Progress In Speeding Up Electronic OTA TV Transaction Workflow


NEW YORK — A consortium of local television broadcasters including Hearst Television, Nexstar Media Group, Raycom Media, Sinclair Broadcast Group, TEGNA, and Tribune Media released updates for their television interface practices project — dubbed the TIP Initiative — at the TVB Forward 2018 conference held Thursday at Pier 60 in Manhattan.

Progress the work has achieved toward its goal of accelerating electronic advertising transactions for local broadcast TV stations and their media agency partners was shared by TVB Chairman and Nexstar founder and President/CEO Perry Sook (pictured). To continue the momentum around transitioning the market toward increased automation, Sook, on behalf of the TIP members, called for increased industry participation and collaboration from system providers, buyers and sellers.

“The TIP Initiative continues to make notable progress on our objectives to eliminate the complexity of the buying and selling process for local television,” said Sook. “If we, as an industry, share a common goal of strengthening local broadcast television’s long-term competitiveness, then we must work towards increased automation on a broad scale. We encourage broadcasters, media agencies and system providers to support this important, ongoing collaborative effort so our respective businesses share in the financial benefits and revenue opportunities of a more efficient marketplace.”

Jennifer Hungerbuhler, EVP and Managing Director, Local Video and Audio Investment at Dentsu Aegis Network, also commented on TIP’s progress. She said, “We are committed to driving best-in-class results on behalf of our clients across all media channels, and local television plays a key role in our ability to do that. We are excited to be part of the TIP initiative, as it not only signifies the importance of local television, but also the importance of future proofing its buying process.”

In 2018, the objective of TIP has been to encourage several key system providers to execute pilot transactions using modern open interfaces. To accomplish this goal, TIP engaged over twenty buy-sell system providers, media agencies and television broadcasters to initiate an unprecedented program of industry collaboration.

In the first quarter of 2018, TIP designed a set of interfaces to accommodate today’s business practices and released them as the TIP interface 2.0 framework in April 2018. At TVB Forward 2018 on Thursday, the consortium released the TIP interface 3.0 framework that incorporates some novel solutions to common issues such as pre-approved make goods and an automated RFP-proposal workflow. Seven of the interfaces have also been translated into draft automated program interfaces (APIs) using the ubiquitous open API interface standard.

Streamlining the advertising buying and selling process and making standardized, modern transaction interfaces available are keys to enabling future revenue growth and innovation in the local broadcast television industry. To solve this industry-wide challenge executives from the largest U.S. broadcast TV groups launched the TIP Initiative. TIP’s mission is to create a coalition of system providers to implement the technical framework necessary to streamline transaction workflows for local broadcast television and create greater interoperability between systems.

Pilot Transactions

In the third quarter of 2018, several system providers, most notably PremiumMedia360 and Videa, began executing transactions utilizing the TIP APIs. Due to the enhanced automation, stations and agencies can extract meaningful benefits including a streamlined RFP-proposal process, the ability to make in-flight adjustments with more immediate feedback from log times, and reduced reconciliation and payment cycles.

WideOrbit, Surewaves and Imagine are also testing several TIP APIs and have independently committed to enable them in the coming weeks.

Looking ahead, TIP members will continue to invest in the initiative and are calling for increased industry participation from system providers, buyers and sellers to scale the shared benefits. The work group will continue to expand the portfolio of interfaces to ensure current and future workflows are addressed, and local television broadcasters will continue to require system providers to modernize interfaces and interoperate.

“The TIP members remain committed to working with all industry stakeholders to develop open interfaces and, more importantly, champion their scaled adoption to facilitate marketplace efficiency and integrity with our media agency partners,” said Raycom MEdia Chief Revenue Officer Greg McCastle.

To drive interface adoption, the TIP broadcasters plan to ramp up engagement with agency partners to advance changes to their systems and TVB will take a lead role in helping the industry coordinate advocacy efforts. The TIP Initiative’s goal is for local broadcasters and media agency partners to evolve the transaction workflows together to increase the value for all industry stakeholders.