By Ross Benes
Relying on ad tech vendors is a hard habit for publishers to quit.
Because vendors eat into publishers’ revenue and slow down their pages, pubs are eager to purge them to have more control over their own tech stacks. But even if a publisher has a strong internal tech team that is capable of building its own products to replace third parties, a lot of vendors stay embedded in publishers’ stacks because pubs don’t want to pay engineers to monitor and tweak these products, and they want somewhere to turn for a quick fix whenever there is a malfunction.
“Sometimes I need a neck to throttle when something breaks,” said a publisher head of product requesting anonymity, when asked why his company outsources some of its ad tech.
When deciding whether to build ad tech themselves, publishers make decisions based off their core competencies. A rep from a comScore top 100 pub with a strong video focus said it built products to replace video vendor Brightcove and native-ad vendor Sharethrough because native and video are major parts of this pub’s business model, and the investment would pay off in the long run since the publisher only expects video and native to grow. But the publisher declined to build its own ad server for display inventory.
There are also ad tech vendors whose products benefit from economies of scale that wouldn’t be possible if a single pub were to go in alone. Purch has a tech team that built its own server-to-server product that it uses to sell all of its programmatic inventory server-side, which is rare among publishers. But it keeps around bad-ad detectors like Ad Lightning and Media Trust because those vendors offer sophisticated detection since they learn from the billions of impressions they analyze across multiple clients, said Purch CTO John Potter.
Read the full article here: https://digiday.com/media/publisher-vendor-habit/
A publishing executive, speaking under the condition of anonymity, recently told a story that has industrywide implications. Despite putting only 20,000 daily video impressions in the open market, this executive said, some advertising partners had purchased over 100,000 daily video impressions that they had believed belong to the publisher.
Mike Hannon, vp of yield and revenue optimization at Purch, said that to prevent these kinds of theoretical blunders, publishers should only work with vendors who accept and respect their agreed upon terms. He added that publishers should make it clear that they specifically prohibit inventory reselling if that is something that concerns them.
“The biggest thing is to have that conversation and make some phone calls to see what is happening,” Hannon said. “Any one of the big SSPs can find out where impressions are coming from. … So be careful of where you are putting out supply.”
Read more: http://digiday.com/publishers/ssp-arbitrage/
Content marketing company Purch has partnered with Index Exchange for a new server-to-server integration for video header bidding, a tie-up it hopes will it maximize monetization opportunities while still not detracting from consumer experiences.
The integration will allow Purch to simultaneously auction banner and video ads with unlimited demand sources without adding any extra latency on the page, according to the pair.
Purch claims the development will ultimately improve transparency and competition, as many advocates of header bidding argue that adoption of the technology can help them open up to demand from third-party ad exchanges, thus reduce their reliance of the internet’s dominant ad stack (ie Google’s DoubleClick), thus reduce their reliance on ‘waterfalling‘.
By building its own solution, Purch can see every scrap of bidding data, including both winning and losing bids, and the spread between them. Potter considers data key to publishers controlling their inventory and understanding its true value.
While Purch’s move to the server side made sense for the company, Potter doesn’t expect many other publishers will take the same path. For one, publishers must have enough scale to entice their ad tech partners to build their end of the connection. And most publishers don’t employ ad tech engineering teams to build these connections.
“Publishers will have to wait for someone to productize it for the most part,” Potter predicted. “I think this is going to be slower than header bidding because it’s harder to implement.”
That said, Potter says Google’s exchange bidding product could see swift adoption and publishers will realize the gains of speed that come with server-to-server connections.
“When exchange bidding is rolled out as a full-fledged product to people,” he said, “it will go quickly.”