By at least one measure -- the publishers utilizing PubMatic -- real-time bidding is now neck-and-neck with ad networks as a source of advertising revenues. According to a fourth-quarter 2012
analysis released by the sales-side platform, RTB now represents 48% of all ad revenues not sold directly by publishers’ own sales organizations. That’s just 2 percentage points less than
ad networks, which currently generate 50% of all secondary, non-premium advertising sales.
A major reason for the growth in RTB appears to be the fact that it’s
working for publishers. According to the analysis, RTB eCPMs were 114% greater than those generated by ad networks.
In terms of yields, however, both RTB and ad networks
lag relative to a smaller, but fast-growing segment of the programmatic marketplace: private marketplaces (or PMPs). According to PubMatic, the eCPMs generated by PMPs during the fourth quarter were
962% greater than ad networks, and 396% higher than those from RTB.
“[Publishers] are moving from the fixed priced sales of ad networks to dynamically traded
inventory,” explains PubMatic President Kirk McDonald.
“While still an emerging mode of selling, it’s also important to underscore the growth in usage
and strong results for implementing Private Marketplace sales. We’re moving from an era of blind inventory to one where buyer and seller use programmatic as a tool to increase
efficiencies but also build long-term sales relationships in a transparent manner.”