As you evaluate your media planning software options, you may be wondering what other media planning software exist and how they compare with Bionic media planning software. To help you answer these questions, here’s a competitive review.

Please note: We’ve attempted to keep this factual and as unbiased as possible. But obviously, we’re naturally biased. So, you should definitely check other sources.

What is the most popular media planning software?

According to the most recent Digiday State of the Industry survey on the topic, more than 75 percent of media planners still use Microsoft Excel for creating their media plans. Despite Excel’s well-known inefficiencies, errors, lack of control, and the general sentiment that media planning in Excel is a fool’s errand, it has persisted as the most popular media planning tool among professional media planners.

For more than 20 years, efforts by good companies to replace Excel in media planning with purpose-built software have failed to supplant Excel as the dominant media planning tool. While other aspects of the media buying process – such as insertion orders and invoices – have been well automated, media planning remains obstinate as a manual process with Excel at the core.

Despite its history of invincibility, Bionic aims to topple Excel’s regressive regime with its media planning software. Unlike past failed software attempts, Bionic employs a spreadsheet-like design as its core interface. Described by early adopters as “Excel on steroids,” Bionic gives you the ease and flexibility of Excel, but in a centralized and organized system with dozens of built-in productivity tools to help you at every step in the process and beyond.

For more detail, see Microsoft Excel vs. Bionic Media Planning Software.

Media planning software competitors

There are a number of other companies providing technology for media planning and buying workflow automation. Many of these companies have been around a long time, but after all these years all other competitors combined make up less than a quarter of the market share. None have more than 10 percent. Why is Excel winning by a landslide? Quite simply, although they may do other things well, they’ve not created a product that beats Excel for the whole media planning experience.

Here’s a rundown of other products that we’re asked to compare with Bionic media planning software, listed in alphabetical order.

Advantage Software

Advantage Software is a comprehensive media billing and workflow system used by hundreds of agencies. Although there is some product overlap, agencies use Bionic and Advantage together – Bionic in the media department and Advantage in the finance department.

Advantage and Bionic are complementary products.


Centro was founded in 2001. Its heritage and the bulk of its revenue comes from providing outsourced media services – media planning, ordering, trafficking, monitoring. They have recently begun offering media planning software. The biggest strength of the software is it is backed by Centro employees who carry out the instructions of what you order through the software, but that’s also its greatest weakness. You can’t buy the Centro software without also buying its services, which are expensive. Additionally, the software is limited to digital media channels so you can’t plan your entire media budget in the tool.

Bionic is a pure-play software company that offers its media planning software for a great price with no strings attached. You can plan your entire media budget in Bionic across all media channels around the world.

For more detail, see Centro vs. Bionic Media Planning Software.


comScore has great audience research tools. Although they use the word planning in their product literature, comScore is not a true media planning system because you can’t create a media plan with it. However, it’s often used in the media planning process to create a “consideration set” of websites.

comScore and Bionic are often used side by side. In fact, Bionic has a nice integration with comScore that enables you to automatically create a shell media plan from your comScore research. Furthermore, you can see comScore metrics in the Bionic media planning tool.

comScore and Bionic are complementary, not competitive, products.


eSilentPartner offers a project management and billing system. eSilentPartner does not provide media planning tools. Although handy for examining orders and performing reconciliations, Bionic does not yet support time tracking and some billing capabilities you need in your finance department. As such, Bionic and eSilentParter are often used together.

Similar to Advantage, eSilentPartner is a powerful complementary tool for your finance department while your media department uses Bionic.

Google DoubleClick Planning

First introduced in 2014 as a successor to MediaVisor, Google’s DoubleClick Planning tool is the newest entrant to the marketplace. Its strengths are its tight integration with the Google technology stack, Google ad inventory, and pricing. Its weaknesses are a lack of support for non-digital channels, weak support for non-Google inventory, and missing media planning functionality.

Bionic provides you with an unbiased and holistic view of your advertising by enabling you to plan your entire media budget across all media channels and inventory sources. Bionic also integrates with the Google technology stack – DoubleClick Campaign Manager (DCM), DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM), and Google Analytics.

For more detail, see Google DoubleClick Planning vs. Bionic Media Planning Software.

Mediaocean Prisma

Mediaocean (fka Donovan Data Systems and MediaBank) has been providing media workflow technology since 1968. Their strengths are in billing and order management at the “big 4” holding company agencies in the United States and UK. Their weaknesses are a lack of usable media planning tools, limited ability to serve independent agencies, inability to serve clients with operations outside of the US and UK, and high cost. Mediaocean has attempted to address its weakness in media planning with Prisma, but its functionality is limited to digital media and its users typically still use Excel for media planning.

In contrast, Bionic provides user-friendly media planning tools that enable you to plan your entire media budget in one holistic platform. It is approachable for organizations of any size and you can get Bionic at a fraction of the price.

For more detail, see Mediaocean Prisma vs. Bionic Media Planning Software.


Mediatool, not to be confused with US-based Mediatools, is a small, privately-held company headquartered in Malmo, Sweden. Mediatool provides a cloud-based system for creating media plans and advertising flowcharts. It’s an upgrade from Excel but lacks many key features required for media planning and media buying. 

In contrast, Bionic provides a compete, all-in-one media investment management software that combines media planning, performance monitoring, project management, and more.

For more detail, see Mediatool vs. Bionic Media Planning Software


Nielsen provides excellent audience measurement and research tools. However, despite the word “planning” in its product literature, it is not a media planning system because you can’t create a media plan with it. Nielsen and Bionic are often used together in the media planning process, Nielsen is used to create an initial consideration set and then Bionic is used to send RFPs, create the media plan, and to execute the media plan.

Nielsen and Bionic are complementary, not competitive, products. Bionic and Nielsen can be integrated and, if you have a Nielsen subscription, you will be able to use Nielsen metrics in the Bionic media planning tool.


Strata provides media buying workflow automation. Its strength is in creating and managing insertion orders across all types of media – digital and traditional and its installed base of more than a thousand advertising agencies. Its weaknesses are a lack of support of the media planning process before the order, its antiquated 1990s installed software infrastructure, lack of innovation, and high price.

In contrast, Bionic provides a complete media planning tool on a modern cloud-based infrastructure at a good price. Although the Bionic and Strata products overlap and compete with one another, both products are sometimes used together at agencies – Bionic for media planning and Strata for media buying.

For more detail, see Strata vs. Bionic Media Planning Software.


Workamajig provides an excellent creative workflow management system and can also be used for billing. Workamajig does not provide media planning tools. Bionic also does workflow, but in a completely different domain – media planning and buying. Bionic and Workamajig work side by side – Bionic in the media department and Workamajig in the creative department.

Workamajig and Bionic are complementary, not competitive, products.

Workhorse Software Mediatools

Workhorse Software was founded in 1996 and was acquired by SQAD in 2014. Its biggest strength is in creating advertising flowcharts. Its biggest weaknesses are a lack of support the other parts of the media planning process, obsolete 1990’s installed client server software technology, lack of innovation, and high cost.

Bionic offers a more complete solution for media planners and avoids the painful process of transferring data from one system to another. Advertising flowcharts are also included as one of many features in its media planning software. Bionic offers all of this at a much lower price, flexible month-to-month licensing, and on a modern cloud-based platform.

For more detail, see Workhorse Software Mediatools vs. Bionic Media Planning Software.

Did we miss anything?

We’d love your suggestions to improve this competitive review. It’s incomplete. Please let us know what is missing or wrong. We’ve done our best to present a factually correct review, but competitors are often reluctant to share information. We’ve relied on the internet and third parties to source this information.

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