Audience engagement has been through highs and lows so far in 2019. While some programs have far exceeded expectations, other sure-fire hits have failed to deliver. And although predicting audiences has always been a challenge for the average TV buyer, the nature of today’s market has elevated this challenge significantly: consumers now watch TV how they want, when they want.

Dynamic trading has been floated as the answer to delivering a guaranteed outcome on TV campaigns, countering marketing volatility. This Seed assesses whether dynamic will save us time or, in fact, create more work, and what it will look like in the future.

New challenges often require different solutions
Program volatility means under-deliveries have become increasingly common. As a consequence, chasing and placing makegoods is becoming more difficult as all agencies try to recoup losses on behalf of their clients. This has in turn impacted the quality of makegoods agencies receive, resulting in a ‘take it or leave it’ stand-off that puts clients out of pocket and ultimately negatively impacts the campaign. Furthermore, the original campaign may have been negatively impacted. There’s a reason you planned TARPs for that particular week/day/program. It was to achieve a particular media objective and, in turn, a business objective. If large parts of the schedule under-deliver, it could have serious business implications.

Dynamic trading aims to solve this problem by:

Delivering against a guaranteed audiences and CPM, avoiding shortfalls in a volatile market.
Mitigating risk in an inflationary market.
Speeding up the day-to-day TV buying process so agencies can focus on business metrics and outcomes.

Where is dynamic today and what challenges does it face?
Much time has passed since dynamic trading was announced to the media industry back in October 2017. And although all main FTA networks have invested greatly in the development of automation services over the past two years, 9Galaxy remains the front runner. In actual fact, it’s the only runner: Network Seven’s platform, Code7, and Ten’s platform are currently still in development and have been launched to the wider market.

At the launch of 9Galaxy, Paul Brooks, Nine Director of Sales, Sydney, said: “Nine launched 9Galaxy to make the buying of television easier and to provide both marketers and their agencies with far greater certainty around delivery of audiences through this platform.” 1

So far, 9Galaxy has performed well, delivering on audience guarantees without the need for makegoods. While this provides compelling evidence that automation can work, time will tell whether it will be adopted widely enough to have an impact on the industry as a whole.

What challenges is the industry facing with regards dynamic trading?

– Most importantly, not all FTA networks have a dynamic TV buying platform up and running.
– The systems we use are inflexibility when introducing new buying routes.
– It is not always easy to track and measure a dynamically-bought campaigns.
– Agencies will adapt to change but need to have full confidence in the platform before we educate clients.
– Dynamic is still challenging with audited clients, as auditors do not have enough automated measurable data to provide benchmarks.

What does this mean for agencies and advertisers in the future?
As an industry, I believe we have all recognised the need to evolve against the backdrop of this ever-changing TV landscape. Consequently, our expectation for any new TV buying platform is that it is quick and seamless and finds a way to deliver on client objectives with positive outcomes for both advertiser and agencies.

The results generated by 9Galaxy show that automated TV buying platforms can save time for agency buyers and TV networks, reducing the day-to-day back and forth discussions on audience delivery and shortfalls.

In the near future, we expect all networks will start trading dynamically. However, until all FTA networks systems are operational and aligned, we will be unable to transition and embrace this technology fully.

In the long-term, networks will likely be forced to collaborate on the creation of a single, unified buying system that could also integrate VOZ data and, therefore, optimise across screens. In short, the introduction of dynamic TV buying platforms represents a new and exciting era in TV buying.

References and further reading:
1 Nine press release.
2 AdNews, June 2019, ‘The power of TV automation in a fragmenting video landscape.’

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