Ad Buyers Offered New Spot Tracker

Hoping to offer advertisers dramatically more detail about how much TV networks are really charging for commercials, advertising research firm Sqad has unveiled its new service, NetCosts, to track broadcast, cable and syndication pricing.

Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Sqad has been working for two years to create the product, which aggregates actual advertising transactions from several different buying agencies.

Though the data is stripped of the identity of the client or product, buyers can see all kinds of things about the actual prices of a 30-second spot in a given show. Right now, there’s no accurate way to gauge what other advertisers  are paying.

Larry Freed, Sqad’s chief revenue officer, said that for even the largest buying agencies spending billions of dollars “it’s impossible for an advertiser to know whether they’ve gotten a good deal.”

Networks and syndicators like to keep pricing data secret. “Sellers make the rules, control the information, manipulate supply and demand and squeeze advertisers,” Freed said.