Programatic Buying: The New Reality

Staff Writer

Commercial Radio Australia has taken the  first step in a fully operational all of industry automated holdings system to buy Airtime.

The CRA Automation and Programmatic Committee established late in 2015 and chaired by NOVA Entertainment chief executive officer, Cathy O’Connor, has selected AudioNET to create automated holding software that will allow agencies to interact with all radio stations’ traffic management systems. 

Cathy O’Connor said: “An industry wide automated holdings system will make radio easy to transact with and is the first step for radio as an industry to move forward into the automated transaction space.”


The system will cover the needs of all 261 CRA member stations  with tech can integrate with pre-existing traffic and yield management systems and will be the first fully operational common automated holdings system to operate across an entire media industry in Australia. It will allow a media agency to view radio spots matched to their system, as well as spots that have been changed and allow them to accept the changes or query them with the station.

The software has been developed, testing between agencies and stations will take place in the first quarter of 2017.  Rollout will follow across stations and the target is to have the system operational across the entire industry by the third quarter 2017.

Joan Warner, chief executive officer of CRA said:  “We’re very pleased to be partnering with AudioNET on this exciting development for the radio industry, which we believe to be an Australian and possibly world first.  It’s an all of industry approach allowing automation and simplification of the interaction between the media buyer and a radio station.” 

AudioNET chief executive officer, Dave Cox said: AudioNET is passionate about making radio advertising more attractive, relevant and profitable.  Together with CRA we’re creating solutions to allow agencies, advertisers and radio networks to seamlessly deliver effective radio campaigns.”

In addition to increasing efficiency, the automated holdings system will reduce the enormous amount of paperwork generated by the ad booking process.  AudioNET estimates stations and agencies across Australia each year generate paper that if stacked would reach 170 metres high, as tall as the Australia Square Tower in the Sydney CBD.  

The second phase of the process will investigate data segmentation. This investigation will commence in early 2017 and will review all of the rich research data already available such as GfK ratings, online and app statistics and consumer insights research.  In partnership with agencies, the industry aims to identify and establish data segments that integrate the massive amount of data already collected in relation to commercial radio for use by advertisers and agencies.

The third phase will build on the achievements and feedback of the first two to develop an appropriate approach for the commercial radio industry to programmatic trading. 



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