way the market is going, “ he said.

“Some people are embracing that a little bit quicker than others and I think that the OOH industry is probably in the former camp.”

Expressions of interest from technology companies must be lodged by 3pm on 3 August.

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