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2014 Forecasts - Stephen Hunt - TubeMogul


Stephen Hunt, Managing Director of TubeMogul (Aust & NZ) offers his in-depth predictions for the year ahead...

  • 2014 Predictions - more of Australia's most senior people share their forecasts

2014 - The Year of Broadcast?
As digital advertisers take a breather after a turbulent and frenetic year, its time to have a think about what the next twelve months will deliver in terms of more change.MediaScope 2014 - Stephen Hunt - TubeMogul
The year of mobile has been coming, for years.  I don’t think 2014 will be it, but the foundations have been laid for 2015.  Mobile is structurally challenged and though things are moving fast, there are inherent barriers to progress for anyone who doesn’t own the pipes.
Apple, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google are all positioned strongly, but are yet to play nice enough for the market to standardise and take off.  That said, mobile was a big focus for TubeMogul in 2013 and it’s importance will grow in 2014 as new technology emerges.
Audience measurement made great strides in 2013 too, but will have similar challenges to mobile as four companies compete to have their approach adopted as a currency.  Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) will be put under increasing pressure from comScore’s validated Campaign Essentials (VCE). 

At the same time, Nielsen and comScore will be challenged by Google and the Multi Channel Network (MCN) who are talking up their respective approaches to solving the multi-screen dilemma. The competition will be intense and I predict the market will split across these players.
Nielsen would appear to have an early lead thanks to their inclusion of Facebook data in their panel modelling, and due to the recent acceptance by Google to allow them to measure YouTube.  Audience measurement in the broadcast world is typically concerned with age and gender, which is largely available depending on the advertisers you are aligned with.
If I had to sum it all up, I’d say 2014 is going to be ‘The Year of Broadcast’.
I don’t mean TV and I don’t mean online video.  I mean broadcasting communication to people.  For decades, media has been planned in silos but 2013 laid the foundation for marketers to zero in on consumer-centric media buying, or a screen-agnostic approach.
It doesn’t mean online video is cannibalising TV, or mobile is robbing desktop, it means we are marketing to people instead of channels and that is a monumental step forward for the industry.  The big driver for this has been the programmatic branding revolution.
Practically all of the agencies in Australia have embraced programmatic trading for their online video and are now focused on mining that data first, and using second party data with their DMP’s (Data Management Platforms) to help them identify the audiences they are putting their advertising in front of.
The third party data market in Australia has historically lacked scale and transparency, relegating it to little more than sales spin rather than having any real impact. 

This perception changed rapidly when Eyeota launched into the market bringing scale and focus to the local market with access to a vast array of data including Experien’s Mosaic segments.  The status quo was rocked and we now see the old guard data firms such as BlueKai and Acxiom pulling their socks up making this space an exciting one to watch in 2014.
Of course, all this data is meaningless unless it is actionable.  
For agencies, the data revolution is a challenge as much as it presents an opportunity.  Many set up trading desk functions to house programmatic trading functions and data management as early as 2011.  It’s been fascinating to watch as the space has evolved and put pressure on traditional media aggregators – the ad networks and site representation businesses.  Figures from research house SMI tell a clear story as these businesses either transform into ad exchanges like TVN has done or continue to decline into irrelevance.
While some agencies made the trading desk model work from the get-go, not all got it right first time.  In some cases they are only now starting to win but I would predict that very few agencies will defy the trend, and those who don’t adopt programmatic will suffer.  As this trend amplifies, one of the biggest challenges the trading desks will have to face is a lack of experienced talent.
Those businesses who accepted that programmatic trading experience didn’t really exist at any scale recruited and trained an army of their own entry level staff, combined with smart graduates while others dug deep into their pockets to pay top dollar and recruitment fees for anyone with any idea or experience.  Recruitment firms quickly established dedicated divisions to capitalise on the opportunity evolving to become a conduit between the traditional media world and the programmatic future.
The combination of young, smart traders who now have one to two years of experience under their belts, the few entrepreneurs who started the revolution moving to their next challenges, and the emergence of experienced traditional media professionals making the leap to join the programmatic revolution will see gradual liquidity arrive to the talent market.  I wouldn’t say it’s a flood yet, but we’re off and racing.
With all this said, who will be the winners?  My bet is that only those who are laser-focused on their particular niche will prevail.  Programmatic branding is an explosive space with many players fighting for supremacy.  If you’re not brilliant, you won’t even get a start.  The bar has been set very high by the existing players and we’ve already seen major international businesses totally under-estimate the expectations of the Australian market to their peril.  Trying to be everything to everyone distracts you from being amazing at what you do best.  Those in the broadcast space are presiding over a market that is now doing ‘great’ things and I can’t wait to see what happens next year.

Stephen Hunt is Managing Director of TubeMogul (Aust & NZ)

  • 2014 Predictions - more of Australia's most senior people share their forecasts


Further Resources

  • Suzanne Magill - Head of Broadcast at TMS - one of Australia's largest independent media agencies talks about the future of TV trading
  • Digital People - Forecasts for the year ahead - 2013 - 2012
  • MediaScapes - well-known visual guides to a growing range of media channels & industry landscapes including digital, cinema, tv, outdoor & agencies


Other Pages of Interest