AppNexus Partners With Interactive Media To Power "Premium Publisher Platform", As German Sales Houses Close Ranks

Interactive Media, one the top two sales houses in Germany, has entered into a partnership with AppNexus, to power its new new "Premium Publisher Platform". ExchangeWire understands that the deal will focus primarily around the ad serving of all of Interactive Media's class 2 inventory in Germany, including all performance campaigns and automated buying relationships with trading desks and third party buyers.

This is the first time one of the top five German sales house has publicly unveiled a strategy around automated trading. The deal will cover 60 operated and owned websites by Interactive Media, covering billions of coveted .de premium impressions.

"Given the growing demand for penetration that offers high quality, high performance and accurate targeting, we are driving our marketing business towards audiences, more efficient network products, and a holistic optimization of our clients," comments Phillip Missler, CEO of Interactive Media, and a recent panelist at ATS London. comments:

Missler goes onto stress the importance of the premium aspect of this new venture: "This is primarily in the interest of our publishers, whose premium environments are the linchpin of our quality marketing. The Premium Publisher Platform will make our partners even more relevant to the market and it will increase the yield of their advertising across the board. We see this as a logical and effective expansion of our successful core business."

4q, Programmatic Premium And RTB in Germany

This premium piece is crucial to German sales houses as they move into the automated space. Last week's announcement by 4q, a loose collection of sales houses and agency, highlights the antipathy of some big sales houses towards impression-level buying. And it was noticeable that the first 4q members were independent German agencies.

There now seems to be a concerted move to introduce the sales houses own controlled form of automated trading. Programmatic premium is winning the hearts and minds of the German sell-side. The view remains that control must stay with the big publishers in the market.

Are sales houses right or wrong? RTB remains a mixed bag for big premium publishers in Europe. Microsoft, for instance, who have invested a lot of resource and time into executing smart selling strategies around RTB have seen yields increase - and are looking at putting a lot more of their premium supply through the channel.

La Place in France is also seeing good yield, and it has only started to ramp up operations. Hi-Media is also a significant success story, after it decide to sell the majority of its inventory through RTB. And lest we forget the ingenius sell-side trading down at De Telegraaf and A&NY Media. But then it could be argued these two are being run more like progressive publishers, trading like evolved networks.

Germany is a different market. It is closed, and to the exasperation of many agencies, is controlled by a handful of very powerful sales houses. They like the effeciencies of programmatic buying, but remain concerned around commoditisation.

There is some speculation as to what will happen next. There are rumours that a super premium German publisher exchange will emerge in this market over the next six months made up of a number of top sales houses. Given the announcement today with Interactive this new exchange could well be powered by the AppNexus stack. Programmatic buying is coming to Germany, but it will not be RTB.