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Private Exchanges and the Co-Evolution of Media

Tom JenenBy Admeld Commercial Director Tom Jenen
The display advertising business might seem like an arms race. Each time buyers come up with new ways of working, sellers develop their own innovations to regain the advantage. Power has flowed back and forth between agencies and publishers. In 2009, buyers increased their use of technology, with RTB for example, forcing publishers to do the same or risk losing their fair share of spend. In 2011, publishers pushed forward with innovations such as intelligent price floors, data protection/management, and private exchanges. Buyers are now responding, launching agency ad networks, using new data sources like search retargeting, the cycle continues. David Attenborough fans will know that this is a dubbed a “co-evolutionary” dynamic by biologists, as species leapfrog each other in perpetuity. Buyers and sellers, however, can now adopt a more collaborative relationship and use their new technologies to evolve in greater harmony. This more unified approach, using private exchanges, will deliver a better response for the ultimate client - the marketers. At Admeld, we believe that private exchanges deliver benefits to both sides and encourage the process of co-evolution our industry desperately needs. Our work with publishers in the US - NBCUniversal, The Weather Channel, quadrantONE (a consortium of media companies) and CBSi all have Admeld-powered private exchanges – reveals general agreement that private exchanges can cultivate testing, learning and scaling of biddable media commitments for both the buy-side and sell-side in a transparent, collaborative environment. In essence, they lay the foundation for helping premium publishers and buyers meet their shared goals. Private exchanges deliver what agencies want to see, high quality inventory available in a data-enhanced marketplace, by allowing premium publishers to make money and maintain more control over their inventory.

Private exchanges can also deliver premium context.

Of course, nothing is perfect and there are still barriers to the adoption of a co-evolutionary ecosystem. Publishers remain concerned about an apparent lack of demand, for example. While spending will ramp up in the last three months of the year, the problem is made worse by the fact that some DSPs and trading desks are struggling to find the most efficient ways to collaborate. Many agencies are still struggling to manage a web of overlapping clients and priorities. However, this is a natural result of the rapid changes that have taken place in the market and it will lessen over time. A more fundamental challenge is that brand budgets have significantly trailed expectations. Admeld’s private exchange helps publishers capture these budgets via a tool called “prioritised bidding,” sometimes known as “reserve/guaranteed RTB” or “private ad slots.” Prioritised bidding gives publishers preferred access to specific buyers under specific business rules, giving both buyers and sellers confidence that their mutual goals are being met. Our challenge as publishers, agencies and trading platforms is to resist our traditional urge to look for the next leapfrog. It’s time to start evolving together.  ― Tom JenenAdmeld Commercial Director, EMEA Admeld www.admeld.com

Admeld is an Associate Member of AOP and the Drinks Reception Sponsor of the AOP Summit 2011.

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