Much has been written and debated on the pages of the ad tech industry’s trade publications, websites, and blogs. There is no shortage of opinions, rationalisations, and debates for why things happen, with many points of view, forecasts, and predictions. We have seen many wins and many disappointments. But, writes Chris Karl (pictured below), CEO, VertaMedia, there is no denying that in the real world (the one that happens when you shut down your computer or turn off your phone) history has a tendency of repeating itself.
Guess what? It does in ad tech too! So, as we round the halfway point on 2017, it seems appropriate to look at what has happened over the past few years to determine where things could go in the years ahead. In the immortal words of Yogi Berra: “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” I love that quote.
The programmatic marketplace was built for rapid growth, benefitting from the network effect created by robust technology build-outs and experimentation on the buy and sell side of the marketplace. Marketplace growth is enabled by one fundamental premise: ACCESS. In the ad tech market, dollars started flowing from the buy side as more and more inventory became accessible to buyers, first on exchanges then through SSPs. Over the years, there have been many innovations that have enabled access to more inventory. Programmatic access has evolved from a remnant tag in the ad server, to header access, to server-to-server access. History has shown us time and time again that with more access we would see more demand, as the chart below shows.
As the market has grown, buyers have shown a repeated desire to have direct access to inventory. Whether it be a tag in the ad server, header access, or server-to-server access, buyers will always find their way to the inventory that is performing well for them. History has repeated itself many times over in this area. This makes logical sense because of the gains in technical performance and the economics of the transaction (time and money are important to buyers!). So, while we have been obsessing and debating the merits of header access versus server-to-server access for the last three years, we have ignored the bigger picture: now that buyers have the technical ability to move from back of the line, remnant access to front of the line, premium access (and always want to be direct), we are on the precipice of a huge marketplace optimisation. Why?
Once a marketplace matures, it has a natural tendency to optimise itself. We have already seen this happen on the demand side in several areas. The great agency trading desk experiment has been optimised over the last three years as we have seen the agencies integrate their programmatic experts into their traditional media buying teams – pressure from clients around the margin models for the trading desks and fee transparency certainly helped! One thing happened throughout this process: the DSP/DMP combination solidified its place as the buy-side technology platform of choice and the largest DSPs evolved into SaaS-based businesses (the ones that haven’t have been punished).
Whether you are a direct advertiser, a holding company, or a hybrid (tech plus managed service), you have codified your workflow around the DSP and have consolidated the margin you take on media spend. In this regard, the demand side of the ad-tech marketplace is two or three years ahead of the supply side.
Now what? If history repeats itself, as it has in the areas of demand access and demand process, with the integration of trading desks and the DSP workflow, then we are due for optimisation of the sell-side market around supply access and the sales process. Advertisers, and the pressure they applied to their agencies, initiated this optimisation on the demand side. Who has the ability, power, and control to mandate optimisation on the sell side? The publisher. Publishers with a solid premium brand and decent scale only need to look at history to optimise their opportunity to succeed and thrive in a future when media buying is executed via platforms for all formats and channels.
The future is now and it is inevitable. Firstly, publishers must clearly understand from where their biggest customers’ dollars originate (in their DSP). Secondly, they must understand the various points of access for their customers to buy their inventory (tag, header, server). If publishers decide to go the server route (and use the one everyone uses), they must understand they are accelerating the pace at which they are disintermediated from the buyer. Thirdly, publishers must get as close to that buyer as possible, by integrating directly. Finally, publishers must commit to integrating their direct and programmatic sales and operations organisations, and rewind the clock back to 2006, when they had control of their sales process and knew their buyers.
This approach will create cost savings, increases in CPM, revenue growth, and it will also bring clarity to publishers’ revenue strategy and make their buyers happy. Ultimately, the approach will enable the supply side to catch up with the demand side.
(As published on ExchangeWire)
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VertaMedia today announced it ranked 137 on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and energy tech companies in North America. VertaMedia grew 820 percent during this period.
VertaMedia, an award winning global video technology solution provider, today announces the launch of a Holistic Demand Management Platform for publishers. Fueled by increased publisher adoption of the VertaMedia’s video ad technology platform, the company has developed a unique solution to fulfill direct publisher needs in a unified, holistic sell side technology solution.
VertaMedia, an award winning Global Video Technology Solution provider, has been honored by Inc.com, the online arm of Inc. magazine, as among the top 5000 fastest growing private companies in the country. The list is made of the nation's fastest-growing private companies.
VertaMedia provides media companies with a suite of technology solutions that enable direct selling of omni-channel media assets to programmatic buyers. The company will be releasing a series of new products in the coming months that streamline the selling process of high value media assets.
VertaMedia released a tool that streamlines this process. All it takes is entering domains’ names in a field and pressing a ‘generate’ button. Once done the system will offer you to verify the data accuracy and here we are, you can download your ads.txt file!
With the rise of machine managed ad buying brand safety has become the talk of the town, making the recent announcement from the IAB Tech Lab introducing the ads.txt initiative appearing in the very nick of time.
VertaMedia, the leading video monetization platform, has partnered with ad fraud-detection and verification company Fraudlogix, which specializes in developing supply-side solutions, to monitor its impressions for ad fraud, brand safety, domain masking and viewability.
VertaMedia earned a Silver Stevie in the Most Innovative Tech Company of the Year – Up To 2,500 Employees category, and was also awarded three Bronze Stevies in the following categories: