October 4, 2017
Taking the Leap to a Unified Market

Header bidding has been an exciting development on the demand side. It unlocks many more premium supply deals, allowing for full-funnel customer management with clients and stimulates greater budgets flowing to publishers. Publishers also benefit from the additional control they get by being able to enable more 1:1, premium deals, programmatically.

So why change a good thing? What’s the benefit of moving to a server-side solution, which sounds complex and nascent in the current space? There are a few good reasons why it might make sense for publishers to take such a leap.

There are obvious efficiencies on both the demand and supply side from having a single, server-side solution in place. A DSP won’t have to submit the same bid to the same SSPs, all of which are then submitting final bids to the publisher, increasing costs substantially. And, even more importantly, it would create a unified auction for publishers... But is this 10+ years in the making? A unified marketplace would result in the highest yield for an impression, versus an unconsolidated second-price auction approach across multiple partners. It would also reduce browser-based header bidding page load times, increasing site views, customer satisfaction, and online sales.

There is even greater opportunity on both the demand and supply sides, if done properly through a publisher market consolidator. (PMC? – No, I won’t go there. Much too complicated a name, anyhow.) But - it requires a different type of company than the SSPs of today.

The concerns with a server-side approach are losses in match rates, a lack of transparency on auction mechanisms that ensure fairness, and the requirement of SSPs to trust such a partner. While these are hard, they are solvable if the opportunity is large enough. Let’s look at each of these points in more detail:

  1. Match Rate Loss – Yes, it takes some time to increase match rates, but it is achievable. We have match rates upwards of 90% with many partners today. But, the real opportunity here is to leapfrog cookie-based match rates. We should match based on people rather than devices. By partnering across DSPs, a single auction consolidator, and SSPs, we could as an industry provide a real, open alternative to the closed marketplaces and walled gardens that depend heavily on their proprietary user graphs to show value to advertisers.

  2. Transparency and Fairness of Auction Mechanisms – This is where a new type of entity would need to emerge, which would need to provide transparency in its auction mechanisms, as it would be imperative to the success of such an initiative. Publishers may feel a bit jaded about this (i.e., the promise of insights from exchanges have not fully come to fruition), or may only be concerned with the final CPM provided. But, publishers can and should think about how this ultimately benefits them and can work to demand it from such a partner.

    In addition, browser-based header bidding, and using multiple partners, both add to the issue of lacking insights. SSPs don’t see or understand what is happening within the browser, and also can’t see what other partners are doing, whereas a server-side solution across all partners would make it easier to understand what exactly is happening in terms of bids and final yield. 
  1. Will SSPs Get on Board? – This might be the highest bar as it requires a sort of co-opetition. The challenge can be obviated somewhat if an entity is truly acting as a pure, consolidated pipe for a unified auction (think: tech fee). If it is truly a better solution for publishers (and there is a player that is truly transparent around their auctions and hence qualified to be an objective bystander) SSPs may have to work very hard to offer a better solution.

Lastly, to address the, “What if there are still multiple providers of such a solution? Would we end up in the same situation as today?” concern: If the opportunity is real and large enough, multiple providers will begin offering this. That’s fine, as long as you choose one that best meets your needs. We’ve come a long way in terms of the benefits of consolidating under a primary partner on the demand side. And ultimately, the control is within your hands, publishers, to reap the benefits of a similar approach.


Maggie Neuwald — VP, Enterprise Accounts at MediaMath
Maggie Neuwald has spent the past 11 years of her career in AdTech/MarTech programmatic technology and services. At Right Media, the first industry ad exchange, and Yahoo, Neuwald consulted with agencies to build the first trading desks in the industry, and the largest advertiser in the world to build an in-house tech direct programmatic strategy. Neuwald then became the product lead for [X+1]'s DSP and Multi-touch attribution product suites (eventually acquired by RocketFuel). Following that, Neuwald lead product marketing, including sales enablement, primary research/case studies, and analyst relations for TagMan (eventually acquired by Signal), which provided tag management and multi-attribution solutions, also serving on an IAB best practices committee. Currently Neuwald is VP, Enterprise Accounts at MediaMath, working with large, strategic clients to consult and activate their programmatic strategy.

