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Harris integrates into Marketron’s Mediascape

Inside Radio, Frank Saxe

When Marketron launched its open-platform Mediascape platform last April it offered the promise of bringing together not just radio, digital, television and other medias under a single system. It also had the potential of putting rivals on the same platform. That’s now happened as Harris announces it will integrate its competing traffic software and its NetGain business intelligence system into Mediascape.

“You have a situation where people who were traditionally competitors are now coming together and cooperating,” Marketron CEO Steve Minisini says. “This is the first breakthrough of a company that owns transactional systems to open up and integrate into the Mediascape platform because they know that’s where the market is going.” With most of its customers in television and cable, Harris has been a small player in the radio software business where Marketron’s 70% market share dominates.

Harris Broadcast Communications president Harris Morris says the collaboration will help broadcasters manage their data and internal reports across several mediums, as well as “build a common solution for the greater good of the industry.” Minisini believes that by integrating in Mediascape, Harris will have an advantage over other TV systems that haven’t taken the plunge.

Cox Media Group has used separate solutions to manager radio and TV, which makes it tough to assess the media business as a whole. VP of information technology Mark Beck says the Harris-Marketron alliance will give them “real-time, consolidated information to manage our business more effectively.”

Minisini thinks other traffic companies will follow Harris’ lead whether they want to or not. “Once an open environment and standards are created, customers are going to expect vendors to start to conform to that,” he says. Meantime another dozen apps will soon be added to Mediascape, including for Double Click’s display web ads and for mobile ad company Quu. “More and more vendors want to be integrated into it because customers are pushing in that direction,” Minisini says. So far about two dozen companies have integrated, including Triton Digital, Arbitron and Katz Media Group.