Upfront season: Nine ushers in e-commerce, retail media and adtech plays to woo more advertisers

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

Kicking off the media upfront season, Nine Entertainment has outlined its commercial ambition to capture small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and retail media owners, in a bid to engage with communities that don’t always have total TV advertising at the front of their minds.

During an event at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion on Wednesday night, the media group delivered three key adtech, partnership and e-commerce offerings that marked the group’s attempt at further diversifying the composition of its advertisers.

No budget for a big TV ad? AI will help you out

At the front of Nine’s technology offering in 2024 is a self-serve portal that aims to level the playing field for SMBs when it comes to TV advertising.

Ben Campbell, Nine’s director of advertising and data products at Nine, gives a sneak peek of Nine Ad Manager at the upfront

With the ability to target audiences using age and sex demographics, postcode and Nine’s 9Tribes audience segments, Nine Ad Manager will allow any business to buy a campaign across its broadcast-video-on-demand inventory, 9Now.

However, that’s only part of the problem – Nine says that despite spending $1.5 billion on social video collectively, the average SMB is shy in approaching TV ads, partly due to the large production budget required.

Nine Ad Manager’s AI integration will allow clients to enter their business website’s URL, from which the platform collates images, text, branding and colour palettes, creating a scripted video with AI-generated voice-over. The technology is expected to also be launched across Nine’s digital audio and digital display inventory in the future.

With its eyes on the real estate industry, the company will look to leverage its majority-owned listing platform, Domain, with the potential of turning more than half a million properties listed every year into TV commercials.

Retail media also on the hit list

A new partnership program with retail media, RTLX, is also among the commercial announcements Nine put forward for next year, which serves as an official callout to owners such as Cartology, Coles 360 and David Jones’ Amplify.

Nine is offering retail media partners access to its content to be displayed on their platforms, and to the media company’s development teams to leverage existing data and advertising products.

Sam Brennan, Nine’s director of sales Melbourne, has been tasked with leading the department under the new title of director of strategic partnerships – retail media.

He will lead the new integrated team with research, insight, strategy, creative, production, econometric modelling and commercial capability leveraging cross-platform resources from Powered – Nine’s marketing service team.

Expanded e-commerce solution

Meanwhile, Nine will also dive deeper into affiliate marketing by expanding its e-commerce media solutions across its entire editorial portfolio.

The company first tapped into the e-commerce space with the launch of Product Reviews in November 2022 – a site in the network. But now, advertisers can expect to also reach the readers of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Brisbane Times and WAToday.

By establishing a dedicated e-commerce division, Nine promises to make use of its de-duplicated monthly digital readership of 16.4 million Australians. Nine’s expanded proposition will span tech, travel, style, beauty, parenting, living, kitchen, health and fitness, with other verticals to follow later.


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