B&T goes one-on-one with The Trade Desk’s general manager for Australia and New Zealand, Mitch Waters, to talk turkey about programmatic TV, and whether the end is nigh for traditional TV upfronts.
How do you rate the programmatic TV advertising landscape in Australia compared to our overseas counterparts?
It might be helpful to look at the TV landscape as a whole to answer that question. The most relevant comparison would be with the United States because it highlights the unique characteristics of the Australian market. One of the big differences is the prevalence and market dominance of subscription-based providers or what we might know as cable TV in the US. Currently there are 10 cable TV providers in the US, while in Australia we have one – Foxtel. Here, the big force is still free-to-air.
The key structural differences flow down to how media is bought and sold. In the US, something like 80 per cent of TV ad inventory is sold wholesale during upfronts. Australia has upfronts, but it’s more of a preview-type event – not many advertisers will lock in their commitment at this early stage.
The biggest content story of the last 10 years whether you are in the US or Australia has been the rise of internet TV, Connected TV, OTT (over-the-top) TV or whatever you want to call it – basically Amazon, Netflix, Stan and these types of players. The growth of these services has been nothing short of phenomenal – in the US, three out of four people own a connected TV. What’s interesting for programmatic is that we regard these types of TV services as ‘addressable’ – that is, we can figure out which user is attached to which devices and serve them relevant ads accordingly.
At The Trade Desk, we are currently running connected TV campaigns for a few forward-thinking Aussie advertisers. Despite the US having a much more mature programmatic landscape, as well as a far more variety of TV options, we are not that far behind in the programmatic connected TV sense. We are having the same conversations with agencies/clients in Australia and we face similar education requirements. This further reinforces our experimental nature in Australia.
What are the challenges that advertisers are up against when using programmatic TV? How can they be overcome?
I think audience measurement is the biggest issue that needs to be addressed. There’s no universal standard for measuring connected TV, which of course makes it tricky for traditional TV buyers to fully understand it’s effective targeting and reach. Tools like Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings’ on-target percentage is widely used for online video, however, CTV devices are not accurately captured, so there is a clear need for the metrics to catch up.
Connected TV advertising also got a bit of a bad reputation for not controlling frequency – that’s a nice way of saying advertisers were spamming the same person with the same ad over and over. This was happening because the ability to link up the same user across devices was still in its infancy. We now have much better methods of having visibility on the entire customer journey across devices.
One other challenge we’re seeing is that many media agencies have yet to figure out where exactly their connected TV buy is going to sit. Is it with the digital team, using digital budgets, or the television team? Or somewhere else altogether? The fact that it’s not a settled matter means the buying is shuffled around various people, so no one is getting the expertise they need to buy connected TV really effectively.
What can advertisers expect from The Trade Desk’s newly-launched programmatic TV offering in Australia. How will it be different from other existing offerings?
The Trade Desk platform stands out because our technology allows at-scale identification of users through IP targeting and storing CTV IDS and matching them to TDIDs, with a degree of accuracy that no other platforms (to my knowledge) can replicate. This means those problems of frequency are eliminated, we can apply first or third-party data targeting and the ability to measure across channels really effectively, which allows you to be with the customer on their entire journey.
It’s not specific to connected TV, but all buying on The Trade Desk utilises our unique architecture which uses a system called Bid Factors, as opposed to line items. This results in more dynamic and flexible bidding optimisation, especially when you want to do targeting related to factors like weather and geolocation.
How do you see programmatic TV evolving over the next five years?
As long as audiences continue to cut cords and consumer TV content across their devices, I don’t see how you can efficiently advertise to these audiences without programmatic tools. So, I believe the future is looking incredibly bright. The quality of the content just keeps getting better and better, and the marketplace keeps getting more competitive. Additionally, our technical ability to map devices and deliver on that customer journey I mentioned earlier is improving all the time.
Even though these are all good indications, I’m always wary about how we perceive the world through our ad industry bubble where we assume everyone is under 35 and just watches Netflix. The fact is – and it’s borne out by independent research – that free-to-air TV remains the dominant force in Australia in terms of viewership, and that’s not going to change in a hurry. We need to get better at seeing how we as a programmatic platform can work in innovative ways with free-to-air providers and our clients.
Will programmatic advertising replace the need for the traditional TV upfronts?
I don’t think so. The upfronts are a crucial part of demonstrating the upcoming slate of content which is going to get viewers excited about their channels/apps/platforms. We have already seen local upfronts shift to start talking about audiences more and how to target through programmatic tools.
It’s important to remember that programmatic is just an alternative method for buying media. The content is the main event, because at the end of the day, that’s what gets the audience that advertisers need. Think of a gearbox in a car – it’s the mechanism for telling the engine what to do so it runs as efficiently as possible. Programmatic is a tool for transactions that keeps the advertising engine running smoothly.
