The Luxury Buying Experience of Private Marketplaces

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By Paul Chu, VP Advertiser Solutions, PubMatic

Close your eyes. Imagine walking into a store, with your eyes still closed, and trying to buy something without being able to see anything – the salespeople, the products, the shelves and racks… nothing. That’s what it’s like for digital advertisers and agencies buying in some programmatic marketplaces. In the past, this was acceptable for advertisers, because although they were buying inventory blindly, they could buy at scale, measure their campaigns and still achieve a reasonable return on advertising spend.

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March Madness: The Number One Seed in Ad Spend

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As March Madness tips off this week, the first round teams lace up to step on the court, and employees in offices across the country prepare their brackets, we are reminded of the marketing power behind mega sporting events and why it’s important to begin thinking about them as immense marketing opportunities.

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The Perfect Marriage – Programmatic Advertising and Presidential Campaigns

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By Jaime Lefkowitz, Sr. Director of Mobile, PubMatic

With Super Tuesday behind us, and the primaries heating up, candidate’s ability to leverage the power of programmatic advertising has never been more critical. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have emerged as the frontrunners for their respective parties, but other contending candidates remain in the race, and they need to have the right strategy in place if they want to come within reach of the oval office.

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The 4-1-1 on Private Marketplaces

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A Conversation with Hussain Rahim, Director of Product Marketing at PubMatic

Private marketplace (PMP) adoption continued to increase in 2015, and there are no signs of it slowing down in 2016. eMarketer estimates that PMP spending will reach $3.65 billion this year and grow 35% to a projected $4.93 billion by 2017. But like so many other fast-growing areas in digital advertising, there is some confusion that surrounds it. In order to shed some clarity on the subject, we sat down with Hussain Rahim, Director of Product Marketing at PubMatic to get some answers.

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Three Reasons Why Private Marketplaces Are So Popular With Buyers & Publishers

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By John Stoneman, VP EMEA

As programmatic advertising continues to grow globally, its growth in many markets is partially fueled by the rise of private marketplaces. In its early years, the word “programmatic” solely meant the buying and selling of advertising inventory in a real-time open auction. Recently, however, we have witnessed the rise of invitation-only programmatic marketplaces called private marketplaces. These private marketplaces (PMPs) provide publishers with the ability to designate certain parts of their advertising inventory to a select buyer or group of buyers, which differs from the open auction where the advertising inventory is open to all bidders.

In the U.S., the market where programmatic got its start, private marketplaces have grown massively in popularity. PMP is projected to account for 28% of an $11.8 billion programmatic market by 2016 up from just 2.0% in 2013, according to eMarketer.

Here are three reasons why PMPs have become a favorite of so many buyers and premium publishers.

Control

PMPs allow publishers to determine the buyers or advertisers that will be allowed to bid on certain parts of their inventory. This control often means that publishers feel more comfortable about selling their premium inventory programmatically, since they have selected the advertisers that they are offering it to. It’s the type of control that buyers and publishers have always had during the traditional direct sales process and PMP can bring it to programmatic.

PMPs provide buyers with added inventory transparency as being part of a PMP means they will have already identified a publisher they are comfortable buying from. PMPs also provide buyers with access to some types of premium inventory that may not be available in open auction. Finally, PMPs provide premium publishers with an extra level of confidence about the creative that will appear on their digital properties, helping to address any concerns they have around brand safety.

Workflow Automation

PMPs offer the superior workflow automation that is the hallmark of programmatic advertising when compared with traditional direct sales. Both publishers and buyers benefit by significantly reducing the traditionally time-consuming process required to execute traditional direct sales.

Relationships

PMPs allow publishers and buyers to extend an existing direct relationship into programmatic. As more inventory is bought programmatically, PMP is an easy way for both buyers and sellers to maintain the rewards of an existing direct sales relationship whilst at the same time benefiting from the efficiency and effectiveness of programmatic execution.

Programmatic is exploding globally, estimated to reach 48% of all global digital display spending this year. As that growth continues, PMPs will play a significant role as buyers and publishers seek to take advantage of its benefits as we move further into the age of programmatic.

Click the hyperlinks to learn more about PubMatic’s PMP and programmatic direct offerings for publishers and buyers.

Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need to Know About Viewability

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There may be no bigger hot button issue in digital advertising right now than ad viewability. Every industry event seems to have at least one panel discussion focused on the topic and there’s been an endless stream of commentary on the issue in the media. Yet for a subject that receives so much attention there’s still a great deal of confusion surrounding it.

That’s why we put together a “cheat sheet” for everything you need to know—but might’ve been afraid to ask–about viewability.

What is viewability?

“Viewability” is an online advertising metric that tracks only impressions actually seen by users. For example, if an ad is loaded at the bottom of a webpage but a user doesn’t scroll down far enough to see it, that impression is not considered viewable.

Is there an agreed upon definition of viewable?

There are two main governing bodies pushing for a standardized definition of viewability: the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Media Rating Council (MRC). Digital media differs from other forms of media in that ad effectiveness is measured on an impression-by-impression basis. Traditional media such as TV commercials use measurement based on averages, such as how often a commercial is played on TV. Because digital media is measured on an impression-by-impression basis, it is not enough to serve the ad for it to be considered effective. The ads must also be seen.

