Accelerating Growth in EMEA and APAC: a Q&A with Rob Jonas, VP and MD International

Rob Jonas, the new Vice President and Managing Director for EMEA and APAC, will lead international sales and help drive continued global expansion of the PubMatic platform.  He brings 15 years of experience developing high-growth technology companies in the EMEA, North America and the Asia-Pacific regions.  An alumni of InMobi, Google, Overture and Yahoo!, he has managed large regional customer relationships and contributed to the successful global expansion of these companies.

 

What will your experience with global brands like Yahoo! and Google bring to a developing company like PubMatic?

I’ve worked at both large global companies and start-ups like InMobi and hope to bring best practices from each. When you work with different global companies, you see that they approach international expansion very differently — some better than others. You have to make sure you understand the markets you are going into and recognise there is a huge amount of variation in how businesses work in Europe and in Asia.  One-size-fits-all is a recipe for failure; there are many nuances and differences across the markets. Secondly, you have to make sure you have experienced people who know the pitfalls to avoid.  Ten years ago it was difficult to create a team with adequate digital experience across multiple markets, but today there are more and more people that have that experience, enjoy the business and are passionate. Lastly, you need to have a clear strategy. Many businesses that launch in international markets with only people on the ground fail because they neither defined success nor created benchmarks to achieve it.

 

What is the biggest challenge for publishers globally today in terms of revenue generation?

There really are three challenges. First, is the speed of change versus ten years ago, which has created higher levels of complexity for operating businesses, servicing customers and managing competitive threats. Second is the multi-platform dimension coupled with the rise of mobile.  Even three years ago publishers were not focused on mobile — it was analysts talking about how important it was. Today, publishers are grappling with multi-platform content distribution and monetisation. Mobile usage adoption has caught many publishers by surprise.  Globalisation is the third factor.  Ten years ago, monetisation operated in local markets.  Today however, major players are finding that huge parts of their business come from outside their home market. Take UK news publisher The Daily Mail, a London-based publisher, which has attracted a large US following, making it the largest online news site in the world – even larger than the New York Times.  Two or three years ago, few people would have predicted that.  As a result, the traditional model of in-house sales teams selling to local advertisers has had to adapt.

 

How would you compare global markets in terms of RTB adoption to the US? 

The U.S. is obviously well established but international markets are becoming more and more important. The UK is a crucial digital advertising market as publishers have more widely adopted the technology – it will be a leader in Europe for RTB growth and overall market size. Japan has caught up to most Western European markets and has the most potential to rival the U.S. in overall size in the next few years. Total RTB spending in Japan will grow from $47 million in 2011 to $1.1 billion in 2016. Beyond these, France and Germany will become critical in Europe. Both of these markets are conservative in adopting new advertising technologies, but once embraced, have the capability to grow very quickly. Australia, India and China will all contribute, with the latter having potential in the long term to be one of the largest RTB markets globally.

 

How can publishers overcome the current commoditisation of inventory that is often blamed on programmatic?

The first iteration of programmatic buying led to the commoditization of remnant inventory for publishers, which pushed down CPMs and yield.  It’s now a very different marketplace with companies like PubMatic offering sophisticated capabilities and platform functionality.  Now publishers can take inventory they may not be able to sell directly, layer in audience data and package it in ways they could not in the past. The publishing business is more complex now and requires technology to increase value from global audiences.

 

What’s your version of an elevator pitch for what PubMatic offers to publishers?

We’re solving critical problems:  How do you monetise your digital assets in an increasingly multi-platform and global marketplace? How do you use technology to increase value and complement your direct sales activities? PubMatic is at the nexus of two huge trends in digital advertising: the rise of programmatic buying and selling of inventory and the consolidation of platforms as users consume content across channels.

 

How do you see the demand side of the business?

I’m one of the big believers that the demand side will drive the ecosystem and will catalyse the marketplace.  Leading Agency Trading Desks project that programmatic buying revenue will amount to hundreds of millions of dollars within the next 24 months.  European publishers are expected to increase RTB budgets by 1000% in 2013.  With this in mind, PubMatic will continue to develop relationships between publisher customers and demand clients.

 

Unified optimization, or the idea of evaluating all inventory sold through a platform, is a pretty radical concept to a lot of publishers who want to continue to segregate inventory into direct sold and premium.  What’s the first step they need to take to better understand this concept?

By articulating our vision of growth, we are able to update publishers’ perceptions.  Once they are on board, many of their concerns disappear.  Our platform offers consultative, 24/7 support so our customers are able to maintain a solid understanding of the current state of the industry as well as prepare for future shifts.

