Publishers need scale when coming together in an advertising co-op argues Rubicon Project



Publishers looking to play in the programmatic space need to band together to achieve enough scale to convince advertisers they are worth investing in, an international expert has said.

Jay Sears, head of marketplace development for adtech provider Rubicon Project, told Mumbrella: “If you don’t have scale or diversity of product offering you’re putting a lot of impediments in front of you.”

The New York based executive was in Australia to talk about the Pangea Alliance, which has seen international publishers including The Guardian, CNN International, the Financial Times, Thomson Reuters and The Economist band together for their own programmatic offering, which is powered through Rubicon Project.

On the importance of publishers coming together Sears said: “Those are things the buying community are looking for. They’re looking for scale solutions, reach and some of the other things like first party data, custom formats and they also want to see it across a mobile platform or a desktop platform.

“If you look at the co-ops operating, they do deliver that scale benefit. If you’re going to come together you can’t not deliver that benefit. Pangea, on a global basis has 110m monthly uniques, that’s a pretty big footprint amongst some pretty big exclusive media owners.

“When you look across La Place [a French programmatic offering] or the newer ones in Hungary or Argentina, typically you’re going to get 80-90 per cent reach in a particular market. That’s part of the way you need to construct the cooperative in order for the federation to work.”

In July this year the local market saw Fairfax and Mi9 come together to form the premium mobile exchange APEX, while News Corp partnered with sales house MCN to form MBX.



However, Adele Hanzlicek, Rubicon Project country manager for Australia and New Zealand, said the size of the co-op or alliance is dependent on its objectives.

“It depends on what the objectives of the co-op are, what are the founders are out to achieve. Typically with the co-ops we work with, they are going after the Googles and Facebooks but when you look at the APEX play into mobile, they’re carving out a whole new market and maybe two of them is actually sufficient for that market to work and to prosper,” she said.

“In the longer term it’s how they’re helping spur money into that channel, it’s actually a good move for the industry, especially locally.”

For Hanzlicek APEX could help educate the market on the mobile market.

“Mobile is still one of those big gaps where you look at this space and the agency trading desks are still very nascent in the mobile market,” she said.

“They’ve had the ability to use budgets by utilising video, social and display – there’s my marketing budget spent, I don’t need to worry about mobile.

“It’s the reality  of the situation because mobile for many advertisers is a different mindset – you can’t track cookies, so how do you track conversions correctly? There’s all those little nuances that come into it.”

Miranda Ward

A session on the state of programmatic in Australia will be presented at next month’s Publish Conference. APEX’s Pippa Leary, Starcom Mediavest’s Jason Tonelli, News Corp Australia’s Jason Denny and Telstra’s Harry Lowes will be looking at the latest developments and opportunities as well as discussing if publishers need to be in an alliance. For more information on the program and how to buy tickets click the banner below.



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