megatrax and cross mediaworks: helping tv stations go beyond cash budgets

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In 2008 and 2009, many television stations experienced downsizing in both their budgets and the ad spends that generate their revenue. With this increase in unsold ad inventory, many of Megatrax’s broadcast clients were facing unique challenges to their budgetary process. Responding to this, Megatrax teamed up with Cross MediaWorks to develop “TV Barter,” a program in which TV stations can trade unsold ad inventory for Megatrax music and more.

chad huffman megatrax
Chad Huffman, Director of Broadcast Division

TV Barter launched at the National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB) in April of this year, and according to Chad Huffman, Director of the Broadcast Division for Megatrax, “There’s been a substantial amount of interest.” Says Huffman, “I think it’s safe to say that we’re one of the only libraries—if not the only library—trading ads with TV stations. We’re giving them an additional option, so that they’re not so tied to the cash budget. So if they are in a pinch, or maybe they have a larger-scale need that they can’t pay cash for, we can still help them out, and I think that’s incredibly unique. That’s what really does set this option and Megatrax apart from our competition.”

Beyond a straight ad-space-for-libraries exchange, Cross MediaWorks, along with its operating companies, Apex and TeleAmerica, can offer Megatrax clients other creative solutions to their budget needs.

One such solution is an exchange of cash for future ad inventory. For example, should a station enter the fourth quarter with a shortfall in their ad budget, Cross MediaWorks can offer the station cash against guaranteed ad space in the following year. Through this program, which can be added to the station’s music licensing deal with Megatrax, stations have the opportunity to meet (or exceed) their annual budgets.

A second program offers stations the opportunity to turn unsold ad inventory into promotions for their audience or benefits to their staff. In this instance, when a station is interested in running contests for their viewers to win prizes like tickets to the Super Bowl, or if they’d like to send their staff to a conference or event like NAB, they can barter ad inventory at a greater value than the music licenses offered by Megatrax in exchange for both the licenses and the tickets for the public or the staff. These examples of creative monetization would allow a station to meet its needs without adding line items to a cash budget while filling its ad inventory—a win-win.

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Apex Media – a Cross Mediaworks Company

Although Megatrax’s partners in the Cross MediaWorks family play a significant role in executing these barter deals, Megatrax continues to be an active presence, serving their clients throughout the process. Says Huffman, “We take the role we normally would: as the music supervisors and the experts on the music sales, ensuring that the Promo Managers and the Creative Service Directors are properly accessing the music and finding exactly what it is they’re looking for for their creative projects.”

September is the perfect time for stations to consider taking advantage of TV Barter. When finalizing the coming year’s budget, TV stations sometimes discover that they’ll be unable to afford library services or that a larger project, like rebranding or creating a new suite of news packages or promos, is beyond what the budget will support. Instead of moving around dollars to make room for these needs, it might be right to review the unsold ad inventory numbers for the previous year and use that as a base-line for creating a barter budget.

Huffman emphasizes that this is exactly the right time for TV stations to contact him to talk about their bartering options. He says, “I think (talking in the fall) gives the client time to reflect on what their sales trends actually are, and how they can help monetize what’s not selling.”

To contact Chad Huffman about TV Barter, please call 818-255-7100 ext. 187, or e-mail

To download a brochure about TV Barter, please click HERE.

This article was originally published in the Megatrax quarterly newsletter. To subscribe to our newsletter, please visit

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