 

Coming from a mobile network, what would you advise publishers to do to increase the value of their mobile inventory?

If you are a mobile publisher today, it’s a challenging market. Publishers need to educate advertisers on why they need to be focused on mobile and help them understand how to plan, buy and run campaigns.  We’re still having the dreaded “year of mobile” discussion — the market is still divided between performance / pay for download and brand advertisers.  We have more work to do on the creative level to unlock the potential of the platform.  We have to take into account the personalised nature of the device plus the data that is attached to it. Soon, we will get to a point where targeting will go beyond “male, 18 – 34, ABC1, in London” to intent context or intent-based targeting. We will be able to target someone about to go shopping, get on a plane or commute to work.  As an industry, we’re also developing enough experience around gaining user consent; surveys have confirmed that users will exchange consent for more valuable content and relevant advertising.  On mobile, there is so much potential for advertising and we are getting closer and closer to this every year.

 

What are your daily must-reads for business and pleasure?

I use Twitter to stay informed about industry news from outlets such as Business Insider, AllThingsDigital and TechCrunch. As I am relatively new to the programmatic sector, sites like ExchangeWire are also must-reads. In the mobile space, there are a handful of analysts who really understand the hype often associated with the mobile sector such as Ben Evans at Enders Analysis. Outside of work, I am a pretty active road cyclist and am usually checking on the latest European race on The Guardian or L’Equipe or what my network is up to on Instagram or Strava.

 

Why did you join PubMatic at this point in your career?

PubMatic predicted many of the trends that are coming to market and after coming in to contact with the company more than five years ago, now is the perfect time to help accelerate its plans in EMEA and the Asia-Pacific region. The speed of change, increase in cross-platform complexity and inexorable rise of programmatic buying is only going to increase in the next few years.  I am looking forward to working with the fantastic team at PubMatic during this next stage of growth.

Focus on the Audience

Or, How the IAB’s view of the advertising landscape leaves out the most important force in media & marketing: People

A blog post by Rich Sobel, Director of Product Marketing & Platform Strategy, PubMatic

As usual, the annual IAB meeting brought out the luminaries of publishing (and yes, there are more “rising stars,” this time for digital video) an update on viewability, big data vs. creative, lively discussions on native ads and the future of display.  For me, the biggest introduction was IAB’s updated view of the online advertising eco-system (http://www.iab.net/IABArena), a much simplified version of the fabled LUMA-scape of Terence Kawaja.

The IAB has long complained, rightly, about the need for clearer value propositions for ad technology companies and I applaud their efforts to move from a messy, logo-ridden process flow to a more holistic vision.  It’s elegant, it’s aesthetic!  My gut reaction is that they missed something: people.  They’ve chosen brands as the central force.  So, yes, Randy, you’ve left out the human side of advertising.

While brands power media spending, the core is always the consumer.  Everything starts with a relationship. That relationship between the brand and the people who choose to engage with the brand (either through content or purchase activity) is paramount.  Content’s engagement with a consumer, and the entire audience created, is both the driver and the pinnacle of everything the content creator’s business is based on.

In our media ecosystem, with that human-centric core, everything comes down to data.

Data may have gotten big and can be valued in bits and bytes, but in the end, all data does is tell us something about people: how they engage and interact with media, and develop intent to take action in their lives.  Engagement, interaction, and intent are the foundational elements of understanding and responding to an audience.  That goes for both publishers and advertisers.  Data, used in the right way, is about making it all more personal:  the experience of media and the experience of advertising.  Publishers use data to inform their user experience and drive a more engaging and content-rich relationship with their audience, and advertising brands use data to develop products and drive consumer relationship with those products.   Retargeting is a straightforward example of a brand deploying data to re-engage people who have shown intent and offer them something of value.

Data provides the “why” in what we in advertising do as a business, and the relationship with the consumer is a value exchange.  In return for content and products, people provide data that indicates their engagement with that content and products.  The core value proposition of ad technology companies is to take the knowledge gained from the experience of a consumer and improve the next point of engagement.

Ad technology platforms, like PubMatic, provide the “how” to take data and apply it to make advertising more personal on a publisher’s media property.  A Private Marketplace allows publishers to apply their audience data in a direct sales environment without risking the open market commoditization of their data, and leverage the power of their audience relationship, blending the premium and programmatic sales channels without conflict.  It’s only one of the paths forward we see in a simplified ecosystem where people and their experiences with brands (both publishing and advertising) are increasingly personal, relevant and positive.  