Business Insider
September 11, 2018
What you need to know in advertising today

Snap's chief strategy chief Imran Khan is leaving, the company said Monday, becoming the latest executive to depart its top ranks.

And even though he leaves a big hole for founder and CEO Evan Spiegel to fill —advertising executives aren't particularly sorry to see Khan go.

Khan, 41, joined Snap in early 2015, with a mandate to expand its business and revenue and steer it toward an initial public offering.

But while he succeeded in charting the company's path to an IPO, insiders and outsiders apparently never saw him as an advertising guy.

To read more about how ad execs reacted to Khan's departure, click here.

Here's some CBS news post Moonves' resignation:

CBS reportedly dropped the ball on sexual misconduct allegations against Les Moonves because a bitter fight with its parent company led to years of mistrust. According a Wall Street Journal report published Monday night, Redstone asked members of CBS' board of directors about allegations against Moonves in January.

Meanwhile, CBS has a new interim CEO after Les Moonves' resignation, but an industry analyst says he'll be gone by the end of 2018. Chief operating officer, Joseph Ianniello, has taken over as interim CEO after Les Moonves left the company Sunday amid a series of new sexual-misconduct allegations.

In other news:

Facebook is looking to avoid YouTube's pitfalls by providing marketers a slew of tools to keep their ads away from less desirable content. Facebook is rolling out new brand-safety tools that will let advertisers see where their ads will appear before and after they run.

Facebook is losing its grip on users' attention. Compared to a year ago, time spent on the social network has fallen by almost 7%, according to an analysis of new Nielsen data.

Verizon sees 5G revolutionizing everything from surgery to education to transportation — so it's opening high-tech labs in 4 cities by end of year. In addition to the New York City lab launched in 2017, Verizon is adding labs in Palo Alto, California; Playa Vista, California; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Washington, DC.

Uber has hired Rebecca Messina as its first CMO. Messina most recently spent two and a half years as svp and global CMO at Beam Suntory and nearly 22 years at the Coca-Cola Company in numerous roles prior to that. 

Join the conversation about this story »

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September 10, 2018
Bid caching, bid shading, consent strings: A guide to understanding Dmexco

Ad tech is riddled with jargon. For those attending the digital marketing conference Dmexco in Cologne this week, here's a primer to help keep up.

The post Bid caching, bid shading, consent strings: A guide to understanding Dmexco appeared first on Digiday.

MarTech Advisor
September 6, 2018
MediaMath Enhances its Native Advertising Offering to Improve Customer Experience
MediaMath announced today enhancements to its native advertising offering with new creative management solutions and supply partnerships that fully integrate native advertising into its omnichannel DSP
Pocket Gamer
September 6, 2018
AppLovin acquires in-app header bidding company MAX Inc
Mobile marketing platform AppLovin has acquired app header bidding solution MAX Inc for an undisclosed sum . MAX provides a platform for advertisers to bid on a publisher’s catalogue. As part of the acquisition, the eight-person start-up will change its name to 'MAX by AppLovin' and grant bidders access to AppLovin’s collection of mobile games companies. The MAX platform will be...
September 5, 2018
AppLovin Acquires MAX In A Bid To Spur In-App Header Bidding Adoption

The in-app header bidding space is gathering momentum – but not fast enough for AppLovin. The mobile ad network has acquired MAX, a startup that came out of beta just over four months ago with a solution that helps app publishers get a fair shake on the open exchange, the company announced Wednesday. “There are... Continue reading »

The post AppLovin Acquires MAX In A Bid To Spur In-App Header Bidding Adoption appeared first on AdExchanger.