A Time of Infrastructure


Liam writes: Ben posted some observations about restrictions that are placed on various elements of online media. I responded to this post with comments about infrastructure.

In the middle of those two comments Paul Fisher from the IAB gave some detail around the projects they are working on. It is a very thorough and slightly daunting list.

What it highlights is how much work there is to do to lay the foundations for growth.

I have mentioned previously that this is an industry of immense passion and that delivers a sense of impatience by some. I confess I fall victim to this impatience, primarily out of enthusiasm for progress.  But impatience needs to be tempered with a greater sense of planning which the IAB plan is in action on. 

Note the IAB are doing this in conjunction with all or some of the other industry bodies. This consultation is obviously necessary and equally,  enrolling so many stakeholders (necessary) is going to make it relatively slow work. 

It would be great to see creativity take a back seat to a rapid roll-out of infrastructure across the industry as this will allow us to grow.

What consistency will deliver is price parity.

Price parity will allow advertisers to feel comfortable about fiscal responsibility and decision making around budget allocations.


By way of example, video is one of the newer frontiers. It is a very exciting opportunity as it is transforming how people think of moving pictures. That is, it is not just TV or a movie.

Of course it brings with it some negatives like people saying “snacking on video”.

As advertisers look to use video they consult with their media agencies and find reasonably quickly that pricing, format and measurement for video online have not yet been standardised.

I have been lucky enough to see two pretty impressive programmes from agencies on how to create models which overcome the lack of standardised structures in video with the aim of establishing a digital proxy for TARPS.

This is a good sign as these models will ultimately inform decision making around optimal structures for video media.

Personally I would like to see less talk about pre-roll being the devil. It seems a tangible and sensible execution. Of course I am with the majority thinking 30 seconds is dreadful.

Once there are standards (agreement) on formats, pricing (models) and measurement for video, then this will assist in increasing revenue out of other media into digital video.

The railways

The railways seem a good example of why standards are useful. It is here where variability has been a significant drain on efficiency.

Below is a list of standardisations set out in infrastructure.gov.au for our railways.

STANDARDISATION of interstate track gauge (using 1435 mm as the standard gauge)

·         A standard gauge line connected Brisbane with the New South Wales system in 1930.

·         Melbourne was linked to New South Wales by a standard gauge line in 1962.

·         The standard gauges link between Perth and Kalgoorlie was completed in 1968.

·         The Broken Hill to Port Pirie line in 1969 completed the standard gauge east-west transcontinental connection.

·         Alice Springs was connected to the transcontinental line in 1980 with a line built from Tarcoola.

·         Adelaide was connected to the transcontinental line in 1982 with the conversion of the line from Crystal Brook,

·         Melbourne and Adelaide were linked by a standard gauge line that opened in June 1995.

·         The standard gauge link between Alice Springs to Darwin was completed in January 2004.


I am sure narrow gauge has its advantages over standard gauge however as you can imagine, rail across the country becomes very hard when the gauges are different. How does one effectively deliver food, tools, housing across the country when the rail gauges are different?

Get to the Point

Creativity may need to move lower in priorities in favour of scalable agreements to take digital into its next stage.


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