As we attempt to explain the business we are in, we cannot forget that everything begins and ends with a consumer relationship.  We should be more focused on defining the problems we face and the solutions we provide than with creating a chart.  Let’s solve our customers’ problems and drive great experiences.

 

Devising Innovative Solutions to Drive Growth: a Q&A with CRO, Americas, Andrew Zeiger

Andrew Zeiger, the new Chief Revenue Officer of the Americas for PubMatic, brings 20 years of experience with top publishing companies like CNET, technology companies like the Geeknet and data companies like RichRelevance.  At PubMatic he will oversee revenue operations, strategic account development, and be responsible for devising innovative solutions to drive continued growth in North and South America.  He discussed the opportunities he sees for PubMatic clients and how he can help them meet their goals.

Why come to a company like PubMatic now?

Two reasons: PubMatic is filled with smart people and truly has a culture of innovation. PubMatic has already established leadership through innovation in an industry space that has sorely needed it as the pace of changing models and growing demand accelerates. As programmatic buying and selling become more important in the advertising ecosystem, I’m convinced that PubMatic will be the real-time engine that drives the industry forward for publishers and demand partners while creating a more useful consumer experience.

How did your background prepare you for your role at PubMatic?

I see this role as the culmination of my experience.  I started on the agency side and lived and breathed the whole buying process. Then I spent the better part of 20 years on the publishing side.  I understand what the publisher pain points are and the solutions that are needed.  One thing that has been a recurring theme in my career has been creating value for consumers and, consequently creating an environment that allows for a positive interaction between consumers and brands.  This is an important focus for PubMatic as we continue to create value for all constituencies in the marketing equation.

What is the biggest challenge for publishers today in terms of revenue generation?

Traditional publishers are still working on a model of a direct sales force exclusively representing their inventory.  While there will always be an important place for that, it simply does not scale to the extent that publishers and demand partners require in an increasingly fast paced environment requiring real-time decision making and execution. Most often publisher’s inventory is left underutilized and under valued.  What has been lacking in the rapidly changing world of programmatic sales are insights and innovations on both the publisher and demand sides.  They have to be able to understand the value of tier-two inventory.  When you become a data centric company – which is what all publishers have to develop expertise in – you unlock the value, increase revenue and improve results.  There has also been a total shift in terms of the speed that automation brings to the market.  We all know how hard it is to accurately predict and monetize spikes in inventory volume, but RTB can solve those issues.  Direct teams just cannot respond with the timing required in today’s market.

What excites you about programmatic buying and selling?

It’s bringing an intelligence and value to the consumer that is really difficult to do in a non-automated way. We can also accelerate a marketer’s time to market with technology solutions that match the right message to the right individual.  It’s positive for everyone involved.

Many publishers fear commoditization; how can you help them understand that RTB is not a race to the bottom?

PubMatic has done a great job on the data side.  They are bringing value to what has been considered remnant.  RTB is bringing intelligence to an unsorted mass of inventory.  For too long it’s been a price story as there was little visibility into what you were getting.  As recent data from PubMatic shows, RTB doubled CPMs over what publishers could get from ad networks in Q4.   Private Marketplaces – which offer huge benefits in terms of transparency — increased CPMs dramatically over traditional ad network buys.  Advertisers are coming on board as they are getting the quality inventory that’s just not identifiable in exchanges.   PubMatic does an excellent job of balancing the needs of both publishers and advertisers.

There’s been a lot of discussion of programmatic premium.  How do you define it and what do you think publishers need to understand about it?

It’s early and we’re still getting the market used to the idea that the direct sale can be augmented with programmatic.   Advancements in programmatic premium such as Private Marketplaces have facilitated strategic direct deals to get more creative in their own time.  Everyone in the equation wins.

PubMatic’s ultimate goal is the concept of unified optimization:  using the platform to evaluate all inventory sales.  Yet, many publishers still fear the cannibalization of the high CPMs of their direct sales through such an approach.

We need to expose exactly what unified optimization means.  There are lots of reasons why publishers might want to allocate or do deals.  Unified optimization is being able to look at all inventory and allocate what you send to whom. What is the availability?  What are the pricing thresholds?  When you take the distinct use scenario and say this portion is only for direct, this is for programmatic, you ultimately leave money on the table. Unified optimization will ultimately be adopted as publishers realize that it will provide a marketplace intelligence that just wasn’t there and that is demanded by the changing way that advertisers want to buy media.


At PubMatic, you will also be selling to demand partners.  What do you think PubMatic brings them that they can’t get elsewhere?

Their focus has always been on premium publications. They stand for a high level of quality in the marketplace.  And the science and the algorithms are really strong. They’ve invested far more in engineering than many of their competitors.  They’ve also brought security measures and data protection that are critical to the health of the industry.

