Media rep firm Katz Television has launched an online invoicing system, TVinvoices.com, which it is pushing stations and others to adopt.
So far, two of its TV station group clients are signed on--Clear Channel and the New York Times--and it will be available to all clients (it reps 372 stations) in the next two months, according to the company.
Katz says the difference between this and other electronic invoicing systems is that it, not stations, will maintain the system and manage and update the information, which will in turn reduce processing time and get ad agency payments to stations faster.
Katz will charge a "minimal" flat annual fee, scaled to market size, rather than a per-invoice charge for the service, saying it isn't looking to turn it into a revenue stream.
The goal is to make invoicing easier for ad agencies, which Katz hopes will not only reduce payment time for broadcasters but boost spot spending in the bargain.
Katz is having a third party run the site, so competing rep firms could use it while still keeping their information proprietary. It will make it available to the competition once its own clients have signed on.
"We are only trying to increase the amount of dollars going to spot TV by easing the burden on the agencies," Katz CIO David Prager told B&C. "Stations stand to gain if agencies are able to process all their invocies electronically."
They also gain by not having to manage the changes when agencies move, merge, or more join the electronic system. Those changes can sometimes fall through the cracks at busy local TV operations.