SYDNEY/NEW YORK: The world's first integrated programmatic private marketplace for TV will be tested in Australia following a partnership between AOL Platforms and Multi Channel Network (MCN), the Australian ad company.

The companies say they will be able to offer advertisers and agencies "targeted, data-driven, audience buying and consumer-led analytics" that will be powered by, AOL Platforms' programmatic video platform.

The pilot will be offered across 70 subscription TV channels, including the BBC, Discovery, Foxtel, FOX International Channels, Fox Sports, Sky News and Viacom (MCN is a joint venture between Foxtel and Fox Sports).

The move is designed to advance the $4bn TV industry in Australia towards unified ad sales across TV and digital screens, the companies said.

"More than two years of industry research and consultation tells us automation and programmatic TV are exactly what the Australian TV industry needs to stay relevant in this digitally driven environment," said Mark Frain, MCN's group sales and marketing director.

"MCN's market-leading Multiview data will power this exchange, allowing advertisers to plan, buy and optimise against real consumer segments," he added.

By automating the process, MCN said it would be more effective at packaging highly targeted audiences across its network programming, such as regular purchasers for specific products and brands. It also aims to align TV ad sales closer to digital.

Speaking on behalf of AOL Platforms, Dan Ackerman, its head of Programmatic TV, described Australia as a burgeoning market that has been ahead of the programmatic trend, particularly in video.

He said: "MCN fully understands the shift occurring in our industry and, through our partnership with them, is putting a stake in the ground as a leader in moving the TV industry forward towards its inevitable converged future with digital through data-driven audience buying."

The development comes just days after Antoine Barbier, global head of mobile product at TubeMogul, the video ad platform, predicted that programmatic mobile video spend in Australia will soon follow the "exponential growth" seen in the US.

Data sourced from AOL Platforms, MCN; additional content by Warc staff