Australia is one of the world’s leading online advertising markets. So how will the year ahead play out in the nascent field of “programmatic” TV advertising? TV companies have to get onboard or risk being left behind, says one sector exec.

“2015 will be the year many of them realize they’ve got to get on this programmatic TV journey to imp the relevance of TV in this digital era,” according to Mark Frain, sales head of MCN, a joint venture of News Corp’s Australian subsidiaries Foxtel and Fox Sports which sells ads on channels. “If they don’t , doomsayers about TV will be proved right.”

Frain’s MCN is already making in-roads on that journey. In October, it announced it was going “fully programmatic” by launching a private marketplace using AOL, as WSJ reported.

The firm, whose assets number 68 television channel brands and 122 websites including Fox8 and Fox Footy, recently launched its own initiatives this year to, Fraine says, “apply the dynamics of programmatic in a digital sense and bring that to linear TV:”

  • “We brought in a platform called Landmark to give us the opportunity to automate the linear TV buying and selling process.”
  • “We invested in a data product we called Multiview – that’s a 110,000-home panel. That allows us to start to change the conversation away from buying demographics to buy real consumer segments. We’re seeing the majority of our advertisers using that data panel…”

A new Foxtel set-top box, iQ3, that is “100% IP-driven”, will further allow advertisers to buy household-level addressable ads in the next year, Frain says.

We spoke with him this week at a taping of industry titled Why TV Advertising Will Never Be the Same. The event was co-produced at AOL in partnership with Beet.TV.  For more videos, please visit this page.’