AIA Australia has unveiled its new brand campaign, encouraging Australians to go ‘all in on something’ in an extension of its successful ‘All or Something’ brand platform. The new campaign comes as AIA Australia this year celebrates the 10-year anniversary of its science backed health and wellbeing program, AIA Vitality. The campaign sees AIA continue […]
Heckler has announced the appointment of award-winning creative director Piotr Stopniak. With a celebrated career in motion graphics and design, Stopniak has enjoyed success in his field, first establishing studio Toby & Pete with friend Toby Pike back in 2009. Starting with typography design and moving into interactive and installation work led Stopniak into show […]
Established industry leader in the Australian marketing and communications space, Elevate Communication has added experienced news executive Tash Jobson (lead image) to its already impressive team of practitioners. Jobson joins Elevate as a media specialist after more than two decades as a journalist and editorial leader, most recently as head of news operations at Southern […]
There are brands that make you feel all soft and gooey inside (usually Pizza-related) and then there’s personal finance. With the cost of living crisis starting to bite and more consumers focusing on budgeting and cutting spending, personal finance might not be an area that fills everyone with glee. This is something CommBank’s CMO Jo […]
Keeping it in Sydney today! The Sydney Swans have had a tough few years, experiencing a devastating loss in the 2022 Grand Final and tumbling out of the finals in the first elimination game in 2023. Welcome back to B&T’s Spotlight on Sponsors series, where we unpack all the major sponsorship news from each NRL and AFL team in the lead-up […]
The Sydney Roosters have not missed a finals series since 2016 and even secured consecutive premierships in 2018 and 2019. With some of the most recognisable and renowned players in the league, Roosters fans are sure the team has what it takes to make it to the final game in 2024. Welcome back to B&T’s Spotlight […]
Apple has warned that the eSafety Commissioner’s proposed standards to tackle online child abuse would threaten user privacy and turn private companies into “arms of the state” by forcing them to comb through private user communications. The tech giant said that child exploitation is “abhorrent” but that it had serious concerns over the proposed new […]
In a (very) welcome trend, the fashion industry is starting to realise that women do actually exist past the age of 40. Older women were very much the flavour of the month at this year’s New York Fashion Week. It is a trend largely kicked off by 58-year-old Swedish-Czech supermodel Paulina Porizkova who set pulses […]
PHD Australia has announced that it has renewed its relationship with the Australian Football League (AFL) to manage their media account. PHD will be responsible for the media planning and buying across the AFL account, which includes the AFLW competition, Game Development programs and Marvel Stadium. The account will be run out of Melbourne and […]
Kargo, a leading provider of full-funnel advertising solutions across mobile, desktop, and TV screens, is excited to announce the launch of CORE (Create Once, Run Everywhere) in APAC. CORE is built on creative science and empowers advertisers to easily use their creative assets across screens for seamless campaign performance at scale. A combination of creativity […]
It was the story that dominated the headlines last month. Australian-Lebanese journalist Antoinette Lattouf was ousted from her radio presenting role at the ABC after she reshared a social media post protesting the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinian civilians. Following the dismissal, Lattouf sent her submission to the Fair Work Commission industrial tribunal. So viewers will […]
Despite the cost-of-living crisis, Australians are still keen to make holiday plans in 2024, with digital audiences for travel searches notching up record numbers in January, according to Ipsos iris data. January travel content had the highest audience since Ipsos iris began, up 2.8 per cent compared to December, and up 4.2 per cent on […]
Australia’s largest independent media agency, Nunn Media, has taken out two major awards at Local Planet’s 2024 Global Conference, including the evening’s top honour of Global Independent Agency of the Year. Rising above more than 75 independent media agencies from 125 markets around the world, Nunn Media was recognised as Global Independent Agency of the […]
Supercars Media and Gravity Media, a world-leading global provider of complex live creative production and media services, today confirmed the broadcast and technology partnership to deliver coverage of this year’s Repco Supercars Championship across Australia and multiple international territories. This year, Gravity Media Australia and Supercars Media will travel more than 40,000 kilometres to deliver […]
Are Media, Australia’s leading omnichannel content company for women, today published the March edition of The Australian Women’s Weekly – with Robert Irwin on the cover. The Wildlife Warrior and I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! host is only the third solo man in modern times to grace the magazine’s cover (the others […]
Exactly one year ago, and on the five year anniversary of the marriage equality vote, Tinder announced the Big Tinder Wedding and commenced a nationwide search for queer couples who found love on the app and wanted an all-expenses-paid dream wedding. Tinder’s latest phase of the campaign aims to celebrate the colourful love stories unfolding […]
DDB executive creative director Matt Chandler has announced the appointment of creative team Emmalie Narathipakorn and Seamus McAlary from The Monkeys, building on the success of its existing creative team. Lead Image: L-R – Emmalie Narathipakorn and Seamus McAlary Narathipakorn, who was an art director at The Monkeys, joins DDB as senior art director, while […]
Thrive PR Melbourne has kicked off the year with new appointments, promotions and a new leadership team, marking the delivery of a transformation strategy that’s seen the agency diversify and strengthen its corporate, consumer and integrated digital service offering in Victoria. Lead image: (L-R) – Sophie Maguire, Melanie Campbell, Nathan McGregor, Zoe Raknes, Erika Rutledge, […]
Forbes Australia has announced a slew of new speakers for its second annual Forbes Australia Women’s Summit: ‘Power Rising’. The ‘Power Rising’ event will take place at the Roslyn Packer Theatre in Sydney, led by a star-studded line up of female speakers. “We often learn as much from stories of hardship and failure as we […]
Iconic Australian ad guru Russel Howcroft and industry up-and-comer Freddie Young from Good One Creative have today launched their experimental, no spin advertising podcast, AdMission, in partnership with 9Podcasts. AdMission tells the uncensored stories behind the world’s most talked about brands, ideas, campaigns, advertising news and industry screw ups, as well as offering sharp insight […]