Decades after the major digital media platforms cultivated a marketplace for trading display, mobile and online video inventory in real time, the industry is quietly applying technology to trading legacy media that way, too.
This morning, a promising new developer, Hudson MX, announced a deal with radio broadcasting giant Entercom to offer its conventional radio advertising inventory via a real-time transactional interface.
To date, 19 agencies have beta-tested the interface, dubbed BuyerAssist, to connect more than 700 radio buyers with more than 2,500 of their radio sales counterparts in 210 markets nationwide.
The beta, which represented the budgets of more than 300 national advertisers, processed more than $50 million of local radio ad buys in real time.
Based on the success of the test, Hudson MX is making the platform available for any agency or advertiser to use for radio. The offering comes two months after a couple of major ad agencies (Interpublic’s UM and Initiative and Dentsu Aegis Network’s Amplifi) began notifying local TV broadcast sales organizations that they were moving to BuyerAssist for their TV ad buys.
The reason, says Dentsu Aegis Network Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Local Audio and Video Jennifer Hungerbuhler, is that the the platform is making it easir for its buyers to automate “certain processes that allow our teams to transact local buys more efficiently.
“We will continue to push for efficiencies that deliver incremental value to our clients, including a fully automated transactional process, the capability to layer in first-party data, greater transparency into campaign management, as well as the ability to fluidly move dollars between digital and linear broadcasting,” she said.
From the looks of it, a long overdue move toward greater efficiencies. But beware the temptation to spy on listeners. That's the slippery slope down which advertising slid to become direct marketing in the online publishing world—and hated thoroughly. Making digital advertising personal was a direct cause of ad blocking—the biggest boycott in world history—and laws such as the GDPR in Europe and the CCPA in California.
Joe, I have long felt that unlike TV, radio time buying is better suited to what might be called programmatic or a mostly automated approach. This is because most radio buys are daypart oriented and except for sports and certain types of stations---talk and all- sports----buyers are not that concerned with the performance of individual shows.Also, the agencies will welcome anything that speeds the process---often a tedious one---of grinding through the rating reports trying to evaluate which stations target what groups and how they rate in terms of CPMs. The question of course, is what's the cost of the new system relative to the anticipated person power savings? Also, one wonders whether the stations will continue to pay their national rep fees for national buys they handle directly. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.