SoftWave Opens Marketplace for TV Ads

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NEW YORK -- SoftWave Media Exchange launched an open marketplace for television broadcasters and advertisers to exchange TV spots online in real time.

The offering, announced at the DM Days New York Conference & Expo, resembles SoftWave's radio ad exchange that debuted in February 2005 and serves 900-plus radio stations nationwide.

Both exchanges let advertisers or ad agencies upload a spot and buy airtime quickly and directly. The process allows purchases to be made one day prior to the closing of commercial logs.

"The industry is looking for more efficient ways to do business," said Josh Wexler, CEO of SoftWave Media Exchange, Irvington, NY. "Broadcasters need to sell as much inventory as possible, and smaller advertisers don't have the resources to do national buys so quickly."

The radio and television services work through an online interface that lets advertisers select segmented markets by age, location, station and time of day. After entering length of spot and spend limits, they receive a report on what is available.

The last-minute nature of the media buys means prices are lower than if advertisers went direct to broadcasters.

Registration with the service is free, though there is a transaction fee based on spot volume. Marketers and broadcasters can upload data related to the spots sold and receive free ROI reporting station by station to optimize their future purchasing decisions.

"We think that there has to be transparency both for the broadcaster and the marketer," Mr. Wexler said. "We've created a platform where broadcasters and marketers have total visibility."

SoftWave's TV service serves local spot cable stations, with plans for expansion.

"We expect to be delivering local broadcast television by the end of this year," he said.

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