Association of online publishers Helping media owners build better digital business

Maxifier: why emphasise RTB over optimising premium inventory?

Maxifier CEO Jonathon Shaevitz on optimising premium ad inventory
In this video, Maxifier CEO Jonathon Shaevitz talks about maximising revenue opportunies for publishers’ premium inventory. Q. How can publishers stay close to their clients, and not be disintermediated by technology? I think real-time bidding is both an opportunity and a threat for publishers: it’s an opportunity to take some of the transaction costs out… but it’s a threat if they give up access and proprietary information about their inventory... In terms of the disintermediation that real-time bidding creates, I think there will always be a relationship between publisher and agency, and the question for publishers is how they use RTB to facilitate that relationship, but maintain control... Q. Is automated trading being emphasised over optimisation tools like Maxifier, and if so why? When you look at the bottom stack of inventory… the automation is required for the economics to work. The cost of RFPs and I/Os are too much for both publishers and agencies… there has been lots of automation that’s been pushed first by the buyer, about that portion of the inventory, because that was where they were getting high costs for relatively low returns. As you go up into the premium stack, there haven’t been a lot of tools like Maxifier available to publishers, and you’re seeing publishers make those investments now into optimisation tools, audience segmentation tools, contextual tools, and other things that are increasing the value of their premium inventory. The reality is that 65-80 per cent of publisher revenue is coming from 20-30 per cent of their inventory and if they don’t maintain their margin on that inventory and improve its performance - improve the value that they’re delivering, they’re going to continue to be put under a lot of CPM pressure. In general there’s been a reluctance to deploy newer technologies on the sell side, and those new technologies have basically been deployed by the networks and other new market entrants - they’ve taken market share and margin away from traditional publishers, who are really the ones creating the content and who have the relationship with the audience. Q. Maxifier’s slogan is ‘every campaign is a performance campaign’, how does that apply to brand campaigns? It’s not that the agencies think that they’re buying a performance campaign in disguise of a brand campaign, it’s that they’re buying a brand campaign while looking at the performance metrics to choose who’s going to get renewed and who’s going to get dropped. If publishers don’t have the tools they need in order to improve their performance and understand how they’re performing, both relative to other parts of their own inventory as well as agencies’ other buys - their competitors, they’re at a disadvantage. Focussing on performance for premium publishers is not trying to negate the value of branded content, the relationship with the audience or the trust they’ve engendered. It is rather recognising these branded sites are competing against other sites of similar high quality to maximise share of wallet and CPM.

Maxifier is an Associate Member of AOP. Read our A to Z of online advertising.

Join the AOP group on LinkedIn - open for all Members to join
Subscribe to AOP's e-newsletter.