Association of online publishers Helping media owners build better digital business

Online trading: more to lose for publishers on the sidelines?

Trading Revolution event

Tim Gentry, Steve Dorey & Erich Wasserman

Publishers are experimenting and staffing up to adapt to real-time bidding (RTB), as represented at AOP’s Trading Revolution forum by the Guardian’s Tim Gentry and Dennis’ Jamie Labate.

The Rubicon Project’s Jay Stevens kicked off the event by outlining the kind of ‘intelligent’ approach they need to take, to avoid the risk of direct sales cannibalisation.

Monetising publisher data

Taking the Guardian’s case, publishers could hardly be accused of taking a back seat – in December, Gentry’s team opened 12% of its inventory to RTB, and this month, in another experiment, up to 50%.

Monetising publisher data panel excerpt

Full video of this panel & Rubicon's presentation (members only).

Criteo’s Steve Dorey chipped in that understanding user intent is what publishers really need to get a hold of, adding that it’s widely accepted advertisers see a big uplift in performance in quality environments, but a solution to unlocking that value to publishers, rather than the many layers in between, was yet to be found.

Meanwhile, Infectious Media’s Andy Cocker foresaw a future where publishers package and sell their own data directly, and on the question of protecting that data, MediaMath’s Erich Wasserman said was ‘still an open question’, but that there is even more to lose for publishers who stand on the sidelines, and don’t take part in emerging models of trading online.

The new mechanics of trading

Following a presentation from GroupM MD Interaction, Jakob Nielsen, assuring AOP members ‘publishers have a fantastic value proposition’ and ‘need to get more confident’ about their role in the online ecosystem, a panel of speakers discussed how online trading looks from an agency perspective:

Too often spoken of in general terms, iProspect’s Louisa Wong gave a useful breakdown of what data actually means, mentioning demographic, context and interest (inferred behavioural) - all key for media owners to understand in terms of their own businesses, she said.

Expanding on the earlier theme of ‘data leakage’, she added in no uncertain terms: “Take control of your inventory. Stop using networks.”

New mechanics of trading panel excerpt

Full video of this panel & GroupM's presentation (members only).

Looking ahead, Vivaki’s Marco Bertozzi predicted: “In a year's time, DSPs will not be the issue. The key aspects to pitch response will not be technology.”

‘Europe doesn’t understand’

On rumblings coming from the EU around cookies, privacy and opt-in, Bertozzi added there had been a ‘circular pass the buck’ and all parties needed to chip in to ensure this didn’t become legislation in future.

On the ‘new mechanics of trading’ panel also were Paul Vassallo, Head of Trading and Display, Media Contacts and Adam Pace, MD of Access. The panels were chaired by Matt O’Neill, President of AdMonsters, and Nigel Gwilliam, Digital Consultant to the IPA. The event was sponsored by the Rubicon Project.

Members can download GroupM and Rubicon's presentation from the event.

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