Mobile is the hot area of growth in digital advertising; how do you see PubMatic helping publishers increase revenue in this nascent area?

PubMatic is taking a holistic approach and providing the same tool set for mobile as for the online marketplace in general.  From the traditional screen, to tablets, to the new Windows machines that are crossing over – the same value proposition still exists.  Buyers will increasingly want cross-platform digital and PubMatic will be able to provide it.

You’ll be based in PubMatic’s Redwood City office.  We assume you will be doing lots of traveling.

I like and need to be in front of customers – it’s how a lot of great ideas and possibilities are fleshed out. Chief Revenue Officer is not a job done sitting behind a desk.  Besides, I grew up in New York but left 20 years ago. It will be great to be working with clients there and all over the country.

 

 

The Future of Programmatic: Think Big, Think Brands

By Paulina Klimenko, VP Business Development

I recently attended Digiday Exchange Summit in Miami and was thrilled to see that the concept of programmatic premium was right, front and center of the discussions on stage.  At PubMatic we’ve always known that there was a better future for publishers than getting trapped in the low CPMs and bad ads of the early days, and RFP and IO-based selling of the present. And now a collection of agency execs and brand marketers from companies like Kellogg’s and Mediabrands, and top publishers like Forbes and Weather Channel came together to talk about new areas programmatic is expanding into.

The general consensus was that the next wave of growth in programmatic buying will come from brand dollars rather than direct response and that programmatic has a healthy multi-platform future in mobile and video.  There was acknowledgement that RTB does not mean the replacement of a buyer-publisher relationship with technology, but instead it can enhance existing relationships through efficiency and transparency. Out goes a traditional RFP-based buying! As Ad.com’s Dave Jacobs, SVP Publisher Services said: “The biggest myth of RTB today is that the marketer will no longer want to talk to the publisher.” We’ve seen this through our own experience with clients, especially for Private Marketplaces.  Technology is the enabler, while people buying and selling are freed up to communicate about strategy over minutia.

In order to get those brand dollars to go programmatic, there are a few key things that have to happen:  transparency has to be increased, measurement needs to evolve beyond traditional CTR, publishers have to be able to exert control and RTB has to support non-standard ad units.. The transparency issue is an important one:  in a marketers’ surveyconducted by Adap.tv, 91% of brands and 89% agencies believe viewability will be standardized within the next 12 months and marketers will no longer  pay for ads that are not seen. I should note that comScore viewability metrics have been integrated into the PubMatic platform through PubLink, PubMatic’s enterprise app marketplace.

Video, a PubMatic initiative on our 2013 roadmap, is of course a hotly pursued format for brand marketers and has seen an explosive growth over the last few years. It is driven by growing video consumption on mobile and tablets, and growing video ad budgets which increased by 27% last year, and are expected to increase another 20% this year. Several panelists noted that video is about 12 months behind display in terms of programmatic sales. Video has a unique set of challenges that we don’t see in display. For us to see programmatic buying in video take off, we need to solve for the universal support across different formats and devices in the multi-device world; we need to develop a new set of measurements different from display (e.g., iGRP); and we need to achieve sufficient scale of inventory that has been scarce in the past. If we solve for these challenges, we can see programmatic sales in video grow from a single-digit percentages today to a meaningful share of total sales. Dan Masher, GM of Brightroll, a video  exchange, expects that within 12 months programmatic will be 15 – 20% of their business.

In a State of the Industry  panel, execs from Adap.tv, Horizon Media and The Weather Channel noted the current disconnect in agencies between those who buy digital video and those who buy TV although one is so often an extension of the other.  But, as the Digiday survey pointed out, 78% of agency execs think they’ll do buying and planning of TV and video together in the future. We look forward to the day when demand partners can go into a platform like ours and get that network spot, plus online, plus mobile, plus tablet.

Day two closed out with an agency panel. Vik Kathuria, Managing Partner of GroupM/Mediacom stated that 10-15% of budgets are going to programmatic with a focus on getting brand dollars.  Brendan Moorcroft, CEO of Mediabrands, noted that programmatic is the biggest growth opportunity for his agency globally.  We couldn’t agree more.

 

The Opportunity of Mobile RTB for Publishers and Advertisers: Q & A with Mobile Sales Director, Heather Menery

Heather Menery, who has been working with agencies and brands to launch mobile campaigns for over seven years, is the new Director of Sales, Mobile, at PubMatic where she will be responsible for sales to both publishers and ad buyers.  Among her varied roles in mobile, Menery was sales director at Velti, a mobile marketing and advertising technology company, and a sales executive at Jumptap Mobile Ad Network. Heather shares what her experience in mobile has taught her and what she can bring to publishers and demand partners at PubMatic.

