Established in 1997, MCN is Australia’s leading multi-screen media network, responsible for the advertising interests of 15 capital-city free-to-air channels from Network Ten; more than 70 subscription television channel brands across Foxtel; 107 premium digital publishers websites; 72 apps; online catch-up and streaming TV service Tenplay and 73 Digital-Out-Of-Home screens within 19 premium shopping centres nationally.
MCN was the first sales house in the Australian marketplace to introduce a trading model more akin to digital trading, which allows for an audience based trading model, ultimately helping advertisers optimise their campaigns.
The company – a joint venture between Foxtel, Ten Network and Fox Sports – calls it Dynamic Trading, and rolled the product out last year to Network Ten under the leadership of chief technology and systems operations officer Angela Goodsir.
“As the industry landscape becomes increasingly more complex, sophisticated and automated tools like Dynamic Trading plays a significant role in helping advertisers trade with greater ease, flexibility and efficiency,” Goodsir said.
“As the first Free to Air network in Australia to trade dynamically, this meant Ten’s advertisers could trade audiences rather than just airtime across their assets, helping improve targeting and audience campaign delivery,” she added.
The technical work behind the roll-out was significant, and included transitioning Network Ten’s inventory into Landmark. The Landmark system – developed and launched by Goodsir and her team in 2014 – is well utilised throughout the world, most notably by Sky Media in the UK who transact 250 channels and 30 million spots per annum through the system.
But it was as much a change and stakeholder management challenge as a technology one.
“As the trading model was a first for the Free to Air industry, it was one of the largest and most complicated stakeholder engagement technology initiatives executed for Network Ten. The implementation therefore demanded the delivery of a change management plan that was both rigorous and effective,” Goodsir, who has been in her role at the company since 2002, explained.
This included an intense program of internal communications and engagement with vendors, channels, technical committees and industry bodies.
“A highly engaging, multi-layered consultation process was adopted to achieve the right level of enthusiasm, support and understanding,” Goodsir said.
This year has seen the launch of another MCN innovation; a proprietary platform that facilitates the trading, tracking and reporting of automated bookings for broadcast linear TV called Smarthub. The platform allows brands to connect with highly targeted audiences and “move away from blunt age/gender demographics” for subscription broadcast linear TV and digital video, all within one system.
“With the increasing concerns around brand safety on video-based platforms, and tech vendors retreating from supply side trading platforms, the solution ensures the market can continue trading TV efficiently through a secure and locally produced portal,” Goodsir explained.
“[It is] the next milestone in MCN’s legacy as a market leader of innovative solutions as it’s currently the only platform able to offer true paid TV trading in broadcast linear TV not only locally, but globally,” she added.
Innovating through disruption
In what Goodsir characterises as a “competitive and disrupted industry”, the CTSOO is busy identifying innovations that can help MCN differentiate itself and lead the market.
There is a three step approach to developing ideas into production: executing a disciplined approach to technology, forming partnerships with key technology vendors and re-engineering solutions that bring benefits to MCN.
“These solutions aim to project MCN forward, resolve challenges in the market, whilst always coming back to the company’s fundamental pillars: data, content and ideas,” she says.
Goodsir – who sits within the company’s core strategy team – says her biggest passion is her people and “identifying, encouraging, and mentoring media industry talent”.
To that end she is also a big champion of women in technology, and works within her organisation and beyond to address the imbalance of genders. She has participated in a CSIRO and Charles Sturt University research project on gender enquiry in the Australian Digital Economy, and she is a member of Women on Boards; an organisation that helps develop skills and opportunities for female executives.