'Inflection Point' Calls For Publisher Mobilization

No, not “mobile-ization,” but that’s part of it.

Chris Karl, chief strategy officer and head of market development at Sonobi, a supply-side platform (SSP), on Wednesday wrote an email to the premium publisher community, titled “A Call To Arms for Publishers.”

Karl notes that he and Sonobi see an “inflection point” in the market, and insinuates it was uncovered by GroupM’s decision to pull all of its money from the open ad exchanges in favor of direct, private deals. Sonobi believes this news is positive for publishers, as is IPG’s desire to spend the majority of its money via programmatic. “Soon you will hear about these efforts from Publicis, Omnicom, Aegis, and every other sizable media agency,” Karl predicts.

In essence, Karl believes the future of digital advertising is in “programmatic direct” -- a blend of traditional (direct between buyer and seller) and new (automation and real-time optimization using data) ad trading methods.

Since demand will -- and already is -- call for some sort of direct relationship with buyers, publishes would be wise to have the infrastructure in place to support the demand before it gets out of hand. That’s the gist of Karl’s “Call To Arms.”

The “inflection point” Karl references is no mirage. TubeMogul, a programmatic ad platform, recently reported that there were nearly 200% more private marketplace deals that took place in Q1 2014 compared to Q4 2013. Similarly, CPXi recently noted that there were 250% more impressions served on its private programmatic marketplace in March 2014 compared to October 2013.

That’s not to say open ad exchanges will evaporate, but buyers are weary of wasting dollars. When it comes to ad quality on the open exchanges, progress has been slow.

The other factor at play is not just where advertisers want to spend money, but who the advertisers are. When Advertising Age noted that Procter & Gamble wants to spend 70% to 75% of its U.S. digital media budget via programmatic, the conversations about programmatic changed. Ben Plomion, VP of marketing at Chango, recently told Real-Time Daily that Chango has had more marketers ask about branding via programmatic ever since the P&G news.

“We’re still in the first inning,” is a favorite cliché of the programmatic ad industry. Perhaps we are entering the second.

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1 comment about "'Inflection Point' Calls For Publisher Mobilization".
  1. Skip Brand from bbd (branding big data) & Martini , July 9, 2014 at 5:22 p.m.
    Karl is right about private exchange growth, programmatic direct domination and now a very high demand for premium programmatic! Private usually denotes premium and some early inefficiencies can be avoided or ensured and also overcome in a programmatic direct fashion. The window opening to premium programmatic maybe the "Second Inning!"