Local publisher partnerships won’t work without global scale, claims Pangaea boss


McKinnon: Set to take on APEX in mobile space

Publishers looking to band together to form their own programmatic offering need big numbers and global reach to differentiate themselves, the general manager of The Pangaea Alliance has suggested.

The Pangaea Alliance, is made up of a consortium of international publishers including The Guardian, CNN International, the Financial Times, Thomson Reuters and The Economist who banded together to form their own programmatic offering in March last year.

Pangaea’s Fiona McKinnon took aim at local publisher alliance APEX – which is a mobile-only programmatic venture between Fairfax Media and Nine Entertainment Co’s Mi9.

In Sydney for a short visit, the London-based McKinnon told Mumbrella: “Something that is unique in our alliance, we really do have that global footprint. APEX with Fairfax and Mi9 are very much Australian focused, whereas our brands have that recognition in Hong Kong to North America and everywhere in between.

“Just one or two publishers doesn’t create enough differentiation of product – you do really need to have more than that. Though we are five at the moment we will be looking at other global partners later this year that complement the mix we already have.

“We think that’s a real point of differentiation for us as well and our APAC inventory has been really successful and we’re strong in running campaigns in Singapore, Hong Kong and in Australia which demonstrates its not just about UK markets.”


Leary: Exchanges need liquidity and scale to work

Programmatic trading has risen on the agenda for publishers over the last two years as advertisers and media agencies demand the ability to automate the buying and serving of digital display ads.

However, APEX CEO Pippa Leary defended her exchange’s position in market, arguing that its larger number of local ad impressions makes it a superior choice.

“For exchanges to work they must have liquidity and scale. APEX represents one of the largest supplies of premium inventory in Australia and such creates unique value to clients,” she said.

“It also represents over 120 different mobile sites which attract vastly different audiences. There are very few offerings in the market similar in the breadth and scale of premium mobile inventory.”

The Pangaea Alliance has only delivered desktop ads until now but is set to move into APEX’s mobile territory imminently.

“This quarter we’re launching our mobile offering, which will be mobile-web to begin with, but we are looking at our app solutions thereafter,” said McKinnon.

Pangeaea AllianceMcKinnon said the concept for the Pangaea Alliance was intended to allow publishers to stand up to the growing might of Facebook and Google.

“Although everyone comments that budgets are growing year on year, a lot of that is going to Google and Facebook and individual media owners aren’t benefiting from that increased spend in digital that they were 10 years ago,” she said.

“The idea came from The Guardian who said how can we create something that’s bigger as a group then we can individually attract on a global footprint.”

She added: “A lot of benefit can come from respected publishers coming together to create a philosophical alliance as well. We’ve done some work around a charter which speaks to what responsible advertising should mean.”


Miranda Ward



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