Q&A With Iponweb's O'Neil On 'Fragmentation' In Programmatic
Iponweb, a UK-based real-time tech company, last month launched BidSwitch, a tool mean to help with
"fragmentation" in the programmatic space. It works by giving supply and demand platforms a single place to connect with each other.
RTM Daily asked Derek O'Neil, Iponweb's chief business development officer, some questions via email to find out what the company means by fragmentation and why it matters.
RTM Daily: Your company says one of the main purposes of BidSwitch is to solve fragmentation issues for programmatic traders. Can you describe what you mean by "fragmentation?”
Derek O'Neil: Fragmentation, from a commercial perspective, is the state of the many disparate companies offering supply or demand in different geographies, currencies and languages. This becomes increasingly more complex when you consider the engineering perspective.
For an RTB trading platform expanding to trade with a diverse number of trading partners, addressing this fragmentation consumes significant commercial and engineering resources.
RTM Daily: Is fragmentation really that big of a problem?
O'Neil: Say you are a new demand platform and you ask the major supply platforms to integrate with you. Typically, the answer is [that] you are scheduled to be integrated in six to 12 months’ time; you are at the end of an existing queue of dozens of other demand players. You are in a hurry to get started but have to wait in the queue, [and] the queue is gated by the supply platforms’ own need to sequentially manage on-boarding new trading partners.
This is one example from one perspective of the integration challenge and there are many others.
RTM Daily: BidSwitch is in closed beta — how's that going? Can you share some of the positive and negative feedback you've received?
O'Neil: In terms of progress, the technology layers are working well. We believe in the order of 30% of the global supply bid streams in the display market are now available in the BidSwitch, with a further 30% agreed to join and in the process of on-boarding.
We think by early 2014 there will be near 80% of the world’s display supply across nearly 80 supply platforms.
Additionally, we are now also expanding the BidSwitch to handle video. Our intention is to add mobile as well following the implementation of video.
The main challenges still being addressed in the beta program are operational and process ones for us at this stage. Trying to scale the operational infrastructure and team support globally across multiple media channels and hundreds of platforms is certainly not a straightforward task.
RTM Daily: You say there are more than 50 demand and supply partners across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Can you give us a sense of that balance?
O'Neil: We commenced the BidSwitch beta program principally in the German market, so our density of participants is strongest in Europe due to the origins of BidSwitch program beginning in Europe.
We now have 20 more companies in the process of coming on board, taking the total now to over 70.
The geographic snapshot as of October 9th is as follows: 29 platforms with an EU trading focus, 18 platforms with a US focus, eight in APAC, and 16 platforms with significant RTB trading in more than one of these geographic markets.
RTM Daily: Thanks for your time.