By Sara Sluis

When RTB knocks on a publisher’s doorstep, not everyone answers with the same greeting.

While some publishers give it a warm embrace, prioritizing that demand or selling exclusively through programmatic channels, others are more cautious or turning it away. Here’s how publishers are tackling the upsides and blocking the downsides of programmatic.

1. Bring in ad revenue for a new site quickly, creating a foundation for direct sales

When Bauer Xcel Media finally decided to gas up its digital division, it monetized with programmatic first. It plans to add in commerce functionalities next year. Politics-focused Rare did the same thing, as did inspirational and DIY publisher LittleThings. “We had to build a big enough audience in order to have enough to direct sell,” Rare publisher Leon Levitt told AdExchanger. “I don’t want to go out and direct sell banners. Programmatic is fine for that. I want to go out and direct sell sponsorships.”

 2. Trick out your yield management and data platform

Consider what Purch did with a strategy called RAMP (revenue and audience management platform). RAMP determines the value of inventory by including page context, performance and audience. Advertisers get higher-performing placements, and Purch extracts more revenue by matching price with actual value.

Or what video game publisher/developer Gameloft did when it built its own mobile ad server so it could create native ads for its mobile apps that worked better and were less intrusive than those from outside demand partners.

Or even what BBC did, using the analytics functions of its SSPs in order to adjust price floors to improve yield.

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By Sarah Sluis

Some publishers believe programmatic creates a “race to the bottom” for its inventory. Purch, whose portfolio includes TopTenReviews and Tom’s Guide, is taking the opposite approach by using programmatic to establish the baseline value of its media.

This effort, called Purch RAMP (revenue and advertising management platform), will help it create premium, custom advertising opportunities. Call it the race from the bottom.

RAMP starts out solving a familiar problem for publishers: managing header bidding partners. It then saves and stores that bidding information, and applies analytics to understand “the true market value of all our promotional inventory,” said CRO Mike Kisseberth.

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