For display ads, the IAB and MRC define a “viewable” impression as one that is at least 50 percent visible for a minimum of one continuous second. For video ads, it is defined as 50 percent visible for at least two seconds. “50 percent visible” means that 50 percent of the ad’s pixels appear above the fold.

Are there other standards of viewability?

Viewability is a growing concern among advertisers because non-viewable impressions can be considered an ineffective use of budgets. A survey conducted by Integral Ad Science (IAS) in December 2014 showed that 78 percent of advertisers surveyed felt that the IAB and MRC standards for viewability were not strict enough. In the case of video, for example, the IAB and MRC standards do not take into account whether the sound is on for an ad, which can detract from the ad’s effectiveness. Many advertisers have therefore begun implementing their own metrics for viewability.

How much of a problem are non-viewable impressions in the industry?

Even using IAB’s and MRC’s current standards, eMarketer estimates that only 50 percent of ads served on desktop are considered viewable. Mobile performs better by consistently achieving 70 percent or higher in viewable ads, but viewability remains a hot button issue in part because so few marketers agree on or even know what current viewability standards are. Recent research from Econsultancy found that 43 percent of senior marketers in the US and UK use viewability to determine the success of their programmatic ad campaigns, while research by firm SQAD found that nearly half of the marketers it surveyed thought that the minimum amount of time a video should be displayed for it to be considered viewable was five seconds or more—over twice the current standard.

What is PubMatic’s approach to viewability?

At PubMatic we have decided to tackle the viewability issue head-on in a transparent way we believe will help both buyers and publishers. We recently signed an agreement with Integral Ad Science (IAS) that will allow us to provide viewability metrics to both our publishers and demand partners.

Today, many of PubMatic’s demand partners already use a third-party tool to help measure viewability. What makes PubMatic different is that we plan to have IAS scores passed on to the publishers—not just media buyers. Our publishers will be able to use this data to create Private Marketplace offerings for their most viewable ad inventory, for example. Since viewable ads help marketers achieve their campaign goals by showing ads to audiences, they’re frequently willing to offer a higher bid for viewable inventory. Offering packages of their most viewable inventory is a great way for publishers to maximize the value of their digital assets. It also provides buyers transparency into inventory that they haven’t had to this point.

To learn more about PubMatic’s Brand Shield solutions click here.

Why Publishers and Buyers Should Insist On An Open Ad Sales Ecosystem

By Rob Jonas, Global Chief Revenue Officer

Rob Jonas, PubMatic 1As the real-time ad sales market continues its evolution, many technology players have built platforms and tools that are designed to offer market participants open access to the vast pools of demand and ad inventory that exist across the entire ad sales ecosystem. This approach views the real-time ad sales market as essentially one market.  The companies that subscribe to this approach want to provide buyers and publishers with a complete and unbiased view into a fast growing and dynamic market where they can interact with one another with as little friction as possible.

Yet there are other platforms and media owners in the programmatic space that have adopted a less open approach. They have built their technology around the premise of a closed ecosystem. In this model, buyers and sellers interact in a closed environment. Much like life inside an exclusive gated community, everything is seamless and pleasant—as long as you are living inside the community. However, imagine if you were encouraged never to leave this gated community.  Sure, the golf course, shopping mall and spa are great, but there’s also a whole world outside the community that you should visit and keep tabs on.

In some cases, a closed platform can bias buyers towards the ad inventory of media properties owed by that platform. In other cases, the closed technology is designed as part of an effort to create a sort of “uber exchange” that generates friction with buyers and sellers operating outside the platform. Here the goal seems to be to nudge those players operating outside the ecosystem into the closed environment in hopes of building market share.

Beyond the fact that closed environments only seem to benefit the entity that owns and controls that environment, there are clear reasons why an open ecosystem make sense for both publishers and buyers.  As programmatic buying continues to skyrocket in popularity, more buyers and more ad inventory are added to the market daily. Magna Global estimates that global programmatic buying reached $21 billion in 2014 climbing by 52%, with no significant slowdown in sight.  Indeed as new players join the market, we are seeing more complexity overall and a general fragmentation of buying. Integrating these new demand and supply sources is easier for everyone in an open environment.

We speak to publishers every day and they ask us for recommendations on whom they should work with, often touching on the perceived benefits of closed ecosystems. Our view is that demand is hyper-fragmented and becoming more so. Discounting part of the buyer ecosystem by working with a subset of its players limits your opportunity to maximize the value of your inventory.

Buyers and sellers should ask their technology partners what their stance is on open environments vs. closed environments. Do they offer demand and supply from across the entire market or are they building a (closed) network that creates friction when a buyer or publisher wants to transact with a party outside the ecosystem?

PubMatic is dedicated to offering our publishers demand from any and all sources across the ad sales market. We have also designed our platform so that buyers can transact in whichever way they feel best suits their needs; whether Open RTB, Private Marketplace or Automated Guaranteed, and across desktop, mobile, video and native, as programmatic continues its assault on traditional advertising. Not only are we dedicated to the open ecosystem ideal – PubMatic was founded on it.  That is because we believe that an open ecosystem benefits both buyers and publishers. You know, the people the technology is supposed to be helping in the first place.