Q:  You’re one of the few mobile execs to have spent your entire career in mobile.  What do you think you learned about mobile as a marketing medium at your first job?

I am glad that I was first on the account management side at Enpocket, a mobile media company with mobile marketing services, before starting my sales career. I learned so much about the importance of client education, especially as it pertains to new media. In 2006, it was not just about educating the advertiser on why they should invest in mobile but also how to take those first steps to launch a mobile campaign. As the landscape is constantly changing, the education piece has not changed. Some of the first mobile buys I received from agencies were a result of continuous client education and proper expectation setting.

Q. What is the biggest consumer trend impacting mobile advertising right now?

Users are consuming more media than ever before. Because so much of this consumption is taking place on the mobile device, mobile can no longer be considered a “third screen.” We are a generation that thrives on multi-tasking and we are consuming media from different devices simultaneously or within seconds of each other. We watch TV, see a brand’s commercial, and immediately visit that brand’s site on our mobile device.  I love the cross-platform play as mobile stands out as the connective tissue for all forms of media vs. being labeled as a “third screen.” As we heard from many agencies at the recent Mobile Media Summit, companies that can target users cross-platform will impact mobile advertising in a big way.

Q.  What do you think is unique about mobile as an ad medium?

How personal our mobile device is. I do not share my phone with anyone, it’s become more important than my wallet. In some cases, it is my wallet. It’s the first thing I look at in the morning and often the last thing at night. Because it’s always with us, the location piece is essential. If publishers can pass us latitude and longitudinal data we can deliver much more effective targeting, which in turn makes the inventory more valuable. Even national retailers are using location to add relevance to their advertising and layering on daypart targeting. People do things at certain times of day and if you can reach them at the right moment with a localized message, it’s gold.

Q.  What do you think will most impact mobile ad spend which has been lagging compared to spend on other media.

Most of the time, mobile is still the last line item on a media planner’s media budget. There is still the need for continuous education, especially in such a fragmented space. There are new mobile companies popping up daily, new devices, new ad formats…taking a week vacation from reading about mobile trends means you’re already behind. The need for education is still prevalent.

But I believe the biggest challenge in mobile right now is the lack of standardized tracking, both at the mobile media display level and attributing this media to users’ post click actions.  The tried and true way of tracking on digital display is not working across mobile, which is very frustrating to advertisers. Combine lack of unified tracking with privacy concerns in a fragmented space that changes daily and you’ll understand why the investment isn’t there yet.

I’m confident that this industry is too smart to fail and we may all need to work together towards a universally accepted method of tracking that is privacy compliant.

Q.  You’ve been on the agency side. What are budgets like these days for mobile?

It depends. There are some brands with seven figure mobile budgets but average deal size at the campaign level can still average $25 – 50K per campaign.

Q.  What do publishers need to understand about mobile in terms of mobile advertising?

Your standard “desktop” site may look fantastic on the iPhone but publishers need to think beyond aesthetics and understand how users’ behavior is different on their smartphones vs. laptops and even tablets. A mobile optimized site is a must and the functionality and organization of your mobile site will differ from your desktop site. Take advantage of all the ad sizes mobile can deliver beyond just the standard banner i.e. rich media and video. The targeting you can offer advertisers will only make your inventory more valuable, especially if you can target based on a user’s location.

Q.  What is the greatest challenge for publishers about mobile advertising?  

That it’s a fragmented space and there’s always something new to learn. Advertisers and publishers share many of the same challenges, as I mentioned above. It goes back to education…there are a lot of nuances. That’s one of the reasons I think it’s so smart that PubMatic partnered with MobStac, which simplifies the process of optimizing content for any mobile device.  It’s one of the headaches that can now be solved through automation.

Q. What are the most important things you think PubMatic can do for publishers with mobile inventory?

Better understand their mobile assets and increase the value of their mobile inventory. Aggregate demand partners and continuously innovate to stay on top of market trends. I also would not downplay the service aspect.  At PubMatic, we provide insights into the bidding environment because we live and breathe it every day.  The mobile team is made up of true mobile experts who really understand RTB.  The reason I came here is that I see the promise of RTB for mobile.   I’ve been working at different mobile ad networks for some time and advertisers want to talk about RTB. I wanted to work at a company that really gets it.

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Have a question for Heather we haven’t covered here?  Leave a reply, question or comment below.

