Paramount+ pitches to agencies on advertising in Australia

By Ruby Derrick | 18 April 2024
Rod Prosser and Lee Sears.

Paramount+ is pitching itself to local advertisers in Australia as a place with measurable ROI from an audience attracted by premium content.

“They're looking for environments that are brand safe," Paramount ANZ chief sales officer Rod Prosser told AdNews, ahead of the streaming platform's advertising supported subscription launch in June

"Importantly, agencies more and more are looking for ways that they can connect with publishers and media organisations without a heavy lift." 

Prosser calls it a "frictionless transaction".

Lee Sears, Paramount's president of international markets advertising sales, says advertisers want scale and reach, as well as targeting; being associated with great content and creativity.

“We want a solution that provides all of that for them. We’re deploying something we call convergent trading. This gives us the ability to work across our entire ecosystem,” he says.

“One of the things that my job entails is providing that convergence strategy for the team, so they don't work in silos, they work together as one across the entire portfolio. It gives one entry point to all clients and agencies.”

The network aims to provide simplicity as well as premium brand-safe content, because that's the other thing that's really important for clients - to be brand safe, says Sears.

“They want to create awareness, they want to ensure that they're telling stories to reach audiences in the most efficient and safest way," he says.

The overall market, given the economic headwinds this country faces, is challenging, says Prosser.

“That said, we're having some really good conversations just this week with our consortium partners and some of our advertisers around a much stronger second half,” he says.

“We're certainly seeing some green shoots or at least visibility of green shoots. In terms of what’s selling, we've got some noisy programming currently on Ten, and are of course just about to go into a new MasterChef season, which also carries a lot of sponsorship partnership on revenue. Advertisers are really looking for that noisy, integrated format.”

In the subscription video on demand (SVOD) space, Sears says he’s seeing the emergence of more players. 

“Everybody, within reason, is providing ad tiers to them. If we look internationally, not all of the SVOD players in the US are in our market yet,” he says.

“We’ve been in the market in the US for a number of years with an ad tier, and we launched a couple of weeks ago with the ad tier in Canada.”

What's happening in the space, says Sears, is those tiers starting to create their own identity. 

What’s happening now, and what he’s been seeing for some time, is agencies and clients wanting to be a part of that, he says.

“They recognise that there's audiences there. For the last year or two, I've had people asking for pricing and what it costs to buy advertising on Paramount+ before we’ve even launched an ad tier,” says Sears.

“What we know is that people want to be a part of it. What Rod and I are doing is making sure that we're building the best team possible to service that to all of our agencies and clients.”

Paramount sees its competition as any platform that gets the attention of a human being, says Prosser.

“That eyeballs are fixated on. We're much more than a free-to-air service, much more than an AVOD service. We simply can't just look at Seven or Nine for example, as our main competitors -  we just don't view it that way anymore,” he says.

“Of course, they're all competitors. But the one Paramount offers a very unique position in this market that allows us to compete in a very strong manner against all of those players. And all of those SVOD players as well.”

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