Linking arms: why Fairfax, MediaWorks, NZME and TVNZ formed KPEX

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  • February 29, 2016
  • StopPress Team
Linking arms: why Fairfax, MediaWorks, NZME and TVNZ formed KPEX

When the Australian media companies attempted to come together to form a similar alliance across the ditch, the effort failed because various players were simply unwilling to collaborate. But the local players did not allow the same to happen. Setting aside their partisan differences and prioritising the importance of creating a strong local programmatic network, Fairfax Media, MediaWorks, NZME and TVNZ successfully came together to form KPEX. Here’s why the execs determined the move was worthwhile.

Laura Maxwell, NZME group head of revenue :

"It was an easy decision to form a premium alliance with New Zealand media players. The current situation has international competitors taking New Zealand advertising dollars overseas. The two main players create no content themselves, but they do provide a convenient way to buy the Kiwi eyeballs on their platforms. Buying premium eyeballs on New Zealand sites was not as easy, so a comparable proposition was needed for us to compete. KPEX is that solution. For the market, I hope KPEX raises the awareness of New Zealand content generators and the role they play in reaching and influencing local customers. I hope that local marketers who want us as consumers to buy their products here and not from overseas suppliers also apply the same mantra to their advertising choices."

Mark Weldon, MediaWorks chief executive:

"MediaWorks joined the KPEX conversation with other broadcasters for a number of reasons. Primarily, it was the importance of the market platform to customer outcomes and our view that, for our advertiser customers, having a focused local platform would add more value than being a small part of a global platform. MediaWorks also strongly believes that having a pool of inventory that is guaranteed to be of the highest quality would be of more value to our customers, than essentially forcing them to participate in the global inventory pool. Our competition in this space is international—as much as it is each other—so working together where we can makes perfect sense. For all these reasons—and a preference to shape markets, rather than take markets—the KPEX idea was one we have been 100 percent behind since the get-go." 

Jeremy O’Brien, TVNZ commercial director:

"The reality is all local publishers are facing increased global competition in our home markets and although we each have strong, unique local product our individual reach means that there is benefit in pooling our audiences to provide an easier trading interface for clients to access them.

We understand that being local is not enough of a reason to choose KPEX. Key to our success is our unparalleled investment in local content. We understand the New Zealand market better than the global players and we create local content to meet the local market needs. Our businesses are built on understanding New Zealand and New Zealanders and the content that is most relevant and compelling to them.

There are a number of global co-operatives that are succeeding using a similar approach. La Place in France and Pangea in the UK are two that spring to mind. Both are aggregating the power of local publishers to provide a high reach, highly engaged environment for advertisers to reach audiences.

The response I have had from the market is overwhelmingly positive. Competition and innovation is seen as a positive for the industry.

 KPEX is simple to use – a client just needs to set up a buy through an agency demand side platform, or if they do not have an agency, the KPEX team can facilitate a buy directly for them. 

We expect the platform to evolve over time to offer new options for targeting and a greater range of formats for advertisers to utilise, such as video. Over time, as we introduce more sophisticated data products, we envisage the ability to serve even more relevant and targeted advertising to audiences which, along with compelling creative, will provide significantly improved ROI for advertisers.

I think advertisers are becoming more concerned about issues such as viewability, bots, and environment and a local co-operative of well known, trusted and credible publishers provides a brand safe environment that a broader all in aggregator cannot. Ultimately it will be our ROI against the business objectives set for campaigns that will define our success. We believe we have a relevant and engaging environment that will provide a more effective result for advertisers within KPEX. In short KPEX will win by providing advertisers relevance, engagement, trust and credibility." 

Simon Tong, Fairfax Media managing director:

"Our decision to work together is about providing advertisers with a strong local offering. 

KPEX opens up a range of new opportunities for advertisers that we were unable to achieve independently, and a viable, local, programmatic ad exchange alternative to what is offered by large, international players. And this is good for the long-term health of the local market.

Through collective scale, reach and data, there’s the potential to build a product that allows local advertisers to access premium inventory and target audiences programmatically. It also offers unsurpassed access to New Zealand’s local news, lifestyle and entertainment destinations and will help customers solve measurement and other issues with digital advertising in a massive global pool.

KPEX is about thinking strategically to stay ahead of the game. Small and agile, KPEX is focused on making quick decisions and getting the job done well. By combining our strengths into one entity, KPEX opens a range of new opportunities that publishers were unable to achieve individually. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts."

  • This series has been produced in association with KPEX.
  • Read more of our of our coverage on KPEX here

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