Multi Channel Network (MCN) has announced the launch of Smarthub – its new proprietary platform that will facilitate the trading, tracking and reporting of automated bookings for broadcast linear TV.

The platform is available to all agency groups across the country, and will provide ease of transaction for bookings across MCN’s linear subscription and Free To Air television channels, plus digital video platforms.

To begin, Smarthub will facilitate Programmatic TV (PTV) trading on the Foxtel network, replacing the current AOL platform used to book and trade subscription TV campaigns.

Programmatic TV bookings will be available for 40 targeted behavioural segments from Multiview – MCN’s 200,000 home audience panel as well as via OzTAM demographics.

Smarthub will later include a digital video inventory utilising Multiview segments and programmatic trading on Network Ten’s digital channels.

“Smarthub aims to help accelerate the adoption of automated trading, which is fast becoming the growth area for Australia’s media sector as clients can receive both the data segmentation and trading delivery benefits from digital, plus the mass scale and reach of linear broadcast television,” said a company spokesperson.

“With the increasing concerns around brand safety on video-based platforms, and tech vendors retreating from supply side trading platforms, the solution also ensures the market can continue trading TV efficiently through a secure and locally produced portal.”

Smarthub, MCN’s third platform launch to market in the PTV space, has been designed to connect MCN to its buy-side customers using a simple and interactive interface built in collaboration with IPONWEB, an AI, data and engineering company.

MCN Chief Technology and Systems Operations Officer, Angela Goodsir, said the development of the platform was testament to MCN’s commitment to provide first to market products for the industry that truly change the way we transact media bookings.

“MCN has a strong pedigree in building PTV platforms for broadcast linear inventory, and so developing Smarthub was a natural expansion of our automation roadmap,” she said.

“The platform will allow brands to connect with highly targeted audiences and move away from blunt age/gender demographics for subscription broadcast linear TV and then, ultimately, Free to Air digital channels and digital video, all within one system. The platform’s local roots will also ensure we can be agile and meet the market’s ever changing needs quickly and effectively.”

According to Goodsir IPONWEB is recognised as a global leader in programmatic real time ad technology and infrastructure.

“This capability means MCN has the potential for integration and connectivity into the digital mindset and ecosystem for further advanced advertising models for broadcast.”

A key foundation partner of MCN’s PTV offering, Dentsu Aegis Network’s programmatic and buying arm, Amnet, have been trading PTV with MCN since 2015. According to a company spokesperson, automated buying is driving more surety in market as well as reducing wastage.

“Automation helps brands better connect with their consumers in a highly targeted fashion and investment into systems that will help expand this thinking to broadcast linear TV is a huge step in driving the growth of this trading model.”

MCN’s Programmatic TV offering was originally launched in 2015. It was the world’s first private programmatic trading market allowing media agencies the ability buy behavioural targeted segments for their clients across traditional linear TV through a private exchange, just like they would buy online targeted video advertising.

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