Hudson MX Launches Local Buying Platform

Technology firm Hudson MX said it has launched a new local media buying platform that is being used by 15 of the largest ad agencies in the U.S.

The new platform, dubbed BuyerAssist, simplifies buying local media and speeds up the process, enabling local media to get last-minute dollars that currently go to national networks.

“Our early success demonstrates that agencies are committed to investing in software that positions their buyers for the future of local TV,” said Hudson MX CEO and founder JT Batson.

“If local broadcast was going to be a relevant option for marketers over the long term, then buyers needed modern, sophisticated tools that are on par with what buyers of other media use, or else local broadcast is going to be undervalued.”

Hudson MX, a privately owned company, got its system up and running before talking publicly about it, said Batson, a former MediaOcean executive.

“We were fortunate enough because of the relationships I had with agencies from my time at MediaOcean,” which didn’t offer a buying tool. By starting out with the top buyers on board, Batson was able to keep the cost down to each agency.

Local TV is a $16 billion market and BuyerAssist has been used since January to transact more than $2 billion in local TV advertising by more than 700 buyers.

“Hudson MX has brought a platform to market that is evolving the industry, bringing greater efficiency to the local investment process for initiative and UM,” said Kathy Doyle, executive VP, local investment, at MAGNA. “By providing our buyers with modern software, local is nearing parity with our colleagues in the digital investment space, bringing greater speed, accuracy and accountability.”

Hudson MX also launched AgencyCloud, a suite of APIs for broadcasters and their technology providers that allows them to communicate in a frictionless and errorless manner.

WideOrbit is the first technology partner to integrate into the agency cloud. “Broadcasters and agencies are excited at how quickly things have evolved. You have the largest players on the buy side and the largest player on the sell side with end-to-end API integrations," Batson said. "This stuff can really start flowing.”

“The WideOrbit-Hudson MX partnership is a big win for local TV advertising buyers and sellers,” said Eric R. Mathewson, founder and CEO at WideOrbit. “Buyers will benefit from workflow modernization that streamlines the entire buying process, while leaving buyers and sellers in complete control of their inventory.”

Mathewson added: “By deepening our relationship with Hudson MX, WideOrbit delivers on our promise of continually improving solutions that allow ad buyers and sellers to do business however they choose.”

Batson said that BuyerAssist doesn’t aim to revolutionize the local media buying process right away, but it automates current processes, speeding them up. With the new system, one buyer in two days was able to put together a campaign that ran in 12 of the 15 top markets with a budget that otherwise wouldn’t have gone to local TV.

He said a new system needs to deliver results today, without the negative consequences of a new process. “You have to start where people are and then you’d be surprised at how quick you can evolve it,” he said. Individual agencies will be able to evolve the system at their own speed and add features they want on a customized basis.

“The beauty of it being modern, flexible software is not every agency has to do it the same way,” Batson said. “I’m excited to think about a year or two years from now how different agencies will be operating because their hands aren’t tied by doing things that prevent them from being able to innovate in ways that are going to ultimately deliver value to clients.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.