PubMatic Closes Out 2012 with Client Growth, Product Innovation and Industry Leadership…

 

… And We Made Deloitte’s 2012 Technology Fast 500™ List!

As the year comes to a close, I wanted to highlight some of the amazing achievements of PubMatic that have made it the leading strategic selling platform globally.  From our engineers who created great products, to our salespeople who sold them, and the client services people who made them hum, PubMatic is a company of people and technology committed to making every ad, every sales channel, every screen more profitable.

When I think of our advances this year, first and foremost is the fact that some of the leading media companies chose us in 2012. Hearst, Rodale, Martha Stewart, The Weather Network and Belo Interactive all became clients.  These comScore-100 publishers were attracted to PubMatic because of our independence and our legacy of innovation.   Here are just a few of the developments I am most proud of this year:

Product Innovation:  PubMatic continued to innovate in marketing technology throughout 2012.  In February, we introduced PubDirect, a suite of management tools including a milestone in product development that delivered on our holistic vision of inventory management.  Included in the suite is a Unified Optimization Engine – and accompanying reporting tool Unified Insights – which allows publishers to maximize revenue of guaranteed and non-guaranteed inventory against multiple demand sources.

Audience Direct – which is also part of the PubDirect suite — gives publishers the ability to meet the demand for audience buying by helping them to create and manage the variable value of their audiences in real time.

In March, we introduced PubLink, an enterprise app marketplace for publishers.  This set of open APIs enables publishers to use PubMatic’s strategic selling platform as a single point of integration to access partners and services in real time. Our current partners include Evidon, comScore, ShinyAds and MobStac.

Mobile Innovation:  Between Q1 and Q3 mobile paid ad impressions grew 700% and mobile development was a priority for us throughout the year.  In March we acquired MobiPrimo, a leading mobile development technology firm.   The capabilities of MobStac, a company that optimizes mobile content for any wireless device, were integrated into PubLink in December.  We also announced version two of an MRAID SDK which enables publishers to seamlessly work with the leading networks and all rich media formats through the PubMatic platform. It includes an auction algorithm which speeds delivery and reduces latency.

Rounding out our mobile innovation is a custom iPad app to make reporting even more accessible for clients. MyReports was accepted into the Apple App store in December.

Thought Leadership: In addition to ground-breaking new products, PubMatic continued to lead the industry through the sponsorship of research about market sizing and effectiveness of programmatic buying and selling.  We sponsored the second edition of an IDC report on the use of Real Time Bidding globally, that is perhaps the most cited source of information on this advertising sector.  The study showed that RTB is the fastest growing digital ad segment and is predicted to increase to $13.9 billion in spending worldwide in 2016 or 27% of the display market.  We also sponsored a total economic impact report from Forrester which showed that use of our platform could result in a three-year risk-adjusted ROI of 334% and 50% incremental lift by leveraging a Private Marketplace strategy.  Both of these reports were highlighted at Ad Revenue 5, our 5th annual industry leadership conference which was attended by over 250 of the top advertisers, agency and media executives in New York in October.

Awards & Accolades:  In November, PubMatic was ranked the Fastest Growing Online Advertising Company in the US Internet Sector, 20th Fastest Overall in North America, on Deloitte’s 2012 Technology Fast 500™.  PubMatic was also named a leading sell-side platform in The Forrester Wave: Sell-Side Platforms report, which was released in January.   We’re honored to be included in both.

International Expansion:  PubMatic started the year with offices in the US, UK and India, and added offices in Germany, France and Australia.  In November we opened a new data center in Singapore. We continue to expand internationally as the market dictates and Real Time Bidding goes global for publishers.

People:  PubMatic hired some of the best in the business and added a Chief Counsel, a CMO, a Head of HR, and VPs of Mobile, Engineering, Publishing Sales and Product Management. Our total number of employees is now over 350.

Funding:  We took on an additional $45 million in funding in June. New investor August Capital lead the financing, with participation from all existing investors including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Nexus Venture Partners, Helion Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank.

As we Iook back over 2012, it was a pivotal year in terms of the growth of the company.  We welcomed some of the most prestigious names in media as clients.  We put the right people and products in place all over the world.   We truly continued on the path of what we started when we created RTB from the publisher perspective back in 2009.  Our publishers are growing in their sophistication of the platform. They may have started with simple yield optimization, but since have adopted Real Time Bidding and now many are engaging in Private Marketplaces where they are maintaining and growing their best relationships in an open and transparent way – all while increasing CPMs.

