Ad tech is a funny business. Experts and onlookers alike have been hammering the concept of ad networks for the better part of three years, yet when Facebook seem poised to launch one, it has many salivating over the prospect. Just last week, we saw GigaOm fuel the speculation that the great FB ad network is imminent, but what can we expect? What will it look like? Why will it be valuable? More importantly, why will publishers want to participate?
Much discussion has centred around what would the FB ad network’s ads look like? There has been huge speculation about whether or not there will be a ‘native’ solution. Many believe the rise of consumer web monetisation has been predicated by native solutions, and many are investing in its future. But how can Facebook export a native solution? Would sponsored stories sitting within an MPU be a strange user experience? Would it outperform standard ad units? Perhaps as Facebook becomes more and more synonymous with the user’s general internet experience, then these ‘native’ solutions would not look out of place?
Programmatic advertising has brought a wealth of new innovation. It has completely re-invigorated the display market, enabled search marketers to easily extend skills and services into a new channel and created a RTB market that has grown from USD $0 to $2 billion in just the last three years.
The International Data Corporation (IDC) has been tracking this topic closely, and its Real-Time Bidding in the United States and Worldwide, 2011-2016, is well worth a read (you can find it on the report sponsor PubMatic’s website). RTB is possibly the fastest-growing digital ad segment in history, and the report predicts it will grow to $13.9 billion spend worldwide by 2016, but how does this break down into EMEA? Are some markets more ready than others? How do we assess the geographical variations? In an attempt to answer some of these questions, let’s take a look at a few examples.
The subject of ‘programmatic premium’ may still be surrounded by ambiguity and ill-definition, but the French RTB market nevertheless is driving on with its adoption.
Many saw the launch of La Place Media and Audience Square as the first signs that premium French inventory would be accessible and scalable through the programmatic channels. Platform-based video buying has also been on the end of a significant growth curve, and yesterday saw the addition of even more scale for that opportunity through the launch of stickyXchange by StickyAds. It is fair to suggest that France is majorly invested in defining the future of premium buying via programmatic controls.
ExchangeWire CEO Ciaran O’Kane sat down with Neal Mohan, VP of Display at Google, during a fireside chat at ATS London this past September. In this video, Mohan discusses the process of consolidating the Google stack, what they offer their advertiser and agency partners, and their endeavours towards a holistically-integrated platform comprised of video, mobile and social.
He further discusses big trends currently evolving in the space, including some new publisher business models Google are bringing to market. These include private exchanges and a native audience extension capability built into DFP, which allows publishers to act as buyers. This new capability will begin with inventory in ADX, but eventually aims to extend reach beyond that. Google are still working towards integrating their stack and offering seamless support of video and mobile, as the standards are still evolving. Mohan wraps up with a full breakdown of their open platform and Google’s new bid manager.
Agency trading desks emerged to cope with the ever-increasing amounts of customer data and ad inventory presented by the advertising network environment. The ad trading ‘arms race’ had begun in earnest, but nobody knew quite how complicated it was going to become.
Five years on and the nascent ad exchange model has taken this complexity to an entirely new level. Such is the magnitude of available data and breadth of choice involved in making an informed purchase decision, that technology is increasingly taking the baton from the once human-dominated world.
Manual bidding is becoming an anathema to this environment. The industry is starting to wake-up to this fact, and its technology-led future, but this is a difficult transitional phase.
Open ad exchanges are undergoing a meteoric ascent and are now snapping at the heels of the declining ad network model. With more and more inventory owners throwing their hats into the exchange world, we are well on the way towards gaining an agnostic view of all available online ad inventory – advertising Shangri-La.
Gamned, an international real-time trading technology company based in France, are positioning themselves to bring RTB campaigns and technology-based advertising to the mainstream. ExchangeWire spoke with CEO & Co-founder Edgar Baudin about their offering.
For those unaware of the Gamned proposition, can you give some overview on what you do in the French market?
Gamned is a company specialising in real-time personalised advertising, providing its services to e-merchants and large advertisers since 2009. We run RTB campaigns spanning the whole client life cycle and purchase funnel: from brand awareness to client retargeting for cross-sale. Thanks to our proprietary platform, we can offer full transparency on our operations, buying, margin and where our ads are delivered. We believe that advertisers will become more and more demanding regarding how and where their performances are reached, and we are willing to take them in this direction.
We have 35 people on staff, 40% of whom are in R&D, located in Marseille, while our client services operate from Paris. We have focused our development on core components such as an adaptive DMP, a DCO engine and an advanced client dashboard (soon fully customisable).
This technology allowed us to win the digital marketing and the gold award at the latest E-commerce Paris fair, recognising the strength of our value proposition and technology stack.
ATS Paris is just weeks away, and we again look forward to assembling the ad trading community in Paris for our second big event in Paris. A lot has happened over the past twelve month in the French market. We have seen the rise of two publisher exchanges, La Place Media and Audience Squared, the big jump in the number of Independent Trading Desks servicing the French ad market – as well as the increasing dominance of the two big display players, namely Google and Facebook. All of these factors are contributing to huge growth in the local data-driven eco-system – and ExchangeWire looks forward to going to the heart of growth of the market. Agenda and speaker details are now available for the full day on Wednesday October 24. Early bird tickets are now available, but again we have limited space available. For those looking to attend, the full day event will be through both French and English with a full translation service available in both languages throughout the day.
Google announced this week that it is releasing tools to allow publishers to do native audience extension. This represents an interesting change of strategy from Google, as it will allow premium pubs both to scale and build out a Publisher Trading Desk without any third party tech. It is likely that Google will soon offer DFP publishers the option to execute audience extension strategies outside of Google-run inventory using Bid Manager, bringing the full end-to-end stack into play. ExchangeWire spoke with Neal Mohan, VP of Display Advertising and Jason Bigler, Director, Product Management about the new Google product release as well as the company’s wider display strategy in Europe (full interview below the ExchangeWire take on the native audience extension release).
This is not another ‘fanboy’ press release about how advertisers are able to drive down the cost of their media buying through the Facebook ad-exchange, FBX. The hype surrounding FBX has been executed beautifully by the PR machine at Facebook, and the trade press in the US and elsewhere have lapped this up.
But let’s be clear about the FBX proposition: Facebook has not invented new here. There is no new innovation progressing the ad market. This is just another way for the buyside to access tonnage, and we now have even more inventory flooding the RTB landscape. Many will claim that more liquidity is a good for the industry. This only benefits the buyer. It certainly doesn’t help the lot of the premium publisher, that now stands to have even less of a chance of effectively monetising through RTB.