Media buyers on Nine’s Galaxy and its attention to attention

During the Nine Upfronts, Nine announced an extension of its Nine Galaxy ad buying platform to include regional ad sales and a new piece of research on attention, with Amplified Intelligence.

According to Nine, around 40% of Nine’s off-peak and multi-channel bookings are made through Nine Galaxy. Mumbrella spoke with ad buyers to see what they think of the offering, and how significant these latest changes are.

“Dentsu are supportive and engaged with the adoption of Galaxy to help drive efficiencies for our clients, however there are some limitations with the system,” says Carat chief investment officer, Craig Cooper.

“In particular, the Peak timezone on the main channel has historically been unavailable for Galaxy trading – so time will tell if all inventory will be made available and thereby maximising the overall attractiveness of this platform.”

He says that with the integration of regional TV via the new affiliation with WIN into the system Nine may be able to pull off a true Total TV buying transaction, which is what it is aiming to do.

“If we remember a few years back, this was attempted by one of their competitors and wasn’t successful,” muses Cooper. “Perhaps with Bruce Gordon being the largest shareholder of both Nine and WIN businesses, may afford them ultimate success in this space.”

Chris Walton, from Nunn Media is also skeptical. “The concept is clear but the value proposition needs honing, including key aspects such as price and quality,” he says.

“There is no denying that the world is heading this way, and we will adopt on a client-by-client basis as and when it makes sense for them, not Nine.”

GroupM’s general manager of investment, Claire Butterworth, says the group is using Galaxy extensively and it has so far been a good experience.

“We have found that the results that Nine Galaxy delivers are in line with our expectations, and it helps the agencies mitigate risk. Where we use it, we have had a lot of success, but we don’t use it across all of our dayparts across all of our channels.”

Several buyers, including Butterworth and Cooper are expecting regional to become more of a focus, as city-dwellers migrate to regional areas for a “tree-change” as part of an ongoing change to work behaviours in a post-COVID world.

“ I think as we find the migration to regional areas more important, regional television, BDI and CDI will become more important,” exclaims Butterworth. “ I also think that the industry has done a great job with Boomtown in recent years to highlight any misconceptions on what regional Australia’s consumption and profile is. It does feel like a natural extension, and obviously being backed by Nine’s team and then integrated through Galaxy will certainly make transactions that much easier.”

Along with the regional integration, Galaxy is also moving to a Cost Per Thousand (CPM)-based trading model for total TV campaigns.

“Clients are becoming receptive to the CPM method, as they can relate it back to other media and create efficiencies within the TV buying landscape,” says Havas Media Australia group investment director, Michelle Lee.

“But a lot of smaller clients are still relying on spots and dots in order to sell their advertising campaigns to outside stakeholders or an internal salesforce. Also digital only clients will find the transition to buying TV easier as the CPM buying model matures.”

Nik Doble, head of trading at OMD Melbourne, says clients are comfortable with CPM buying, “but they are equally comfortable” with fixed-placement in channels built on that history, and where contextual relevance is a key consideration. “The key is getting the blend right,” he says.

Magna managing director, Nick Durrant, says the ability to buy across platforms via Nine’s Galaxy is “incredibly significant” for clients, as audiences do not recognise the difference between platforms, “they only recognise the content they are consuming”.

Lee says that cross-platform integration is an area that is still young for a lot of clients, but is increasingly becoming the way of the future. “It enables agencies the opportunity to deliver scale with one provider, driving an understanding amongst clients as to what they are actually getting for their budget and again providing consistency in reporting across multiple channels,” she states.

Cooper sums up the initiative with: “The addition of BVOD, regional and radio within the Galaxy platform, the potential of this evolved multi-format automated trading platform can only be positive for agencies and advertisers.”

As campaigns become increasingly integrated, Walton says the days of “bunging a bit of TV money in the direction of minnow media” are thankfully long gone.

On the research front, Pearman Media’s Steve Allen says advertisers have been on this for the past 20 years. “They are far more interested in how engaged the audience is, not just the size of the audience,” he tells Mumbrella.

“Programs like The Block, have the opportunity to integrate advertising within the program, with advertisers that would not necessarily be on television.

“This is important, not purely for the fact of integration, but also because no matter where that program is then viewed, the advertising sponsor is part of it, whereas advertising alone does not always follow it.”

Hatched managing director, Jack Byrne share a similar sentiment: “It was most pleasing to hear about Nine’s commitment to measuring genuine attention and their partnership… It has never been more important for advertising to garner genuine attention and create impact in such a cluttered world.

“To quote Professor Byron Sharp, ‘Reach without attention is pointless’. Attention is an art and science we are placing a lot of focus on creating for our clients at Hatched.”

Meanwhile for Walton, news of this research, along with the evolutions in data and technology that Nine announced, “was the most impressive aspect of the Upfronts”.


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