Unified Optimization is where the growth will be in 2013, as publishers think holistically and evaluate guaranteed and non-guaranteed inventory side by side to best determine where and how to sell it.  The IDC research showed just how much potential there is for the automation of direct sales. We are helping our publisher clients realize that opportunity and raise their CPMs as programmatic premium becomes a reality.  A platform like PubMatic provides more control and select access to the inventory that drives impact.  We predict that 2013 will be the year of total value creation for the publishers and buyers across our platform.

 

Solving the Problem of Restricted Demand

Introducing the Latest PubMatic Solution and Whitepaper: Multi-Bid RTB

By Manish C. Tayal, Ph.D., Vice President, Analytics and Algorithms, PubMatic

We’re all supposedly working towards a programmatic future that enables higher quality (guaranteed) inventory to be purchased through Sell Side Platforms (SSPs) by Demand Side Platforms (DSPs).  But to date, the pricing achieved has not encouraged premium publishers to cross the boundary of putting more of their best inventory (now typically direct sold) into the marketplace.  The essence of programmatic buying is liquidity and we just don’t have it, despite the rapid growth of RTB. In my role at PubMatic, I have seen this scenario time and time again and it’s struck me how limiting it is and how it’s something that we could solve for the market.

As an example, there are thousands of brands who buy programmatically, yet all those buys happen through less than 50 to 60 DSPs where only one bid is allowed through each system at a time.  What’s more, two-thirds of spend is aggregated in the top 5 platforms.  The current scenario treats programmatic buying as if it is a one-to-one relationship between the impression and the advertiser when it should be a one-to-many relationship.

The solution we at PubMatic have created is a multi-bid RTB environment.  The problem of advertiser liquidity and publisher revenue opportunity can be fixed on our platform and we can move towards a joint (advertiser and publisher) optimal ad allocation decision for each impression, while taking into consideration seller and buyer preferences and incentives. The platform enables DSPs to provide multiple best offers or “bids” from various advertisers instead of a single best offer.

Multi-Bid RTB overcomes the limitations of RTB as it is today, encourages the growth of private marketplaces, maximizes overall monetization value per impression for the benefit of the entire eco-system. The increased CPMs will motivate publishers to provide greater access and transparency to their premium inventory in return for better monetization via multiple offers from bidders.   Advertisers would find more success in purchasing the media and audience they are looking for at the price they are willing to pay for it. When buyers gain access to premium inventory and are not limited to local sub-optimal auctions internally, they are more willing to spend aggressively to meet campaign goals. It’s a winning scenario for all.

For the complete scenario of how a multi-bid environment operates through PubMatic, see www.pubmatic.com/reports

Mary & Mobile: How Are We Going to Get There?

By VP of Mobile Bob Walczak

Twice a year former Citibank and now Kleiner Perkins analyst Mary Meeker wows the industry with the power of Internet growth globally [http://www.businessinsider.com/mary-meeker-2012-internet-trends-year-end-update-2012-12].  Her reports like these go back to the dot-com days. This year mobile became the dominant theme and the ultimate catalyst for business and consumer change. Why? The numbers are staggering.  Fifty percent of people in the US and China now have smartphones. While iPods changed one sector of media, their ramp up among consumers has been marginal compared to that of iPads.  The iPad is the number-one thing kids in the US want from Santa this year. Twenty-four percent of online shopping on Black Friday took place on tablets or smartphones.

All of this consumer usage growth is incredibly exciting, but as VP of Mobile at PubMatic, there’s one chart in her deck that really gets me going:  it’s where she breaks out time spent with media to ad spend.

Mobile has the biggest upside:  see the chart below.

Time spent is typically a proxy for media spend and while mobile gets 1% of spend, it’s now 10% of media time. It represents a huge opportunity for publishers.  How are we going to close that gap?

It’s no surprise that the mobile revolution has challenged many publishers in terms of monetization. Supply is outstripping demand and as a medium, it’s really complicated with so many device types and formats.

Here’s the top 3 things every publisher should consider to make mobile manageable and truly go “mobile first” as so many are talking about:

  1. Find a tool to help you render content for any mobile format:  There is no reason a publisher should be attempting to do this all themselves. There are companies like MobStac that make it easy to optimize content for any tablet or smartphone format.
  2. Work with a yield platform that does the work of enriching your ad requests:  If done correctly, the SSP should add values like geo-parameters, carrier, and offer a full device library which identifies things like device type (smartphones, tablets, connected TVs) and features (OS, touch screen, camera, resolution…etc.) to be passed to demand partners and ultimately increase monetization.
  3. Look for a stable standardized Rich Media solution: I still hear stories of Rich Media ads that advertisers want, rendering improperly across content. The mobile web has gotten a bit more consistent but the application side is still struggling. The labor of integrating an SDK for a developer is significant, so finding a company that provides a stable, comprehensive and lightweight SDK is critical to reducing this pain point. The main recommendation is for the SDK to incorporate MRAID (a standard for rich media advertising defined by the IAB). This not only enables higher value monetization, it also it enables the industry to scale and better meet Meeker’s projections.

