Several of the ad industry’s biggest media-buying agencies have begun notifying local broadcasters that effective next month, they need to begin using a new technology platform for processing their local TV advertising buys. In letters sent to station groups and their reps in the past week, at least two big media shops requested that their sales counterparts begin working with startup Hudson MX to “accept orders, submit makegoods, and provide station logs leveraging TIP (or TVB) compliant APIs or interfaces.”
Given its success over the last five months, observers say that Hudson has now become one of three major players in the automated spot business, alongside WideOrbit (which also handles trafficking data for the most U.S. TV stations) and Mediaocean (which supplies major media agencies with accounting and planning software functions).
Developers of the software or platforms that make automated spot sales possible will be demanding a small percentage of the business they handle, possibly up to 1.5%. With broadcasters’ ringing up several billion in national spot sales each year, the automation fees could quickly run into tens of millions of dollars.
The automation logjam is breaking up with companies like Hudson MX, Videa, WideOrbit and ProVantageX in play. The business has reached a critical mass, according to some observers. But with so many competitors, there’s the likelihood that there will be a winnowing down of platforms with time. And frictions remain to be ironed out — most notably handling makegoods automatically.