TV networks weigh up sales revolution

James McGrath
By James McGrath | 27 May 2015
Ten's chief digital officer, Rebekah Horne

As the future of television, and what that actually means, remains in flux, networks and their sales units are thinking about the future of selling spots and dots as well.

Speaking at the AdNews Media Summit on Friday, Network Ten's chief digital officer, Rebekah Horne, said that the network is currently weighing up how it structures its ad units within its online catch-up inventory, to better appeal to digital natives.

“What is the advertising experience?” she asked. “Because, frankly, when you're talking about a catch-up scenario where you're watching it on your phone which is your most intimate device, and we're jamming four or five ads into that model because that's what we've done in linear, we're reimagining what that might look like.

“Would an advertiser pay for a minute of time and would there be a premium in that rather than four or five ads?" she said.

Horne also called Ten's catch-up service, Tenplay, a “trojan horse” to integrate into platforms where potential customers are, such as AppleTV.

The admission comes as all networks weigh up how to best sell their online long-form inventory.

Earlier this month Nine jumped in ahead of OzTAM with a Platform Agnostic Ratings for Content tool, harmonising the way its online and linear broadcast inventory is measured.

Speaking at the summit, Nine's sales boss, Peter Wiltshire, said that the move was aimed at delivering more packaged deals for advertisers.

“We're in market at the moment with an offer that really allows advertisers to follow a piece of content around that journey [from linear to replay to online],” he said.

Media buyers have previously told AdNews they were being offered package deals by the network, but that it wouldn't necessarily gain them an advantage.

“From a Nine Network perspective it’s a nice way for Nine to package their offering," IPG Mediabrands chief investment officer Victor Corones said.

"But in the absence of an industry currency, agency teams will continue to unbundle to do their necessary evaluations."

Wiltshire also looked further into the future, saying the CPM would eventually die.

“We're being taken to a place where the CPM is no longer part of the conversation. Because it won't be about a basic buying metric which is one-dimensional, always driven to the lowest common denominator,” Wiltshire said.

“The CPM will die.”

You can read more about the death of the CPM in Friday's print edition of AdNews. You can subscribe here or access editions of the magazines instantly on iPad here.

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