Seven upfront: Media buyers react

This is part of Mumbrella’s coverage of the 2024 upfront season. Click here to see other articles in the series. 

Seven made a number of huge announcements at the station’s upfront yesterday, held at the ICC as part of South by Southwest Sydney.

They introduced a new advertising platform, a number of partnerships, a slew of new programming, and a massive AFL rights deal. You can read about this in more detail here, and we recommend you do, otherwise you’ll be puzzling over why the word ‘phoenix’ is being used so much in this article.

Read how the media buyers felt about Seven’s shiny new set of wares, below.

Marianne Lane, Head of Investment, Kaimera

Phoenix is an exciting proposition. As an industry we welcome technology which means an increase in effectiveness and the death of makegoods, because quite frankly, we’ve spent countless hours chasing them and it’s tedious for both agencies and the TV Networks. To have a platform which enables us to buy across all screens with guaranteed audience in a matter of minutes is a game changer.

Seven’s plans to add premium, exclusive content to 7plus in 2024 is not surprising. It’s clearly worked for them this year with NBCUniversal content, so it makes sense.


Joanna Barnes, PHD Australia’s National Head of Investment:

Having been to a number of Seven upfronts over the years, this one really stood out as their most impressive. They have a clear long term strategy and you could see the confidence that they have in their content, technology and data offering going into 2024 which is compelling for advertisers and brands.

The ability to deliver mass cultural moments that entertain, inform and inspire audiences makes Seven and 7Plus a destination. They are the leaders in the market when it comes to convergence trading and it was pleasing to see the investment that they have made in evolving this even further through the new Phoenix platform.

Phoenix will provide buyers with enhanced accuracy and consistency to drive audience outcomes for clients and having been the first agency to trial convergence trading last year with Seven, I am especially looking forward to seeing this fully operational. The Databricks partnership builds on their AI capabilities and positions Seven as a leader in delivering a personalised experience for viewers.


Louis Mayne, Foundation’s Head of Investment:

Is being #1 TV network enough for clients these days? Especially when there is a lot of negative publicity around declining TV audiences. Seven did a great job at showing the scale they still have with some impressive audience numbers from this year, namely that their network reaches 17 million people monthly. Dancing with the Stars, The Voice, and Farmer Wants a Wife have all reached more people in 2023 than they did in 2022, which goes against the narrative that people are not watching TV content.

It showed confidence in their programming that the full slate for 2024 is pretty much set, with all key performing shows returning and a few interesting additions like Made in Bondi and Honeymoon Island, both of which should bring in a younger audience. We know that dating programming works well in this market and with Honeymoon Island being touted as MAFS meets Survivor, we could have another big hit on our hands.

Seven are currently the leader when it comes to converged TV campaigns and the additional capabilities that Phoenix will bring will only further build on that. The introduction of regional inventory, streamlining of the converged booking process and better reporting will mean that there is no excuse for advertisers to not implement campaigns in this way. We know clients are very keen to have less conversations around makegoods!

Whilst the introduction of new data partnerships with View Media Group and Raiz Invest aren’t game changers by themselves, it’s great to see Seven continuing to build on the already extensive capabilities of 7REDIQ. We are excited to see how granular the Raiz Invest transactional data can get and if there is enough volume within the segments, it is undoubtedly something our clients will be interested in.

I’m keen to learn more about the next phase of their partnership with Databricks, which looks at audience predictions across the next 7 days and beyond. It’s hard for us to predict reach and frequency on BVOD campaigns, so this feels like the step in the right direction to make this easier.

Interestingly, 60% of all viewing on 7Plus is on non-broadcast content, which is higher than I had thought. As Melissa Hopkins has discussed a few times recently, they want to be known for being more than just a catch-up service and it’s clear from these stats and the introduction of new FAST channels that this is the case.

A confident upfront from Seven with some exciting things to come in H2.


Clare Zappia – Media Director – Avenue C

This evening Network Seven greeted the Australian ad industry with a reassuring hug and a determined sight for the future. With the tagline ‘that’s massive’ peppered throughout, Seven sought to reassure us of their ability to drive massive audience scale, quoting 17 million Aussies per month.

This is fuelled by their unmatched 52-week-a-year sport offering, their consistency as number one network for 15 years and the return of all the fan favourites for 2024, of which they also called out audience growth YOY.

We’ve seen the continued commitment to investment in 7Plus in 2023 and into 2024, bringing personalisation and exclusive content to the forefront as well as the additional digital rights for both AFL from September and Cricket from October in 2024. This will be a game changer for Seven in the streaming space as they will expect massive spikes in BVOD viewership when it launches.

It’s clear with the focus on both 7 and 7Plus capabilities and trading innovation that Seven are keen to take back some of that Meta and Google share of spend. AI technology, new data partners and a revived trading platform will allow advertisers to trade across linear and BVOD for the first time ever. This will shake up the market and allow advertisers access to mass or defined audiences at the right moments.

All in all Seven are committed to delivering a well-oiled machine in 2024. After a few years of fighting for the right rights and the best tech, they are now in a position to ‘let the phoenix fly’ and be a real contender for #1 in their first year without the Olympics.

Nick Behr, Chief Executive Officer / Founder, Kaimera

It was a succinct presentation, using their talent perfectly to take us through the night of what is to come in 2024. Through their Phoenix product and general BVOD programming, including AFL and cricket, it was a solid set up for 2024 while future proofing the decline of linear. Now that’s massive.



Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.