At PubMatic, we are constantly pushing to innovate in mobile and ensure our publishers can monetize the inventory they have.  We saw 700% growth in mobile paid ad impressions from Q1 to Q3 this year.  To support mobile monetization, over the next few weeks you will see announcements on a number of partnerships and developments that all work together to ensure that any of our publishing clients can put mobile first.

The mobile revolution is all about making information easy to access when and where consumers want to. PubMatic’s innovations in mobile are bringing simplicity – and increased revenue – to the platform where we are all now most likely to engage.

 

Take a Break – and Learn from the Best

By Larry Harris

At Ad Revenue 5 in October, PubMatic brought together some of the smartest people in the advertising and technology space to discuss the future of media. It was a landmark event with over 250 leading publishers, media executives and marketers in attendance. Publishers came away with new ideas and techniques for taking control in an advertising world that is increasingly automated and programmatic.

If you missed it – or want some of your colleagues to benefit from the panels and speakers, we now have highlight videos for your access. Top execs like Ari Bluman of GroupM, Michael Kuntz of Rodale, Michael Rooney of the Wall Street Journal,  Kyoo Kim of NBC News, Kristine Welker of Hearst, Susan Hogan of Viacom and Rishad Tobacowalla of VivaKi addressed everything from the promise of mobile to programmatic buying and selling techniques and the potential impact of viewability on the industry.

Our industry moves so fast and this is a great opportunity to get up to speed with the trends – and the thought leaders – who our shaping our industry into 2013 and beyond.

How Are You Taking Control? Highlights from PubMatic’s Ad Revenue 5

By Cindy Lee, Director of Product Marketing and Training, PubMatic

We’ve just wrapped up our best Ad Revenue conference to date!  Were you there? If you were, we thank you again for attending!  It was a fantastic day with over 300 leading publishers, agency executives, and marketers discussing the future of digital advertising.  Also, we can’t forget the amazing view over Central Park!

With the pace of change in media sales transforming how premium publishers must consider their approach to monetizing each and every impression, PubMatic President Kirk McDonald implored the audience to consider a very important question: “How are you taking control?”

Some of the recurring themes we heard throughout the day were: big data, Real-time bidding (RTB) moving to the direct sales channel, the continued importance of quality content, need for improved measurement, and the evolving talent required to be effective in the programmatic world.

Ad Revenue 5 also introduced a couple of brand new studies which can help you to understand the effect that RTB is having on the industry:

  • First, the consulting arm of Forrester Research presented results of a commissioned Total Economic Impact Study based upon composite data from 4 PubMatic clients.  The study revealed a three-year risk-adjusted ROI of 334%; 30% lift on eCPM for discretionary inventory through RTB; and 50% incremental lift by leveraging a Private Marketplace strategy with use of the PubMatic platform.  Click here to download the full report now.
  • Next, we presented results on a study conducted by research firm IDC and sponsored by PubMatic as an update to the oft cited study from 2011.  This study  included display, display RTB, mobile, mobile RTB, and Private Marketplace growth numbers for US, UK, France, Germany, and for the first time, China, and Japan.  It was unveiled that RTB is the fastest growing digital ad segment, predicted to increase to $13.9 billion in spending worldwide in 2016.  The study also indicated that RTB will outperform all other digital ad segments including mobile, video or social advertising. Download the full  report  here.

If you were unable to attend, or want to recapture the day, you can still catch up on the action from our live blog updates or on Twitter #adrev5 #PubMatic.  Full video coverage from the event is coming soon to pubmatic.com and to the event site, adrevenueconference.com.

We look forward to bringing you an even bigger and better Ad Revenue next year.  In the meantime, enjoy some photos from the day:

A packed house!

Rajeev Goel, CEO, PubMatic with opening remarks

Kirk McDonald, President, PubMatic, MC’s the event

Reggie Lau, Forrester, gives Total Economic Impact presentation

Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, VivaKi gives keynote

Panel Dicussion moderated by Robin Steinberg, EVP, MD, Publishing & Digital Activatation, MediaVest USA

Chris Peacock, Executive Editor & VP, CNNMoney.com interviews Neal Shapiro, President & CEO, WNET