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State of the Media - Peter Miller - AdStream


Through 'State of the Media' we regularly ask the most successful people in our industry to offer their views and opinions on issues and events surrounding advertising, media and marketing.

This time it's a pleasure to present long time media industry professional Peter Miller who will be known to many of you.

Thanks to Peter for taking the time to get involved and for sharing his views...

Tell us about yourself – how did you start in our industry, your career path and your current role?

I commenced my career as a media researcher for ACP fresh from University, mainly working in readership analysis. Then progressed to advertising sales and held a number of great portfolios with the print media majors including ACP; News; Fairfax and Pacific through the ‘80’s and 90’s.

I was appointed MD of Adstream in 2004, a year after it launched and I have been running the Australian business for exactly 10 years as you’ve asked! In that time we have become quite a force and focus on streamlining advertising processes across television; radio; print; cinema and outdoor. We launched a DSP last year and are now doing good digital business too. My aim is to build this business based on understanding the pain points in advertising and applying salves!  But we also see opportunities for our customers to improve their businesses and add value to that process. Our media partners – broadcasters and publishers  – are really important to us because we seek to ensure on time delivery and creative fidelity in every medium.

What services does Adstream provide the market?

Our main business is in QA and distribution of commercial content : TVC’s; radio spots; DCP’s destined for the cinemas; print advertising. We also serve digital campaigns. Importantly we hold creative ‘assets’ in the AdBank where they can be accessed by clients and re-purposed or versioned.

As a long time industry professional what have been some of the most significant changes throughout your career?

When I joined the publishing business everyone was a specialist. Now most people have developed generalist cross –media skills. So that is a big change. Also in the 80’s and 90’s there was a great deal of trust and intuition in business relationships; campaign development and in commercial deal-making. Much of that has given over to metrics and accountability and contracts. I still do handshake deals though! Love ‘em!

Also the full service agency was in full swing at the bar when I started then the media agencies got into the game and then into ascendency. There is much talk of the value of a more unified approach for clients around the place these days. Finally, you have the digital transformation which commenced with business tools, but then impacted to business to consumer market. I mean the single biggest commercial change has been to Search and therefore to marketing. That has been huge. And then of course Social Networking and how much time people spend o that. Amazing. And Mobile which is just out of the blocks.

What is your view of our media trading industry – what state is it in?

Well it is amazingly dynamic as all media strive to broaden the arc of their connection to consumers, and deepen their experience. I mean, video used to be the province of the TV networks now specialist websites about basket weaving or air guns can offer video, content and advertising, as well as the newspapers.

I think the media brands will win out over people trawling though un-curated shite in search of free editorial. I was energized to see that the New York Times, which was an early mover in digital subscriptions and Axel Springer which was not, are both generating significant profits from digital these days.

What challenges do you see for our industry?

Well, economic uncertainty but that is not new. Can someone send me Joe Hockey so I can teach him how to sell. That guy is such a downer. He could make a winning the lottery sound disappointing. I think the brains trust is threatened as there are fewer jobs in journalism and young folk might not think it’s an attractive career when it is. I think this will impact editorial standards. I think media buyers have caned newspapers and magazines suggesting they are out of touch with consumers,

What do you think the industry can do right now to address the challenges you raise?

Well, be successful and grow their markets – media and agency alike. Advertising needs to be celebrated and the media deserves more praise than it gets.

What good things do you see happening in our industry?

I see fearless journalism and reporting as well as vibrant advertising ideas every day.

How do you think our industry will evolve in 5 years time - what's ahead?

Well, mobile, in a  word. And targeting according to the number of freckles you have on your nose.

What advice can you offer those who are starting in our industry and see it as a long term career?

Have the courage of your convictions.

How do you keep up to date with the market – what trade media do you consume, events attended, industry organisations are you involved with?

Well I scan the e- newsletters, yours included Denise! And the local and some international trade magazines plus the Harvard Business Review. I attend the odd conference like mUmbrella360 and search things I don’t get. The rest I make up.

Thank you.

  • If you you'd like to share your views through 'State of the Media'  - please get in touch


Further Resources

  • State of the Media - follow on from The State of the Media research (co-produced by TrinityP3 & MediaScope & presented at Mumbrella360 in June) this series continues to raise awareness of the challenges facing the media industry.
  • Q&A Profiles - tap directly into opinions and market views from over 200 of the most experienced and successful professionals in Australia's advertising and media market.


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