Still no MD but SpotXchange forges ahead with network talks

By Lucy Carroll | 20 August 2015

Despite the ongoing absence of a local MD, SpotXchange's vice president of programmatic TV, Randy Cooke, is in Sydney this week to meet with Channel Nine, Seven, MCN and SBS in an attempt to get major networks to embrace the “nebulous” world of programmatic TV.

The VP told AdNews the major challenge facing the Australian market is the lack of IP TV infrastructure which leads to an inability to immediately discover their audiences.

“Access to consumer data through set top boxes also remains a major hurdle between broadcasters and cable operators in Australia,” Cooke said.

“In the US, firms such as Rentrak provide insights into set top boxes and I haven't heard of similar services mentioned in my early meetings here. The demand to harvest set top data from operators hasn't been strong in Australia.”

With marketers pushing for more depth to their audiences, he revealed SpotXchange is set to announce a new platform within the next six weeks - created with IP software company Clypd – that will allow broadcasters to “holistically manage their inventory and monetise fragmented audiences across channels whether it's broadcast, on-demand, catch-up TV or mobile.”

“I think one of the big challenges is that the distribution channels are all siloed. This gives them the ability to tie them all together,” Cooke said.

“Quite frankly I don't see free-to-air broadcasters en masse are ever going to switch over the bulk of their broadcasting invent to programmatic transactions. What they'll find is there'll be a tipping point where the focus on monetising digital streams becomes far more profitable for them.”

Despite hailing from the same company, Cooke strongly disagrees with former Australian MD Matt Von der Muhll's controversial comments to AdNews earlier this year that the company is having to “drag TV kicking and screaming into the programmatic TV revolution”.

“I don't think they are comments that are a reflection of the established culture of TV. There are particular sensitivities that need to be paid to an industry that's been very successful for 50 years. I hope we are building something that broadcasters want and will embrace," he said.

Daniel Rowlands, APAC director of supply said one of the major changes for the Australian arm of SpotXchange will be the likely relocation of the MD to the Asia Pacific region, with the new head to be announced within the next six months.

“There is a talent shortage and we've been very specific in who we want,” he said. “Our focus is shifting towards Asia and South East Asia so we're potentially looking at relocating our MD to be centralised in APAC. We've had a lot of interest and have a very specific candidate in mind who is really going to grow the Asia region for us.”

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus